Waiting for the Caldecott

Around this time each year, I start looking forward to the announcement of children’s book awards for 2022. On January 24th, announcements will be made for the Caldecott, the Newbery, and the Printz medals, as well as many other book awards. Many blogs focus on possible contenders for the biggest awards, but the voting is actually done just one day prior to the announcement and is a carefully guarded secret.

The Caldecott Medal will be awarded to the best illustrated book for children from 2021, and actually goes to the illustrator, not the author. As I read through blogs, there does not seem to be any consensus developing yet, but here are some of the books that are being mentioned as contenders.

Dear Treefrog by Joyce Sidman  Wonder Walkers by Micha Archer

 Hurricane by John Rocco  Watercress by Andrea Wang

  The Rock from the Sky by Jon Klassen  Someone Builds the Dream by Lisa Wheeler

  Nicky & Vera by Peter SisMilo Imagines the World by Matt de la Pena

  I'll Meet You in Your Dreams by Jessica Young  Born on the Water by Nikole Hannah-Jones

  Unspeakable by Carole Boston Weatherford  Amos McGee Misses the Bus by Philip Stead

Out of these 12 illustrators, six already have at least one Caldecott Medal or Caldecott Honor to their credit. All are exceptionally talented and have created illustrations that make these books a joy to read. Keep in mind, though, that there is not an official list of nominations. These have just been mentioned by readers and critics as potential winners. Sometimes the Caldecott committee will go off in an unexpected direction. As for me, I’m crossing my fingers for Loren Long (he’s from Cincinnati) or Floyd Cooper (he died in 2021 and has never won). All will be revealed on January 24th. Meanwhile, treat yourself to one of these books.

Update from 1/25/22: The 2022 Caldecott Medal winner is Watercress by Andrea Wang and illustrated by Jason Chin! The book also received a Newbery Honor and was named as the best picture book promoting Asian/Pacific American heritage and culture. Gathering watercress by the side of the road sparks a conversation among a family about their family history, heritage, and memories. Award-winning author Andrea Wang draws upon her childhood, growing up in a small, mostly white, rural town in Ohio as a child of Chinese immigrants in this autobiographical account illustrated by celebrated author and artist Jason Chin, who incorporates painting styles and techniques from both western and Chinese cultures.

What is a Hoosier, Anyway?

For almost 200 years, people from Indiana have been calling themselves “Hoosiers”, but every time someone asks where the name came from, an ages-old debate is sparked between favorite wives’ tales and references in literature. It’s time to set the record straight (or at least attempt to do so)! Let’s figure out together what it really means to be a Hoo Hoo Hoo HOOSIER!

The use of the term “Hoosier” first appeared in the 1830s, when a poem by John Finley named “The Hoosier’s Nest” appeared in the Indianapolis Journal in 1833. Since then, the title has been synonymous with the people of Indiana. Several popular theories have sprouted up to explain the word’s origin over time, some more wild and wacky than others. Here are some of the most famous:

  1. Early in Indiana’s beginnings, settlers would answer the door with a quick “Who’s yere?” and the greeting eventually became our title.
  2. Indiana rivermen were notoriously good at silencing subduing their enemies that they became colloquially known as “Hushers”, and the name evolved into “Hoosiers” with our Midwestern accents.
  3. A contractor named Hoosier on the Louisville and Portland Canal preferred to hire his laborers from Indiana, and these men quickly became known as Hoosier’s men”.
  4. The most unbelievable (and gruesome) tall tale comes from James Whitcomb Riley, the famous Hoosier Poet. He stated that the state’s early settlers often took part in rowdy and dangerous fights, sometimes ending in severe bodily harm. Often times, the morning after a major tavern brawl, someone would walk in an find a torn-off ear or two on the floor and ask out loud: “Who’s ear?” Yuck!

What is your favorite theory? I always tell Riley’s story as if it’s truth to all my non-Hoosier friends, just to see the looks on their faces! Do you have any theories on the origins of the Hoosier?

5 Things You *Probably* Didn’t Know About Anne Perry

“The Cater Street Hangman,” Perry’s first published book

1. Her first book wasn’t published until she was 41.

Perry began writing when she was in her twenties; however, her first book wasn’t picked up for publication until many years later. During the time in between, she held various jobs in clerical work, retail, and fashion, and was also a flight attendant and a limo dispatcher for some time. Despite all these jobs, she knew writing was what she wanted to pursue. She has now published over 100 books, including 3 published as recently as this past year. Her fifth Daniel Pitt book is scheduled to be released sometime in 2022.

