from: The Girl Who Drank the Moon
by Kelly Barnhill
Algonquin Young Readers, 2016
Winner of the 2017 John Newbery Medal
(The Newbery Medal honors the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children. http://www.ala.org/alsc/awardsgrants/bookmedia)
The first place I went when I moved to a new city was the library. Before I unloaded a box, before I made up the beds and the crib, before I shopped for groceries. I called for directions, packed up the kids and headed out.
I needed a new library card for my new city. I had to show proof of residency, but I could not. The paperwork for the new house was filed somewhere and we hadn’t received any mail, yet. I understood, but I was disappointed. So my two-year-old, my ten-month-old, and I read at the library that first afternoon. As soon as I could I went back and signed up for my new card. The three of us became library “regulars." I made my selections and let them choose, too.
My younger daughter took home Dr. Seuss’s The Sneetches so many times that I finally told her another child needed to have a turn. I bought The Sneetches. My older daughter wanted everything and loved everything indiscriminately. She still has eclectic taste.
When my girls were small we read every night before bedtime. We read in the morning and the afternoon, too. Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit was a favorite. The “Sneetch” daughter wanted to hear about Peter for weeks on end, really. I asked her why she liked the story so much. She just looked at me and said, “I just have to make sure Peter doesn’t get caught this time.” Oh! What I learned and still learn from my kids (and grandkids)!
My older daughter had a favorite book. She took it everywhere Mrs. Duck’s Lovely Day by Vivienne Blake .was not soft like a blankie. It was too big for her pocket. It was not a library book. But, it had pictures and the story came out the same every time.
Everyone who knows me knows how much I love children’s literature. The library awards are announced at the end of January each year. I usually say, "How did I miss *that* one?" This year Kelly Barnhill won the Newbery (see quote above) for Drinking the Moon. and Javaka Steptoe won the Caldecott Award for his biography Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. I knew them both.
And yep, two of my faves, borrowed from, you guessed it: the library!
(For the The American Library Association's whole award list see: http://www.ala.org/alsc/2017-alsc-book-media-award-winners)