Roll out the red carpet for reading

Book Awards
With awards season still fresh in our minds, it’s hard to forget the deluge of pictures, video clips and front page magazine glossies of actors and the discussions about their fashion choices. After the post-Oscar commentary took over my internet feeds, it got me thinking about those whom I admire and consider celebrities — many of them being renown educators and children’s authors, whose work has helped countless children form a lifelong love of reading and learning. With that in mind, I have imagined categories for which I would love to see trophies awarded to some very deserving authors.

  • Best Bedtime Story: Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
    Bedtime is an ideal time to begin a daily routine of reading aloud. When my two children were very young, Goodnight Moon was frequently my go-to choice for their bedtime story. The soothing cadence, familiar objects in the great green room and charming rhymes all made it a favorite choice for them as well. And when they were old enough, what a pleasure it was for them to begin to read this picture book aloud to me.
  • Multiculturalism Award: Ezra Jack Keats 
    Keats is well known for mainstreaming multiculturalism in children’s literature in the mid-twentieth century. Many of his books take place in an urban setting. Keats’ desire to highlight minority children in New York City led to the creation of his endearing character, Peter, who appears in six of Keat’s books. Perhaps his most famous book, The Snowy Day, also features Peter and won a Caldecott Medal in the 1960s.
  • Best Highlighting of Family Holiday Traditions: Tomie dePaola
    Tomie dePaola is hands down my favorite children’s author. Having been introduced to Strega Nona and Clown of God by my parents as a young child, it was a dream come true to meet him over thirty years later when he presented at The Eric Carle Museum of Children’s Picture Book Art in Amherst, Massachusetts. And getting his autograph and taking a selfie with him was the icing on the cake. Tommy dePaola brilliantly tells of holiday traditions around the world in such books as: Legend of La Befana, Night of Los Pasados, Legend of the Poinsettia and The Lady of Guadalupe.

Who are your favorite authors, and what awards would you create for them? A fun family activity is to stage your own awards ceremony with your children selecting their own favorite books and authors!