Nominations began flooding in for the 2013 Cybils awards on October 1. Public nominations will be accepted until October 15. That means if you’re not a professional agent, editor, or publisher working in the kid lit industry, go here to find out how to nominate your favorite children’s books. After October 15, noms are open to the pros only.
I’ve been having a fun time judging the Fiction Picture Book category, and some gorgeously illustrated, beautifully written books are accumulating on my short list. I’m making notes about every book I read – what I love, what I don’t – to jog my memory in December when I have to whittled that list down to about five books. FIVE! Oh, give me strength. How will I decide? In January, the final round judges will begin the truly difficult work of choosing winners in each category.
Meanwhile, I’m doing well on my personal goals (which are to write a new PB manuscript each month, revise at least one each month, submit at least one each month, and read at least 10 PBs per week). I read 56 picture books in September, so I’m behind by only a hundred or so. Of those 56, here are my favorites:
- BEAR HAS A STORY TO TELL by Philip C. Stead, illustrated by Erin E. Stead, 2012, A Neal Porter Book (Roaring Brook Press/Holtzbrinck Publishing)
- FLORA AND THE FLAMINGO by Molly Idle, 2013, Chronicle Books
- FROG SONG by Brenda Z. Guiberson, illustrated by Gennady Spirin, 2013, Henry Holt and Company
- GOLDILOCKS AND THE THREE BEARS AND THE 33 BEARS AND THE BLIIM AND THE FURNITURE AND LOTS MORE VARIATIONS by Allan Ahlberg, illustrated by Jessica Ahlberg, 2012, Candlewick Press
- IF YOU WANT TO SEE A WHALE by Julie Fogliano, illustrated by Erin E. Stead, 2013, A Neal Porter Book/Roaring Brook Press (Holtzbrinck Publishing)
- KEL GILLIGAN’S DAREDEVIL STUNT SHOW by Michael Buckley, illustrated by Dan Santat, 2012 Abrams Books for Young Readers
- LITTLE PIG JOINS THE BAND by David Hyde Costello, 2011, Charlesbridge
- LUCKY DUCKLINGS by Eva Moore, illustrated by Nancy Carpenter, 2013, Orchard Books (Scholastic Inc.)
- MOLE HAD EVERYTHING by Jamison Odone, 2012, Blue Apple Books
- RED CAT, BLUE CAT by Jenni Desmond, 2012, Blue Apple Books
Now, if I were a round two judge, and these books were the Cybils’ finalists, LITTLE PIG JOINS THE BAND would easily be my choice for THE WIN. (It doesn’t meet the rules regarding publication date, so, sadly, I can’t nominate it. Oh, and I must confess that I wrote a love fan letter to David Hyde Costello. Alright, love letter, since I think I used the word love about a dozen times. But it’s Little Pig I really love.)
I don’t care who you are or how old you are, go to your library or bookstore, find this book, and sit down to read it. Picture book writers and illustrators: you’ll learn something even if you think you already know it all. Slackers: think of it as a motivational handbook. Corporate ladder climbers: here’s your leadership training manual. I’m teasing, but seriously, get the book and read it. I already hear you thanking me for the recommendation.