You might think that awards season is over. We’ve had the Emmys, Oscars, and Golden Globes. In these awards, who won the fashion show on the red carpet seemed almost as important as the award itself. I was quite pleased that I had actually seen a couple of the movies in the running this year. My non-involved attendance was via TV.
A much louder award presentation came at the American Library Association with the list of their awards, climaxed by the Caldecott and Newbery Awards. I felt more involved, thanks to modern technology, as ALA made it possible to tune in the live action by computer and hear the announcements as they were made. Let me tell you, librarians can rival basketball fans at the Final Four in their noise for favorite winners. I cheered along at home for books and writers I knew. I had read or will read many of these, and several have appeared in my blogs.
The awards are not over yet! Next week, during the Faye B. Kaigler Children’s Book Festival, the Ezra Jack Keats Awards for New Writers and New Illustrators will be presented. These awards may not be as famous as some of the others, but they have highlighted writers and illustrators at the beginning of their careers when recognition might otherwise be scarce. Writers and illustrators like Deborah Wiles, Faith Ringgold, Bryan Collier, Meg Medina, Don Tate, and Jennifer Lanthier have gone on to win many other awards that are perhaps better known to the public. Those awards include Caldecott, Newbery, Coretta Scott King, Pura Belpre, and many state and humanitarian recognitions. Check out the entire list at http://ezra-jack-keats.org.ejk-new-writer-and-new-illustrator-awards.
The Keats Award winners will be recognized next week at the Thursday luncheon of the Fay B. Kaigler Children’s Book Festival at the University of Southern Mississippi. If past experience is an indicator, the recipients will have attendees laughing and crying in their acceptance speeches at this honor early in their literary journey. Those of us who have followed where honorees have traveled after winning this award will be taking notes as we get in on the ground floor of who to watch for in coming years as we buy children’s books.
I’m moving closer to the award presentations all the time This time I’m aiming for the front row! Since this is poetry month, I’ll borrow from Robert Frost and say, “You come, too.” All you need to know about attending is at https://www.usm.edu/childrens-book-festival.