Timberland Librarians Gather to Pick Most Gorgeous Children’s Picture Book Winners

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Submitted by Timberland Regional Library

Thirty youth services staff members from most of the 27 Timberland libraries gathered in Tumwater today, Thursday, December 11, 2014, to choose the five most distinguished children’s picture books published in 2014.

This annual event pits local library expertise against that of the nationally prestigious Caldecott Medal Committee, part of the American Library Association, that will announce its winners this coming January.

The day-long effort began with work tables stacked with enticing contenders – 58 in all – and supplies for evaluation and voting. Encircling the tables, eager librarians itched to dig into the riches. Youth Services Coordinator Ellen Duffy called it, “my favorite day of the year.”

“The day is a joyous collaborative learning process,” Duffy said.

“We learn from these exquisite books,” she continued. “We learn from each other, and we bring all that learning to our library patrons.”

At the end of the day, the winners were tallied and announced:
1. “The Adventures of Beekle, The Unimaginary Friend” by Dan Santat
2. “Gravity” by Jason Chin
3. “The  Numberlys” by William Joyce and Christina Ellis
4. “Quest” by Aaron Becker
5. “Flashlight” by Lizi Boyd

One of the day’s written evaluations speaks to the heart of the effort: “We get too used to treating books as objects to check in, shelve, etc. We need to be reminded that each of these books is its own universe.”

The official Caldecott winners will be announced, with great pomp and lots of media, next month. Tune in and see if one of the local favorites makes it to the top.

The Caldecott Medal was named in honor of nineteenth-century English illustrator Randolph Caldecott and is awarded each year to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children. Past winners include “The Polar Express” by Chris Van Allsberg (1986 winner), “Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendek (1964 winner) and “The Invention of Hugo Cabret” by Brian Selznick (2008 winner).

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