Archive for the ‘Picture Books’ Category

And the winner is . . .

Saturday, January 26th, 2013

More by I.C. Springman, illustrated by Brian Lies, was chosen as the Caldecott Award winner in the mock Caldecott discussion held Saturday, January 26, at the Westerville Public Library.

Two honor books were chosen:

And then it’s spring by Julie Fogliano, illustrated by Erin E. Stead

(which was also the winner in our online voting!)


Sleep Like a Tiger  by Mary Logue, illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski

Children also voted in person at the library, with slightly different results.

Island: A Story of the Galapagos by Jason Chin tied with

Green by Laura Vaccaro Seeger.

Next down the list was More, which brings us full circle!

I can hardly wait until the actual awards are announced on Monday morning from the ALA Midwinter Conference in Seattle, beginning at 11 a.m. Eastern time.

And the finalists are . . .

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

We present to you the final discussion list for the Mock Caldecott Discussion (on Saturday, January 26 at the Westerville Public Library). Now, we don’t know what the actual committee will be talking about in Seattle this weekend, where the American Library Association (ALA) Conference is being held (it’s a secret!!)

How do we come up with a list? Well, we look at new picture books arriving all year. We read reviews and peruse those best of the year lists from places like School Library Journal, Kirkus Reviews, The Horn Book, Publisher’s Weekly, Booklist, and The New York Times (and others!) We look at what other libraries are putting on their mock Caldecott lists. This year we created a Pinterest board of possible contenders before narrowing down to a group of 10 titles. And we’ve talked and recommended these books to each other and read them to children in storytimes.

If you can’t come to the discussion, you can still vote on your choice in the Youth Services section of the library or in the online poll below from now until 2:00 on January 26. At the end of the day, we’ll announce our results. The books will be in the Youth Services area so that you can take a look at the contenders yourself.  And on Monday, January 28, the Caldecott Award will be announced, part of ALA’s Youth Media Awards, streaming live from Seattle!

Here are the books we’ll be discussing (in no particular order!):


Nighttime Ninja by Barbara DaCosta, Art by Ed Young (Little, Brown)


Minette’s Feast: The Delicious Story of Julia Child and Her Cat by Susanna Reich, Illustrated by Amy Bates (Abrams)

Island: A Story of the Galapagos written & illustrated by Jason Chin (Neal Porter/Roaring Brook)

Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Jon Klassen (Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins)

Sleep Like a Tiger, written by Mary Logue, illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski (Houghton Mifflin)


Step Gently Out, poem by Helen Frost, photographs by Rick Lieder (Candlewick)

Green written & illustrated by Laura Vaccaro Seeger (Neal Porter/Roaring Brook)

More by I.C. Springman, illustraed by Brian Lies (Houghton Mifflin)

One Cool Friend by Toni Buzzeo, pictures by David Small (Dial Books for Young Readers/Penguin)

And Then It’s Spring by Julie Fogliano, illustrated by Erin Stead (Neal Porter/Roaring Brook)

More Caldecott Favorites

Wednesday, January 9th, 2013

We’re almost ready to announce our reading list for the upcoming Mock Caldecott discussion, to be held on Saturday, January 26, from 2-4 p.m. In the meantime, here are a few more staff favorites.

Jerry Pinkney’s wordless book, The Lion and the Mouse, is one of Miss Lisa’s favorites.

“It is a timeless story with beautiful illustrations and no words are necessary to enjoy this wonderful picture book. Also, I have used it for storytime and it prompted a wonderful discussion! ” – Miss Lisa

Miss Becky expresses her appreciation for Chris Van Allsburg’s Polar Express  and Jumanji.


“My elementary school librarian read those to us and made their surreal nature come alive. I had never seen books before that were illustrated in such a dramatic, cinematic, full-page way. Then, the more I found out about art and art supplies, the more I realized I had never seen anyone use a pencil that way, either! Magic!” – Miss Becky

What books were magical to you? They may not have won the Caldecott, but what picture books do you remember from childhood? Let us know in the comments!


Out of the Box

Thursday, January 3rd, 2013

Do your kids enjoy playing with the box a present came in as much as the present itself? Make tissue paper hats and jump on the bubble wrap inside packages? Inspired by Antoinette Portis’ Not a Box, children and families explored some of the many things a box can be: a boat, a rocketship, a cave at the Westerville Public Library’s Out of the Box program.

Castle or old west town bank? Or jail? We supplied a variety of boxes of different sizes, cardboard tubes, bubble wrap (great lunar landing surface), paper plates, markers, chalk, and tape. The children applied their imaginations. They explored a snow cave; created sleds, doors, a birdhouse, among other things; decorated the castle; had imaginary battles with light sabers; threw paper snowballs; built a skyscraper; opened an ice cream shop . . . take a look at this video to see some of the highlights!



Let it Snow!

Thursday, December 20th, 2012

It’s December, the forecast is calling for snow, AND school is out! Here are some favorite story books about snow and some rather magical non-fiction books about this winter wonder. Stop by the library to get some books for cozy winter reading before the snow starts to fall!

The Story of Snow

The Story of Snow by Mark Cassino

Snowed in? If you can’t get to the library, don’t worry, it’s also available as an e-book!

Reserve It!

 This Caldecott Medal winning book has wonderfully detailed illustrations of  animals in the snow and how they adapt to winter.

Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner

A father and daughter explore the wonders of the outdoors as the take a walk on a winter day.

Katy and the Big Snow by Virginia Lee Burton

Machines and snow . . . what a winning combination! Also available as an ebook.

Under the Snow by Melissa Stewart

You’ll be surprised at all the activity going on under the snow!

The Secret Life of a Snowflake by Ken Libbrecht

Amazing photographs explain the science of snow — you’ll never look at a snowflake in the same way again.


Reserve It!

Henry and Mudge in the Sparkle Days by Cynthia Rylant

Henry and Mudge enjoy playing in the snow before coming in to get warm before the fire together. A perfectly comforting story of fun and friendship.

Speculations and predictions

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

‘Tis the time for best of the year lists, for looking back on 2012 and making predictions on what book might win the coveted Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children. On Saturday, January 26 there will be a Mock Caldecott Discussion featuring some of these books — on the very same weekend that the actual committee will be debating and choosing the winner. We’ll discuss the contenders using the actual Caldecott criteria and process.

What books are we thinking of? Check out the library’s Pinterest Board, Caldecott Contenders 2013.  Staff favorites include:

One Cool Friend, with illustrations by David Small


More, with illustrations by Brian Lies

A Home for Bird, with illustrations by Philip C. Stead

Extra Yarn, Illustrated by Jon Klassen


and we are continuing to add more favorites of the year — so tell us yours!


Would you like an app with that?

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

Is an e-reader, tablet, or electronic device on someone’s wish list this year? No matter what the platform, there are some terrific apps for children. Some of the best encourage literacy and promote inquiry, rather than just ways to pass the time. An app is a bit different than an e-book, though some of the best are based on children’s books and favorite characters.

Fans of Mo Willems’ Pigeon books will enjoy Don’t Let the Pigeon Run This App! in which children create their own silly stories, starring the pigeon, of course. Children add their ideas, then shake it up, and voila! a story is created.

Mo Willems' Pigeon Books

Mo Willems' Pigeon Books

Another great app based on a favorite children’s book is The Monster at the End of this Book . . . Starring Grover from Sesame Street. The story is just as many parents may remember from their own childhood. The app includes tips for parents and educators on how to extend the story and enhance it with early literacy concepts.


A new librarian favorite is Herve Tullet’s Press Here. The book is innovative and fun and also seems perfectly suited for the app format.

And finally, the app that has getting the most buzz this year is William Joyce’s The Fantastic Flying Books of Morris Lessmore. The app works with the printed book (available from the library) to create an interactive reading experience. Get your iPads ready . . . this is one the whole family will enjoy together!


For more great apps for kids, check out the Westerville Library’s Pinterest board, A is for App. And for more recommendations, try School Library Journal‘s Top 10 Apps for Kids.

What is Your Favorite Caldecott?

Friday, November 30th, 2012

The Caldecott Award is one of the most prestigious awards in American children’s literature, given to the “most distinguished” American picture book for children published the preceding year. A complete list of award winners can be found on the ALSC website. Here are some of the Westerville youth librarians favorites winners of the past.


“I love other Robert McCloskey books and Weston Wood’s version (which I saw on Captain Kangaroo) has a special place in my heart. ” – Miss Susan

“I love the action going on behind the action—her cottage through the seasons she is gone and the man who comes to visit. Also who wouldn’t love those wicked oni!?” – Miss Mickie


“The dark and light, the quiet text the thrill of being out late with dad…this is a perfect example of synergy between text and visuals. It reminds me of being little with my dad.”  – Miss Mickie

” . . . it captures that feeling I remember from childhood.” – Miss Susan

“These illustrations are just so beautiful — they look like what a fairy tale is supposed to look like!” – Miss Robin

“This story still seem so modern and fresh every time I read it. Groundbreaking visuals and a perfect ending.” – Miss Robin

What are some of your favorite Caldecott winners?




We Love New York!

Thursday, November 8th, 2012

Page Turners, the Westerville Public Library book club for 1st-3rd graders, is reading books set in or about New York City for November. If you’d like a taste of the Big Apple, here are some books you might try.

Everyone loves a parade, right? Learn about the story of the Macy’s parade in Melissa Sweet’s Balloons Over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of the Macy’s Parade.

Or read about Philippe Petit, whose breathtaking feat inspired The Man Who Walked Between the Towers by Mordecai Gerstein.

Did you ever want your own spy route as a child? I certainly did! And it was all because of Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh.

Walk the streets of New York in the 2009 Newbery winning book, When You Reach Me, by Rebecca Stead.

Or visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art with Claudia and Jamie in From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, another Newbery winning book, by E.L. Konigsburg.

Do you have another favorite story set in New York City? Add your recommendation in the comments!

November is Picture Book Month!

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

You can read more about why picture books are so important on the website for the celebration,, but even better, why not read a picture book?

Illustrator Chris Raschka leads off the celebration, writing that “life is nearly unimaginable without pictures.” His wordless book, A Ball for Daisy, won the 2012 Caldecott Award for the most distinguished American picture book for children.

He is the illustrator of many other distinctive and expressively illustrated books, including:

Little Black Crow

Yo! Yes?


Charlie Parker Played Be-Bop

The Hello, Goodbye Window, Caldecott Award 2006