Mock Newbery Nominees 2019: The Day You Begin and Be Prepared

by Morgan Reeves on January 2nd, 2019

 I hope this third round of  Mock Newbery head to heads will bring cheer to your winter holiday break. Today we’ll look at our two illustrated titles, each taking unique looks at fitting in. Jacqueline Woodson’s “The Day You Begin” speaks to the difficulty and delight of being different. “Be Prepared” by Vera Brosgol is the story of a misfit who goes to camp hoping to find acceptance.

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The Stuff of Stars

by Casey Maynard on December 28th, 2018

The Stuff of Stars This week’s Mock Caldecott title is “The Stuff of Stars” written by Marion Dane Bauer and illustrated by Caldecott Honor winner and Coretta Scott King Award recipient, Ekua Holmes. In short, this is a book about the birth of the universe, told through verse and hand-marbled paper collages. The simplicity of the text paired with the elegant humility of the marbled collages transform this from a scientific story about the birth of our universe into a timely story about that which intrinsically links humanity.

It opens “in the dark, / in the deep, deep dark” before time and space and follows “a speck [,]/ invisible as thought, weighty as God” through the big bang, the births and deaths of countless stars, the subsequent creation of planets and the evolution of life on Earth. All the while, the free verse conveys information about evolution in a concise, digestible format and Holmes’s illustrations soar. Read the rest of this entry »

A Big Mooncake for Little Star

by Casey Maynard on December 21st, 2018

A Big Mooncake for Little Star This week’s Mock Caldecott title is Grace Lin’s, “A Big Mooncake for Little Star” . Grace Lin is a well known author and activist in the kidlit world.  She runs a site and podcast called Kidlit Women  in which she interviews prominent creators, editors and researchers about gender issues in kidlit. Most of her work revolves around Asian-American culture and it is clear through her interviews and Tedx Talk that creation, for her, has been a process of reclamation of her own heritage.

Little Star diverges from her previous endeavors artistically, and in doing so offers up a different piece of Lin’s heritage that she is reclaiming. This time, however, it’s not just for herself, but also for her own Little Star to whom she dedicates the book.

 

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Heartbeat

by Casey Maynard on December 14th, 2018

Heartbeat This week’s Mock Caldecott selection is Evan Turk’s “Heartbeat ” . In this lovely tribute to the majesty of whales, we follow an orphaned whale calf through nearly two hundred years of human development. From whale oil candles and machine gun oil to the first images of Earth from space and sound clips on the Voyager, it is no secret that these creatures have had a vast impact on our shared history.

 

 

 

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Mock Newbery Nominees 2019: The Parker Inheritance and The Book of Boy

by Morgan Reeves on December 11th, 2018

 It’s time for Mock Newbery comparisons, round two. This week let’s look at two stories about seeking treasure and finding truth. In “The Parker Inheritance” by Varian Johnson, Candice seeks to unravel the mystery surrounding the treasure that ruined her grandmother’s reputation as town manager. Along the way she uncovers a piece of violent racism the town would like to forget. In “The Book of Boy,” Catherine Gilbert Murdock weaves the mystery of Boy’s identity into the Medieval tale of an enigmatic pilgrim seeking relics of Saint Peter.

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Library Winter Break Activities for Kids

by Mari Redington on December 10th, 2018

As the holidays creep up, it’s not too early to start planning your family’s two week winter break, when the kids are home from school and you already need a break from the coveted family time at home. The library has something going on every day besides city holidays, including a family-friendly party to ring in the New Year! Events are always free and there’s something for all ages. And be sure to sign up for the Winter Reading Program to kick off 2019 with a sweet reading goal. You can register online, at the Children’s Room desk or on the Bookmobile beginning December 17th, look for the link on our website.  Check out these library events coming up while school’s out! 

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Ocean Meets Sky

by Casey Maynard on December 7th, 2018

Ocean Meets Sky  This week for ICPL’s Mock Caldecott, I’m taking a look at the Fan Brothers’ Ocean Meets Sky. This sibling duo has been featured in ICPL’s Mock Caldecott every year that we’ve had one, starting with their debut picture book, The Night Gardener. There’s a reason for this. Consistently, these brothers are producing picture books with whimsical, fantastic, and emotive narratives that also pack an illustrative punch.

There is a prolific children’s book creator who you will see referenced throughout the rest of our Mock Caldecott–Maurice Sendak. Arguably one of the best known children’s book creators of all time, multiple authors and illustrators have paid him tribute this year. His work, his studio space, and even a nib pen he used to own, will all come into play throughout the rest of our Mock Caldecott. This is not something the actual committee can discuss, but since we’re not the committee, let’s have some fun! Read the rest of this entry »

Julián is a Mermaid

by Casey Maynard on November 30th, 2018

Image result for julian is a mermaidThe next title up for review in ICPL’s 2019 Mock Caldecott is Jessica Love’s debut picture book, “Julián is a Mermaid”. Utilizing very sparse text, Love relies heavily on her lustrous illustrations for her narrative. In fact, there are only 92 words in this 32 page picture book and the story can be inferred without the text at all. From endsheet to endsheet, even including the back flap, there is not a single iota of space that has not seen narrative use for Julián’s story.

Overall, this is a journey, both real and figurative, about unconditional love and acceptance, both of ourselves and others. Abuela shows Julián that she will not only care for him, but will help him find his way no matter where it leads him.  Read the rest of this entry »

Mock Newbery Nominees 2019: Front Desk and The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl

by Morgan Reeves on November 26th, 2018

In the first round of Mock Newbery comparisons, we’ll take a look at the stories of two girls who learn the value of friendship and community. In “Front Desk” by Kelly Yang, Mia Tang’s courage and kindness makes readers root for the immigrant girl to achieve her dreams, which include owning a motel and becoming a writer. Stacy McAnulty’s book “The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl” follows the evolution of Lucy Callahan from lightning-struck, antisocial math savant to dog-saving middle school friend.

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Hello Lighthouse

by Casey Maynard on November 23rd, 2018

Hello Lighthouse

The next book up for your consideration in our mock Caldecott series is Sophie Blackall’s “Hello Lighthouse”.  Following a lighthouse and its keeper through their final years together, this story is quietly introspective, bittersweet and informative.

What sets this book apart is its incredible design and Blackall’s attention to details. The moment I picked it up earlier this year I was immediately struck by the shape and feel of the book and how it mimics the tall narrow lighthouse. Yet, inside, Blackall uses circular patterns to illuminate the circular nature of the structure, the cycles of life and the passing of time. Read the rest of this entry »