Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers. ~Charles W. Eliot

Sunday, May 8, 2011

The 92nd Celebration of Children's Book Week Comes to an End...

Children's Book Week, the longest running national literacy initiative in the country, was celebrated May 2-8, 2011. The two organizations I have the great fortune to lead are the main sponsor and administrator of this week. Every Child a Reader (ECAR) is responsible for the planning and organizing of this week that celebrates children's books and reading and the Children's Book Council (CBC) is the anchor sponsor of the week. Throughout the week, official events were held in more than 25 cities across the country and local celebrations in libraries and schools were held in many more. One of the highlights of the week was a big gala at which the winners of the CBC's Children's Choice Book Awards were announced live. And what a gala it was! The NYC event was hosted by the charming and wonderful Jarrett J. Krosoczka who also turned out to be one of the evening's big winners - for Lunch Lady and the Summer Camp Shakedown, winner of the 3rd-4th Grade Book of the Year. We were really all winners that evening because Jarrett was such a delight and brought so much of himself to the program. Presenters like Hilary Knight, R.L. Stine, Walter Dean Myers, Laurie Halse Anderson, Claire Vanderpool and Erin Stead, all leaders in the world of children's book, bestowed awards on Johanna Kerby (Little Pink Pup), Jarrett (Lunch Lady and the Summer Camp Shakedown), Rick Riordan (The Red Pyramid and The Lost Hero), John Green and David Levithan (Will Grayson, Will Grayson) and David Weisner (Art & Max). Both the current National Ambassador for Young People's Literature, Katherine Paterson, and the former National Ambassador for Young People's Literature, Jon Scieszka, participated in the program and so did LeVar Burton!. Among the amazing authors and illustrators in attendance were Jeff Kinney, Cassandra Clare, Holly Black, Rebecca Stead, Raina Telgemeier, Tad Hills, Wendy Mass, Nick Bruel, Peter Reynolds, Nancy Tillman, Philip Stead, Erica Perl, Margery Cuyler, Casey Scieszka, Steven Weinberg, Katherine Paterson's husband and sometimes co-author John Paterson and more! It was a who's who of children's book creators. And I'm happy to report that a good time was had by all! After a delicious cocktail and dinner reception, attendees were escorted to the theater where the awards presentation was kicked off with an original music video created by the amazing Hewitt School in New York City. The students took attendees on a musical journey about the magic of books and reading and set the tone for the rest of the program. After the awards were presented, host Jarrett Krosozcka and LeVar Burton led attendees in a sing-along of the Reading Rainbow theme song, from the television show that LeVar hosted for 26 years. Attendees were then invited to partake in a delicious dessert reception. Great night, great week - the 93rd celebration of Children's Book Week will be here before you know it.

Tomorrow night I will go back to blogging the way I did before Children's Book Week overtook my life. And have I got a teen/YA book to recommend to you!!

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