2. She won an Edgar Award for her short story “Heroes.”

Perry’s story “Heroes” first appeared in the 1999 anthology Murder and Obsession and won the Edgar Award for Best Short Story in 2001. The Edgar Allan Poe Awards, popularly called the Edgars, are presented every year by the Mystery Writers of America. Named after American writer Edgar Allan Poe, a pioneer in the genre, the awards honor the best in mystery fiction, non-fiction, television, film, and theater published or produced in the previous year.

3. She had no formal schooling past the age of 13.

Perry was diagnosed with tuberculosis at the age of 6. She was so severely ill that she missed three years of schooling. Luckily, her mother taught her to read and write, so she was able to catch back up when she returned to school at age 10. However, at 13 she fell seriously ill again and left school permanently.

4. She’s lived in at least five different countries.

Perry was born in London, England in 1938. Her family moved around frequently in her younger years, and sent her to the Bahamas to live with a foster family in hopes that the warmer weather would be better for her illness. As a teen, she moved back with her family to a small island off the coast of New Zealand. In her 20s, Perry returned to England for a while, but eventually made her way to the United States for five years. She once again returned to England when her stepfather became seriously ill. She currently lives in Scotland.

Pauline Parker and Juliet Hulme

5. Her real name is Juliet Hulme.

Perry changed her name after serving five years in prison for murder. At 15 years old she met Pauline Parker. The girls initially bonded over the debilitating illnesses they both had as children, but their relationship quickly became obsessive. When Perry’s family decided to send her to South Africa, the girls could not stand the thought of being separated. Perry’s parents offered to pay for Pauline to come along, but Pauline’s parents refused, thinking it would be best to separate the friends for a while. The girls decided that the only thing keeping them apart was Pauline’s mom Honorah. They believed the only way to stay together was to kill her. Pauline and Juliet planned an outing with Honorah under the guise of a goodbye for Juliet, who would be leaving soon for South Africa. The three of them went on a walk down a wooded path in Victoria Park when the girls bludgeoned Honorah to death with a brick. They were quickly caught, and were both sentenced to five years in separate prisons. The two have not spoken since.

Books by Anne Perry

     

Bleak Books with Olivia: The Death of Jane Lawrence by Caitlin Starling

Have you ever read a book all the way through just to close it for the last time and say “wow, that was bleak”? Well, I’m here to make the case for those dark, dreary, haunting, and disturbing reads that keep you up at night long after you put them down. Welcome to Bleak Books with Olivia, your resident creepy book lover at the Aurora Public Library District.

I found The Death of Jane Lawrence after scouring the internet for any books that were like the dark, mysterious, gory, magical horror of Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo. I have tried about 10 books after finishing that one in hopes that I would like it just as much and I was sorely disappointed. This was the ONLY one who met and exceeded my expectations. Same type of creepy, disturbing magic and ritual focus, totally different setting.

Jane Shoringfield finds herself approaching old maid status quickly in turn-of-the-century Great Breltain. She finds the solution to her problems in Dr. Augustine Lawrence, a handsome, aloof surgeon new to town who is noticeably unmarried. They come to a clear-cut arrangement: they will marry out of convenience, as Jane wants nothing more to pursue her goal of becoming an accountant and Augustine is in desperate need of one. There is only one requirement: Jane must never enter Lindridge Hall, Augustine’s dilapidated family home. But just as the lines of their platonic arrangement are blurred, Jane finds herself abandoned outside of Augustine’s house on the night of their wedding. When she enters, she finds Augustine to be a changed man, fearful of her and believing her to be an apparition. As she explores Lindridge Hall, she finds that Augustine’s hidden secrets and demons are much darker, and more alive, than Jane could ever have imagined.

Friends, if you are looking for a truly bleak book, this is it. Caitlin Starling perfectly captures the essence of traditional Gothic horror while combining it with the peculiar, disturbing, and supernatural elements of today’s horror films. The sheer sense of dread and fear that entered my mind every time I cracked this book open is inescapable and addicting. Every chapter holds a new truth, more terrifying and haunting than anything we, and our protagonist, Jane Lawrence, can believe to be true. Monsters hide in the dark corners of Lindridge Hall, and no matter how horrifying they may be, as a reader, I couldn’t wait to meet them and know what makes Dr. Augustine Lawrence’s past so twisted and secretive. It is truly one of the best modern Gothic novels I have ever read.

