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Sources: Karin Westman, 785-532-2190,;
and Rachel Parkin, 785-532-2162,
Web site:
News release prepared by: Katie Mayes, 785-532-6415,

Monday, Nov. 30, 2009


MANHATTAN -- Deciding each year which children's book is the best is no easy task.

To get an inside look at the process, Kansas State University's Children's and Adolescent Literature Community and the Manhattan Public Library will sponsor the second annual Mock Caldecott Medal competition Sunday, Dec. 6. The event, which is free and open to the public, begins at 1 p.m. at the library, 629 Poyntz Ave. It is also sponsored by the K-State department of English.

The American Library Association awards the Caldecott Medal to the most distinguished American picture book for children, as well as recognizing the runners-up. The medal is named for Randolph Caldecott, a 19th-century English illustrator.

Participants in the mock competition will have a chance to look over the 30 picture books nominated this year, followed by discussion and a chance to vote for their favorites from 2-4 p.m.

"Following on the success of last year's event, the department of English looks forward to a great conversation with students, faculty, and community members about the best picture books of 2009," said Karin Westman, head of K-State's department of English. "We also hope to have our local selections recognized again by the national selection committee."

"Last year's mock Caldecott generated a thoughtful discussion about what makes a great picture book, " said Rachel Parkin, K-State instructor of English and competition organizer. "It's wonderful that K-State's Children's and Adolescent Literature Community, the English department and the Manhattan Public Library are once again able to foster an informed appreciation of children's literature."

Phil Nel, director of K-State's children's literature program, said that many things go into judging which is the best children's book. "When a book gets an award, some people may wonder why it won. Judges look at not only the quality of the artwork, but the book's layout and design, and how the images convey plot, theme and characters," he said.

Other children's literature experts from K-State's College of Education, the department of English and Hale Library also will take part, as well as experts from the Manhattan Public Library.