Well, it doesn't generate quite the excitement that Oscar night might bring. And we won't be wearing our sleeveless ball gowns to the library on Monday (at least I won't be!)... Nevertheless, we are eagerly anticipating the announcement on Monday, January 10, of the American Library Association's Youth Media Awards for 2011.
These awards include the esteemed Newbery Medal, awarded for the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children in the past year, and the Caldecott Medal which recognizes the most distinguished American picture book for children. See the ALA's Youth Media Awards for a complete listing of the different types of literature honored annually.
Of course, there are plenty of "oldies, but goodies" to read while you're waiting for this year's announcements. In 2006, ALA established the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award in appreciation of books for beginner readers, which Dr. Seuss pioneered with such classics as Hop on Pop and The Cat in the Hat.
A Splendid Friend, Indeed by Suzanne Bloom was among the first batch of books to receive a a Geisel Honor in 2006. (Henry and Mudge and the Great Grandpas by Cynthia Rylant was the Geisel winner that year.) Large, bright pictures and short sentences depict inquisitive duck and studious bear getting to know each other. The book begins with duck pestering bear with questions while he tries to read and ends with the two eating cookies together. Mmmmmmmmm. Splendid!