April 23, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Mo Willems Exhibit; Kidlit Book Awards; Gaming in the Classroom | News Bites

Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the BusAuthor/illustrator extraordinaire: From June 22, 2013 through February 23, 2014, The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, MA, will host “Seriously Silly: A Decade of Art & Whimsy by Mo Willems,” a retrospective of the work of the bestselling author and artist, and Caldecott Honor and Geisel Medal winner. Willems’s Pigeon and The Carle are both celebrating a ten year anniversary. The exhibition, made possible by the support of Disney Publishing, will feature about 100 works by Willems as well as The Red Elephant, a 1,500 pound steel sculpture.

Willems has created more than 40 books for children. The exhibit will feature “preliminary drawings that give viewers a glimpse of Willems’ process, as well as other finished illustrations that fully reveal his comedic genius and the influence of his early work as an animator for Sesame Street. Willems’ own work is accompanied by a selection of work from his private collection by the comic book artists and cartoonists who have inspired him most, including Charles M. Schulz, William Steig, and Saul Steinberg.”

Related programming include a members-only opening featuring a talk by the author on June 22 (reservations required), Mo Willems Day at The Carle on June 23 with a book signing for guests and another Mo Willems Day at The Carle on July 13. Ongoing events for school groups and guests will take place in the Museum’s Art Studio, Auditorium, Galleries, and Reading Library.

And the Winner Is…

each kindnessJane Addams Book Awards:  Each Kindness (Penguin) by Jacqueline Woodson and We’ve Got a Job: The 1963 Birmingham Children’s March (Peachtree) by Cynthia Levinson are winners of the 2013 Jane Addams Children’s Book Awards in the Books for Younger Children and Books for Older Children categories.

Two books were named Honor Books in the Books for Younger Children category: Dolores Huerta: A Hero to Migrant Workers (Marshall Cavendish) by Sarah Warren and We March (Roaring Brook) by Shane W. Evans. In the Books for Older Children category, two titles were named Honor Books: Marching to the Mountaintop: How Poverty, Labor Fights and Civil Rights Set the Stage for Martin Luther King Jr.’s Final Hours (National Geographic) by Ann Bausum and Temple Grandin: How the Girl Who Loved Cows Embraced Autism and Changed the World (Houghton Harcourt) by Sy Montgomery.

Established in 1953, the annual Jane Addams Book Award honors books published in the U.S. during the previous year that “address themes of topics that engage children in thinking about peace, justice, world community, and/or equality of the sexes and all races.”

one frozen lakeDebut author awards: The 2013 winners of the International Reading Association (IRA) Children’s and Young Adult Book Awards have been announced. The award recognizes promising debut authors—only first and second books by an author can be considered. Deborah Jo Larson’s One Frozen Lake (Minnesota Historical Society Pr.) won in the Primary Fiction category, and E. S. Redmond’s The Unruly Queen (Candlewick) received an Honor. Eight Days Gone by Linda McReynolds took the Primary Nonfiction prize, while the Honor in that category went to Dreaming Up: A Celebration of Building (Lee & Low) by Christy Hale.

Susan Verrico was the Intermediate Fiction winner for Privateer’s Apprentice (Peachtree), and Lana Krumwiede and Natalie Dias Lorenzi nabbed the Honor award for Freakling (Candlewick) and Flying the Dragon (Charlesbridge), respectively. The Intermediate Nonfiction winner was James Doyle for A Young Scientist’s Guide to Defying Disasters with Skill and Daring (Gibbs Smith).

In the Young Adult category, the Fiction winner was Lovely, Dark and Deep (S & S) by Amy McNamara, and the Honors went to Out of Reach (S & S) by Carrie Arcos and E. M. Kokie for Personal Effects (Candlewick). We’ve Got a Job: The 1963 Birmingham Children’s March (Peachtree) by Cynthia Levinson won the Young Adult Nonfiction award.

glory bePeer awards: Fifteen books have won the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) 2013 Crystal Kite Award. The awards recognize books from 15 regional SCBWI divisions around the world and the winners are selected by other children’s book writers and illustrators. All titles nominated must be published by a SCBWI member.

