Mock Coretta Scott King Awards

Awards season for Children’s Literature is fast approaching.  Today, as I read The Book Itch:  Freedom, Truth & Harlem’s Greatest Bookstore I thought, why should we exclude ourselves to Mock Newberys and Mock Caldecotts.  Why not a Mock Coretta Scott King?  With twelve days left before winners are announced, it’s too late for me to coordinate a formal Mock Coretta Scott King; but  I promise the books below would be on my list.

This award   “given annually to outstanding African American authors and illustrators of books for children and young adults that demonstrate an appreciation of African American culture and universal human values.  The award commemorates the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and honors his wife, Mrs. Coretta Scott King, for her courage and determination to continue the work for peace and world brotherhood.”  (ALA website)

There’s an author award, an illustrator award and a new talent award.  I’ll let the committee hash out which book should go where.  I’m hoping to see all of these books on one of the lists.  In most of the books, we learned about amazing people we didn’t know about.  The fictional account of Harriet Tubman and Susan B. Anthony sitting down in 1904 with a cup of tea kept us up way past bedtime.

Book Itch
The Book Itch:  Freedom, Truth & Harlem’s Greatest Bookstore by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson and illustrated by R. Gregory Christie

John Roy Lynch
The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch by Chris Barton and illustrated by Don Tate

Chasing Freedom
Chasing Freedom:  The Life Journeys of  Harriet Tubman and Susan B. Anthony, Inspired by Historical Facts by Nikki Grimes and illustrated by Michele Wood

Voice of Freedom:  Fannie Lou Hammer:  The Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement by Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrated by Ekua Holmes



BRRRR! – 77 Degrees on Christmas Eve

In the spirit of Christmas, I wore a green dress to the Christmas Eve service.  Finding something appropriate for both the weather and holiday was difficult until I remembered the sleeveless dress I purchased last spring.  When the high temperature in Burlington, Vermont is 68 degrees, you can imagine the high in the more southern city of Raleigh, North Carolina — a balmy 77 degrees.  Then, there’s Boston… 69, New York City… 72, Norfolk, VA…82, Naples, FL… 89!

Missing the normal holiday temperatures?  Turn on the air conditioning, put on your fuzzy jammies, warm socks and snuggle with your family while reading these snowy books.


Toys Meet Snow
Toys Meet Snow by Emily Jenkins and Paul O. Zelinsky

Little Red Gliding
Little Red Gliding Hood by Tara Lazar and illustrated by Troy Cummings

First Snow
First Snow by Peter McCarty

Bear and Hare
Bear & Hare: Snow! by Emily Gravett

Virgil and Owen
Virgil & Owen by Paulette Bogan

Snowman's Story
Snowman’s Story by Will Hillenbrand

Bear Report
The Bear Report by Thyra Heder

Snow by Sam Usher

Max and Marla
Max and Marla by Alexandra Boiger

Lost Found
Lost. Found. by Marsha Diane Arnold and illustrated by Matthew Cordell

Penguins Adventure
Penguins Big Adventure by Salina Yoon

Snowy Bear
Snowy Bear by Tony Mitton and illustrated by Alison Brown

Dear Yeti
Dear Yeti by James Kwan


The Knights Before Christmas

Knights Before Christmas

It’s a little over a week before Christmas and due to some home renovations, we can’t access our ornaments, stockings, or Christmas books.  Luckily, we received a galley of The Knights Before Christmas by Joan Holub and illustrated by Scott Magoon this summer.  It’s been hanging out in my office (dining room table) for months.  This year it’s going to serve as our Christmas tree.  With my bed on the floor in the living room and everything in my closet in the dining room, there isn’t any space for a tree.  So I’ll place this book on my nightstand and put our presents underneath.  If you’re looking for a great book, especially for preschool and early elementary aged children, The Knights Before Christmas should go under your tree.

In years past, I’ve written a few posts about Christmas books.  I hope you take the time to enjoy some of these this Christmas.

Christmas Books – One to Twenty-Four

A Few More Christmas Books

Christmas Is Coming – What Should You Expect?



We Met Cassie Beasley! I Know You’re Thinking… Who is That?

Circus Mirandus

I promise within the next year you will have heard of Cassie Beasely.  If you read the bestseller list of the New York Times Middle Grade Books, you already have.  A fellow Georgian, from Claxton, where the fruitcakes that permeated my childhood Christmas are made, visited Quail Ridge Books last night.  Circus Mirandus is her first book ever published.  It’s amazing!  Especially as a family read-aloud.  ML and I hadn’t quite finished the book before meeting her.  ML begged to finish it afterwards.  So we stayed up until 10 pm.  The last few chapters were both heartbreaking and encouraging.  Tears and laughter filled my bed as ML and I snuggled.  Then, a discussion on what should happen in a sequel.  ML had some really good ideas she plans to email the author.

At the event, ML asked the author, “What’s your favorite book?”  She responded, “That is an evil question because there are too many.”  Instead she shared her favorite books of 2015.

Picture Book
Dewey Bob by Judy Schachner

Dewey Bob

Middle Grades Fiction
Map to Everywhere by Carrie Ryan and John Parke Davis

Map to Everywhere

Young Adult
An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir


ML’s Favorite Book of 2015
I haven’t asked yet; but I’m certain Circus Mirandus will win hands down.

***A note to the author,  I spelled your name wrong in the first draft.  It’s not just you***