A place to share books, music, techniques, and all things related to bilingual storytime!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Pura Belpre and other award winners announced this morning!

The award winners have been announced! As always, there were some surprises and also many anticipated winners. I have to redirect everyone to my previous post regarding Book Fiesta! by Pat Mora...this year's Pura Belpre winner for illustration! Visit the ALA press release for news on all the winners.

From my blog, April 9, 2009:
"As if we really need any more reasons to absolutely LOVE Pat Mora!  Well, just in case, here it is -
Book Fiesta! Celebrate Children's Day/Book Day Celebremos El día de los niños/El día de los libros.  I have been keeping this book on my desk lately for those moments when I just need a smile.  It is impossible to read this book without feeling all warm and fuzzy!

This totally bilingual book is all about celebrating the joy of reading, in whatever language, with all children.  We read alone, with our friends, with our pets, with our families, wherever we are...even the library!  We also exercise our imaginations, reading in submarines and on hot air balloons.

For any "Ready to Read" early-literacy advocates out there, turn to the page toward the end with the big moon and prepare to squeal in delight.  This is probably the best example of the use of print awareness in a picture book that I know of.  Not only do we have to turn the page vertically to read the text, starbeams across the page spell out "Read Books."  Keep looking even closer and you'll see the word bubble is filled with nighttime words, in English AND Spanish.  Beautiful!

Rafael López has done a spectacular job with the illustrations in this book.  I imagine he will be the illustrator to beat for the 2009 Pura Belpre award.  Every child will be able to see him or herself in this book, which makes it truly special.  This is on the top of my list along with Martina, the Beautiful Cockroach for my favorite illustrations.

So if you are looking for a great book to share at a Día de los niños/Día de los libros program, this is it!  But even more, this is a special book to share with any child, anytime to share the feeling of "bookjoy".  Thanks Pat Mora for giving us this treasure!"

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Pura Belpre Winners Coming Soon!!!!

As most lovers of children's literature will know, this Monday will be the announcements of the year's award winning books, including the Caldecott, Newberry, Printz, Coretta Scott King, and (of course) Pura Belpré awards. 

The Pura Belpré award was established in 1996 by ALSC and REFORMA to honor Latino/a authors and illustrators for their outstanding works portraying Latinos in children's literature.  The award was initially given bi-yearly, but is now awareded yearly.  One award and three honors are given for work in both narration and illustration.  Past award winners and honor recipients include Pat Mora, Rudy Gutierrez, Yuyi Morales, Margarita Engle, Maya Cristina Gonzalez, and many others.

Last week I had the opportunity to participate in a mock selection of these year's winners via a webinar lead by past committee member Jean Hatfield and sponsored by the Hearland Chapter of REFORMA.  This was great fun!  It was quite exciting to hear people from other places and experiences talk about some of the incredible works that have come out this year, as well as to learn more about how the committee itself works from someone who has actually had this experience.

One thing I know for certain, the real Pura Belpre committee has their work cut out for them this year!  It is wonderful to see how the demand for quality books that positively portray Latinos and Latino culture has grown, and how the publishing industry has responded.  The quality of books this year is impressive.  I'm sure there will be a lot of debate when it gets down to the wire!

Our predicted winners were Diego: Bigger than Life by Carmen T. Bernier for narrative, and My Abuelita by Tony Johnston, illustrated by Yuyi Morales for illustration.  Visit the Heartland REFORMA's webpage to view a list of all the books we considered and listen to an archive of our discussion. 

Thanks again to Jean and to Heartland REFORMA for hosting this event and making it available online.  This was a lot of fun!