Saturday, January 15, 2011

What's all the hullabaloo about the Newbery and Caldecott slight on
the Today Show?

This past Monday, the American Library Association announced the 2011 winners of the Newbery and Caldecott Awards, the highest honors in children's literature for illustration and writing every year. This year's winners, Clare Vanderpool, for her book Moon over Manifest, and Erin Stead, for her illustration of A Sick Day for Amos McGee, were bounced from the customary post-announcement interview on The Today Show, in favor of an interview with television personality "Snooki" instead.

While children's book lovers have cried foul all week, others have pointed to the sadly growing irrelevance of good literature for kids, in the age of mass marketed mega-bestsellers and pop culture. I wonder what it really means, and what we children's lit lovers can do.

I think we do what we always do, but do it louder and prouder! Read as much as we can, sing the praises of the stories and art we love, and pass it on to as many willing (and unwilling) kids as we can! Good stories will always matter until we stop believing. I challenge all book lovers to read one of this year's award-winning or honor books and tell a friend or a kid or a friend's kid about it! Keep fighting the good fight. Go team go!