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K-State Today

December 4, 2019

Vote for the best picture book of 2019 at the 12th annual Mock Caldecott

Submitted by Karin Westman

Antoinette Portis's "Hey, Water!"

What's the best picture book of 2019? You can help decide at this year's Mock Caldecott.

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

Sponsored by the Children's and Adolescent Literature Community and the English department's program in children's literature in the College of Arts and Sciences and by the Manhattan Public Library, the Mock Caldecott includes a discussion of the most distinguished picture books of 2019, 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 12th 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 reviewers 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. "After discussing the short list, 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 children's literature, values the opportunity to enjoy the art of the picture book and gain new perspectives.

"Need a break from end-of-term stress, or some inspiration for the weeks ahead? I recommend art and stories," Nel said. "This Saturday, come browse through and discuss the best picture books of 2018."

This year's contenders include "Hey, Water!" by Antoinette Portis, "My Papi Has A Motorcycle" by Isabel Quintero and Zeke Pena, "A Stone Sat Still" by Brendan Wenzel, and "Another" by Christian Robinson.

"The Mock Caldecott provides an opportunity for those who are passionate about children's literature to gather together to acknowledge the work and artistry that goes into producing children's literature," said Caitlin Hymans, first-year graduate student in English and co-president of the Children's and Adolescent Literature Community. "I love the sense of community this event provides and am excited to listen to the various perspectives and discussions on the Caldecott contenders." 

Alexis Bedell, second-year graduate student in English and co-president of the Children's and Adolescent Literature Community, agrees with Hymans.

"What I love most about Mock Caldecott is hearing different perspectives and appreciations for the artistry in picture books," Bedell said. "While they are all exceptional picture books, each book affects the reader in different ways and it is fun to share those individual reactions."

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

Participation at the event will count for "Service to the Profession: Professional Growth" for Education majors. For more information, contact chalc@k-state.edu or english@k-state.edu.