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Maria Salvadore

Reading Rockets' children's literature expert, Maria Salvadore, brings you into her world as she explores the best ways to use kids' books both inside — and outside — of the classroom.

The end of the year

December 23, 2010

Wow! Hard to believe that it will be 2011 in just over a week! 2010 seemed to fly by particularly quickly.

I'm looking forward to children's book awards announcements that will take place early in January. The American Library Association will announce the 2011 Caldecott & Newbery Awards as well as the Coretta Scott King Awards — and more — at its midwinter conference in San Diego. The USBBY 2011 list of Outstanding International Books will be unveiled there, too.

Looking back, looking forward, I can't help but thinking about changes in the children's book world. It seems that everyone is trying to figure out where print and electronic media intersect for children.

Electronic media can be seductive but so, too, can print. Isn't it the story — the story in fact, fiction, and image — that appeals? Must there be one instead of another? Does one replace or make less good the other?

But for now, come January, we'll celebrate the print award winners that will be announced. I know the committees have been reading, reading, reading and will diligently deliberate when they meet.

When I return after the first of the year but before the big announcements, I'll suggest some of my favorites for the Caldecott Medal. Meantime, feel free to propose any picture books that you think are in worthy of this honor.

Until then, hope the season is filled with happy memories and good books!

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"Oh, magic hour, when a child first knows she can read printed words!" — A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, 1943