On Thursday last week, I returned home from story time at the elementary school where I had read, to the general delight of twenty or so children, Monkey: A Trickster Tale from India, retold and illustrated by Gerald McDermott, and found this sad announcement from PW Children's Bookshelf of McDermott's passing. I always looked forward to his new books--one of the great talents whose books I love. You can also read an obituary from School Library Journal on their website.
In happier news, the finalists for the 2012 Cybils Awards have been announced. Check out the finalists on their website.
And soon we'll see the contenders for School Library Journal's Battle of the Kids' Books. Lots of good commentary, and it's fun to play along.
Speaking of awards, we are about two weeks away from the 2013 ALA Youth Media Awards announcements which, of course, include the announcement of the Newbery and Caldecott Award winners. You can watch the announcements in person on January 28 at the American Library Association Midwinter Meeting in Seattle or stream them live via the internet here.
If you want to know how winning one of those gold, shiny medals changes an author's or illustrator's life, you can read the Publishers Weekly article, "The Call That Changes Everything -- or Not," on their website.