This year’s winners are: The Magyar Conspiracy (Tafelberg) by Neil Malherbe (Africa), Ten Tiny Things (Fremantle) by Meg McKinlay (Australia/New Zealand), The One and Only Ivan (HarperCollins) by Katherine Applegate (California/Hawaii), Glory Be (Scholastic) by Augusta Scattergood (Southeast), The Dark Unwinding (Scholastic) by Sharon Cameron (Mid-South), Samurai Awakening (Tuttle) by Benjamin Martin (Middle East/India/Asia), Creepy Carrots (S & S) by Aaron Reynolds (Midwest), How to Babysit a Grandpa (Knopf) by Jean Reagan (Southwest), See You at Harry’s (Candlewick) by Jo Knowles (New England), Capture the Flag (Scholastic) by Kate Messner (New York), Boy + Bot (Knopf) by Ame Dyckman (Atlantic), Chained (Farrar) by Lynne Kelly (Texas/OK), The Stamp Collector  Fitzhenry and Whiteside) by Jennifer Lanthier (Americas), Fifteen Days Without a Head (Oxford Univ. Pr.) by Dave Cousins (UK/Europe), Pickle (Roaring Brook) by Kim Baker.

myon readerTech awards: Tod Brekhus, Capstone Digital president, has won EdTech Digest’s 2013 Leadership Award, and the company’s flagship product, myOn reader, was selected as the best e-Learning Solution in the Cool Tool Award category. The awards honor “tools, trendsetters, and leaders in the education and technology sector. The distinguished awards program recognizes outstanding solutions—and the best and brightest minds—in education and technology.” Log on to EdTech Digest’s website for a full list of award finalists and winners.

“We are very proud to have myON reader chosen as the best e-Learning Solution,” noted Brekhus. “In just three short years, myON reader has created a unique reading environment that makes reading fun for students, a critical component in their individual academic success.” myOn reader offers online access to more than 4,000 books with multimedia supports and creates a collaborative reading environment where students, educators, and parents work together to support student reading performance.

target school library makeover programLibrary Makeovers

In-need schools receive free renovations: Twenty-five school libraries across the country will be renovated thanks to the 2013 Target School Library Makeover Program. Each in-need school will get 2,000 books, new carpet and furniture, and a technology upgrade that includes iPads, interactive white boards, and more. In addition, students and their siblings will receive seven books to take home. The school libraries slated for renovation are in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Texas, and Washington.

To renovate the schools, Target is partnering with The Heart of America Foundation, a national nonprofit headquartered in Washington, DC, that promotes volunteer service and literacy, and recruiting the Target design and construction teams to do the work pro bono.

“The Target School Library Makeover program is part of our commitment to give $1 billion for education by the end of 2015,” said Laysha Ward, president, community relations, Target. “By reimagining school libraries and transforming outdated spaces into state-of-the-art learning centers, Target hopes to ignite a love of learning and put more children on the path to high school graduation.”

Game On

serioius play conferenceGames in the classroom: Administrators and teachers are invited to attend a one-day workshop focused on integrating games into the K–12 classroom on August 19, 2013 at Digipen Institute of Technology in Redmond, WA. The workshop is part of the Serious Play Conference that will be held August 20–22. Attendees will get advice on the types of games that produce the best results. The workshop will feature serious games developers as well as teachers and administrators who have integrated game-based learning. Speakers include David Martz, Muzzy Lane Software; Susan Meek, Breakaway Games; Dan White, Filament Games, Ray Yan, Digipen; Tammie Schrader, an elementary school science teacher from Spokane, WA; and Michele Zimmerman, master trainer, Amazing Grace Christian Schools. The speakers will discuss the kinds of products that are best for different ages, where they work in the curriculum, and how to create and measure learning objectives. Register now for the workshop: the early bird price is $100; a pass for the Serious Play Conference and the workshop is $350.

Serious games are simulations of real-world events or processes that are designed for solving a problem and their primary purpose is to train or educate users. The Serious Play Conference examines the current challenges and future developments of serious games.


New website: Everyday Advocacy is a new website launched by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA). The website offers resources “designed to empower librarians and library staff to take action in their libraries, communities, and beyond.” Make sure to check out the website to easy to implement ideas and tips.

Summer Programs for Students

great books summer programThe joy of reading: Middle and high school students from all over the world will come together at The Great Books Summer Program to discuss the books they love and some topics in literature. There’s an intermediate program for students in grades 6 to 8 and a senior program for those in grades 9 to 12. The sample readings include works by Dante, Virgil, T. S. Eliot, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Thomas Hardy, Emily Dickinson, and Herman Melville, among others. Guest speakers include writers and filmmakers. The program gives students the opportunity to experience college life and have fun by exploring the surrounding areas, swimming, going to baseball games, attending Shakespeare productions, and more. The programs are held on the campuses of Amherst College in Massachusetts, Stanford University in California, and Oxford University in England. Tuition ranges from $1,745 for a one week session to $5,385 for a three week session.


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Phyllis Levy Mandell About Phyllis Levy Mandell

Phyllis Mandell was Managing Editor/Multimedia Review Editor for SLJ.



  1. James Doyle says:


    Thanks for the award mention!


    James Doyle