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K-State Today

December 3, 2014

Vote for the best picture book of 2014 at the Mock Caldecott

Submitted by Karin Westman

Baby Bear by Kadir Nelson

What's the best picture book of 2014? You can help decide at this year's Mock Caldecott.

The event will begin at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 7, at the Manhattan Public Library, 629 Poyntz Ave.

Sponsored by the Children's and Adolescent Literature Community, the English department's program in children's literature and the Manhattan Public Library, the Mock Caldecott includes a discussion of the most distinguished picture books of 2014, followed by a vote to determine this year's winner.

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.

"Now in its seventh year, the Mock Caldecott brings students, faculty and community members together to enjoy the best picture books published in the past year," said Karin Westman, head of the English department and faculty advisor for the Children's and Adolescent Literature Community. "We then decide our own award-winning book and honor books."

Selected picture books will be available for review from 1:30-2:30 p.m. A brief presentation at 2:30 p.m. will describe the criteria for the award, followed by discussion and a vote to determine this year's winner.

Joe Sutliff Sanders, associate professor of English and interim director of the children’s literature program, values the opportunity to watch the award process in action.

"One of the most interesting things that happens in the Mock Caldecott is that we start to realize that there's more to an award than just 'literary quality.' An award is a function of the passion of the people in the room, of what is powerful and timely on that particular day, and what we want our children to know," Sanders said.

This year's contenders include Kadir Nelson's "Baby Bear," J. Patrick Lewis's "Harlem Hellfighters," Yuyi Morales's "Viva Frida," David Soman's "Three Bears in a Boat," and Mac Barnett's "Sam and Dave Dig a Hole."

"The discussion of the books is lively and engaging as students, community members, and K-State faculty champion their favorite picture books the year," said Allison Kuehne, graduate student in English and co-president of the Children's and Adolescent Literature Community. "The afternoon spent at the public library brings people together to experience the pleasure and delight of reading picture books."

Results will be posted to the English department's Twitter feed.

For more information, contact chalc@k-state.edu or english@k-state.edu.