Sunday, May 22, 2011
The "Hills" Are Alive with the Sound of Twitter
What I love about this award and what sets it apart from other awards in this field in that the final judges are children. An adult group of writers, librarians and educators select up to twenty-five books which they feel meet the criteria. These twenty or so books are sent in four sets to the different grade levels of students attending the Bank Street School for Children. After several weeks of reading and discussion four finalists are chosen. These four are then sent to other schools in New York and in other states. A winner is voted upon after four weeks of reading, discussion and re-reading. Even though older students participate in the selection, the book must be geared for first through third grade readers. The votes from the cooperating schools are tallied to declare a winner. According to information at the Bank Street College Children's Library site more than 2,500 children vote on this selection.
Partnering with School Library Journal this year the number of voters increased to 9,500 in more than 94 schools. How Rocket Learned to Read by Tad Hills, which was discussed here in a post on October 2, 2010, is most deserving of this honor. In an blog interview at SLJ on May 19, 2011 with regards to winning this year Hills makes an interesting statement in light of numerous discussions being held about the impact of digital versus print.
Digital applications come into play long after I've finished a book, not while I'm creating it. There are ebook versions of my "Duck and Goose" books. How Rocket Learned to Read is available as an ebook but also as an iPad app, which includes not only the book but some great interactive features and animation and a couple of learning games. But when I'm writing or illustrating, I don't think about the story or the pictures in terms of any possible future digital incarnation.