Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Bud's top 5 Books of 2011

Yesterday I revealed Cupcake's favorite book of the year, today it the Bud's turn.

The Bud has always been a book lover, but over 2011 he has gone from "reading pictures" to reading words - it has been a pretty amazing year.

Here's what this 6 year old picked as his top 5 favorites of 2011:

1. Cat Secrets by Jef Czekaj

Blogged earlier this year here.

2. Missile Mouse #2 by Jake Parker

(Book Trailer for book #1 from 2010 - also a favorite of the Bud)

3. Frankie Pickle and the Mathmatical Menace by Eric Wight

2. Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke

But hands down his top book of 2011 was....
1. Sidekicks by Dan Santat

Happy New Year!
and Happy Reading in 2012!

Friday, December 30, 2011

#nerdcott photo update - 1

Woo hoo! My first photo update!

Current Status: 10 (not counting those I will re-read) out of 306 (until Jan 23rd when the 2012 winners will be announced!)

I have added a few comments and reviews for the titles on Goodreads. 
I love the conversations that are starting there.

Click here for more information about the Caldecott Challenge.

If Cupcakes chose Caldecotts

With all of the talk of best books of 2011 and 2012 award hopefuls, I've been thinking about my kids' favorite books from 2011.

My two year old, Cupcake (her online pseudonym) is an avid reader and very vocal about what she likes.
And there is no doubt that Cupcake's favorite from 2011 is Squish Rabbit by Katherine Battersby.

We have checked it out from the local library multiple times. When she knows we are going to go to the library, she asks to check it out again. After the most recent checkout, she asked if we could buy our own copy! Yes, she is a precocious one.

Here she is "picture reading" Squish Rabbit in reverse. (transcript below video).

"thought he was playing...he kicked his little legs"
"tantrum - argghhhh!"
"they broke all the rules!"
"passed him by!"
Squishing sound for when Squish gets stepped on

How to guide: Goodreads Lists & the Caldecott Reading Challenge

If you would like to add all of the Caldecott Medal and Honor Books to a shelf on Goodreads, first you will need to get to a list or shelf already created:

Through group effort we are making the full list include all the 306 books - if my count through 2011 is accurate - however any one person is only allowed to add 100 books to a list.
As of this post it should include all the books up through 1961 for Honor books, and all of the Medal books through 2011. Thanks to those who are helping to add more honor books to this list.

Once you add them to your to-read shelf, you can use the Goodread's batch edit feature to get them on your own shelf labeled whatever you like. Watch the video below for a quick demonstration:

Ready, Set, Go - #nerdcott!

So when I was first imagining myself reading for #nerdott, I thought I would be a purist reading year by year starting with 1938, and then going to 1939, and so on.

 Looking at how I will be getting access to the early Medal and Honor books, I am thinking that it will take me a long time (and add more stress) to wait until I have the books for each year before reading on.

So since there really are no rules to this challenge, and I am trying to be as stress free as possible, I am going to start with reading what I can from the first decade as I get books in hand.

 To make things feel a little official, I did want to start with the first Medal Book:

 As I am reading I am trying to keep the criteria for the Caldecott award in my mind and be looking for examples of "distinguished illustrations in a picture book and for excellence of pictorial presentation for children."

I like to document with pictures, so expect lots of photo posts.
My pal and co-host, Anna of A to Z Library, is much more of a writer that I am, so I think we will make a great pair on this journey.

With that... ready, set, go #nerdcott!

Interested in joining us on the Caldecott Medal and Honor Book Reading Challenge? Find out more here.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Am I emotionally ready for #nerdcott?

#nerdcott has only been official for about 24 hours.

And in that time I have gone back and forth between complete excitement and thoughts of "H...E...double-hockey-sticks, what was I thinking?" I have 2 kids, I work full time, I have myriad other responsibilities... but to have read them all and know them - what a journey to take as a reader, a librarian and a lover of picture books.

Some of my favorite books can be found in the list of Caldecott Medal and Honor Books. I look forward to the announcement of the new winners each year. I love showing students my copies of Caldecott's books and looking at his illustrations that were used for each side of the medal (yes, there is an image on the back side - I would love to see it in person!), as well as finding his face in the cat.

Link to: Project Gutenberg's R. Caldecott's Picture Book (No. 1)

Last night I worked on the logistics of being ready - how will I get my hands on copies of the titles?

But this afternoon I have been thinking about my emotional readiness for this #nerdcott journey.
I like to imagine myself cozied up with beautiful treasures awaiting me behind each cover I open.
But since I am starting very soon with the oldest titles and working to the present, I need to be prepared.

There are reasons, very good ones, why some of the early Medal and Honor Books are no longer found in school libraries.

There are reasons why the Milestones collection, the reference collection of children's literature at the Minneapolis Central Library (from which I am borrowing many of the early Medal and Honor books) is described as representing "the landmarks, both high and low, in the history of Children’s Literature."

I know there will be plenty of examples of stereotypes that make me cringe and want to scream.

So knowing this... why do I still want to read these titles?

I value knowing what came before, understanding how that connects with what is happening now, and where things might be in the future. I hope to grow, gain perspective and understand more about this award that is so revered.

I also hope to enjoy some beautiful treasures on the way.

I think I am nearly ready.

Join us on the journey. Find out more about the Caldecott Medal and Honor Reading Challenge here.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Caldecott Challenge - 1938 to present

John Schu of Watch. Connect. Read. recently announced The Newbery Medal Challenge - 1922 to Present, that got me and a few other folks on twitter thinking about a Caldecott Medal Challenge.

Recently Travis Jonker of 100 Scope Notes attempted to read all of the Medal Books in one day (73 books)

...but what about all the Honor Books? That's over 300 picture books.

My plan starting this January is to read through all of the Caledecott Medal Winners and Honor Books by year starting with 1938 and working my way to the present blogging about my progress here, tweeting about it using the hashtag #nerdcott, and tracking the books on goodreads.

Awesome librarian and pal in real life Anna of A to Z Library has agreed to co-host this challenge with me. Thanks, Anna!

Like The Newbery Medal Challenge - 1922 to Present THIS IS A STRESS FREE CHALLENGE. It is intended to be fun! You are invited to participate in this challenge at your own pace and at your own level of "strictness" to the list of books. Some of those older honor books may be difficult to get your hands on. You may choose not to re-read titles. You may make this challenge about what works for you!

Click here to download a Caldecott Challenge badge.

#nerdbery & #nerdcott - two great reading challenges that go great together.
Just remember if you choose one or both... the theme is STRESS FREE!

If you are participating in the Caldecott Challenge, you may link to your blog or goodreads shelf using the widget below:

Monday, December 5, 2011

Picture Book Month

November was Picture Book Month.
A fabulous idea turned into a wonderful month of celebrating - find out more here:

In our library we celebrated by...
  • Reading lots of picture books! (including some for the 15 Books Award)
  • Sharing staff favorites:

  • Skyping with friends in Illinois, Wisconsin and Hungary.
    Thank you @MrSchuReads, @PageInTraining, and @sducharme!
  • and making bookmarks to exchange with other schools:

Thank you to everyone who made Picture Book Month a possibility!
Looking forward to November 2012!

Wednesday Wars

One more Book Trailer for a Maud Hart Lovelace Nominee:
Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt

Go to for more trailers and author interviews for the nominees.