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K-State Today

November 30, 2016

Vote for the best picture book of 2016 at the Mock Caldecott

Submitted by Karin Westman

Francesca Sanna's "The Journey"

What's the best picture book of 2016? You can help decide at this year's Mock Caldecott.

The event will begin at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, 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 2016, 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 ninth year, the Mock Caldecott brings students, faculty and community members together to enjoy the best picture books published in the past year, assembling our short list from prominent review sites at Publisher's Weekly, the New York Times and librarian Betsy Bird's blog for the School Library Journal," 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.

Phil Nel, university distinguished professor of English and director of the program in children's literature, values the opportunity to enjoy the art of the picture book.

"Picture books offer the pleasure of immersing oneself in a story. The excitement of the turn of the page. A portable art gallery to stroll through. And there are new ones being published all the time, thousands in just the U.S. during 2016. Which of these most merits our time and attention? At the Mock Caldecott, we'll have a friendly debate over this question and look at some of the best picture books of the year," Nel said.

This year's contenders include Francesca Sanna's "The Journey," Lisa Brown's "The Airport Book," Sherman Alexie and Yuyi Morales' "Thunder Boy Jr.," and Dan Santat's "Are We There Yet?"

"The Mock Caldecott is a great opportunity to read some of the best picture books of the year and to discuss them with an energetic and invested mix of students and professors. Predicting, and politely arguing about, which one of those books will be crowned this year's best of the best is both entertaining and enlightening," said Corinne Matthews, graduate student in English and co-president of the Children's and Adolescent Literature Community.

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

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

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