Monday, January 14, 2008

"The Academy Awards of Children's Publishing"

Since the Golden Globes came and went with all the excitement of a Tuesday night episode of Extra, you'll forgive us if we're a little fired up for some awards that matter, at least to booksellers, that is. The Caldecott and Newbery Medals were announced this morning. The Caldecott went to The Invention of Hugo Cabret, by Brian Selznick, while Laura Amy Schlitz won the Newbery Medal for Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Medieval Village.

Selznick's win was something of a surprise, as it was suspected to win the Newbery, not the Caldecott. Paper Cuts, at the NY Times, notes a major difference between these awards and the ones given to books written for adults:
One main difference between prizes like the Caldecott and the Newbery and, say, the National Book Award or the Pulitzer, is that the children’s prizes actually sell books. Those familiar gold medals on a children’s book cover mean lasting honor for the author or illustrator and dollars to the publisher, because libraries and schools will order thousands of additional copies. (They also impress parents at the bookstore).

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