Thank you for joining me on this dissection of one of my favorite Bleak Books. I hope to see you again sometime soon! Please take a look in the Adult Fiction section at the Aurora and Dillsboro Public Libraries for my favorite Bleak Books, or check out our e-books on Overdrive or Libby. If you are looking for this specific title, you can use our catalog to locate it or ask a librarian for help! If you meet me in the library and have any Bleak Books suggestions, please let me know! I’m always looking for a new book to disrupt my life for a couple of weeks.

Traveling for the Holidays?

If you’ll be traveling by car or by plane over the holidays, you’re probably already thinking about how to keep the kids entertained during the trip. Of course, you can sing along in a car to Christmas songs, but why not try listening to an audiobook together? You can choose one that’s an appropriate length for the trip, and it will help the time fly by! We have some audiobooks on CD at the library, but there are many more available to download to your phone or other device on the Libby app through the Indiana Digital Download Center.

Here are some great holiday stories for kids that would provide a wonderful listening experience. If you need help with the download process, just call the library and we can talk you through it.

 When Santa Fell to Earth by Cornelia Funke  Bah! Humbug! by Michael Rosen A Ghost Tale for Christmas by Mary Pope Osborne

 The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson  Christmas in the Forest and Other Stories   A Season of Gifts by Richard Peck

 A Boy Called Christmas by Matt Haig  Deck the Halls, We're Off the Walls by Dan Gutman  Christmas in Camelot by Mary Pope Osborne

Happy listening and safe travels!

Where’s Waldo? and More Hidden Pictures

“Where’s Waldo?”  We’ve been hearing a lot of that question lately.  Waldo is a popular guy, and we often have to answer that he is out visiting with other patrons.

Waldo, our hero in the red-and-white striped shirt and hat, made his debut in September 1987 in the book Where’s Waldo?  Known by a variety of names throughout the world, such as Wally in many other English-speaking countries, Waldo is a creation of British illustrator, Martin Handford.  Over the course of seven primary books and numerous activity books, Waldo has traveled through time and space, visiting pirates and pyramids, film sets and fantasy worlds.

The collection at the Aurora Public Library District contains three Waldo books:

Where's Waldo? by Martin Handford Where's Waldo Now? by Martin Handford Where's Waldo?: The Fantastic Journey by Martin Handford

If you’d like to wait for Waldo to return, you can place any of these books on hold through your online library account, or request other books in the series through the Interlibrary Loan request form.  Both of these options can also be done by speaking with a staff member in person or by phone.

In the meantime, we also have several other series of hidden picture books that may interest you.  There are multiple books in each series at both the Aurora Public Library and the Dillsboro Public Library.  Here is a peek at some of the options:

The Spot It, Learn It! Series:

Loads of Letters!: A Spot-It, Learn-It Challenge by Sarah L. Schuette Tons of Numbers!: A Spot-It, Learn-It Challenge by Sarah L. Schuette

The Look and Find Series:

Look and Find: Disney Moana adapted by Emily Skwish; illustrated by Art Mawhinney Look and Find: Marvel The Amazing Spider-Man by Editors of Phoenix International Publications

The I Spy Series:

I Spy: A Book of Picture Riddles by Walter Wick and Jean Marzollo I Spy: Mystery: A Book of Picture Riddles by Walter Wick and Jean Marzollo

The Can You See What I See? Series:

Can You See What I See?: Picture Puzzles to Search and Solve by Walter Wick Can You See What I See?: Dinosaurs by Walter Wick

The Look-Alikes Series:

Look-Alikes by Joan Steiner Look-Alikes: Christmas by Joan Steiner

The Can-You-Find-It Series:

On the Farm: A Can-You-Find-It Book by Heidi E. Thompson Out in Space: A Can-You-Find-It Book by Karon Dubke

These hidden picture books will be on display in the children’s areas at both the Aurora Public Library and the Dillsboro Public Library throughout December 2021.  There also will be a hidden picture activity to participate in at each location – on the bulletin board in Aurora and on the wall in Dillsboro.  Happy hunting!

 

 

 

December Take-It Make-It

Beginning on Monday, November 29th, we will have a brand new Take-It, Make-It craft available at the Aurora and Dillsboro Public Libraries! Take-It, Make-It activities are crafts that can be done at home with materials you can pick up at the library! Stop by the Aurora or Dillsboro Library anytime in December to pick up the supplies to make a sparkly holiday ornament to decorate your home this season!