I went to ALA Midwinter while it was happening in Seattle last weekend, and it was amazing to walk the exhibits space and just see so many great books. I’m not as current with what’s happening in children’s lit since I left teaching, and I really miss it. I love being a full time, working writer, but…I love children’s books, and I love sharing them with kids. I was at ALA on Sunday, and then Monday morning they held the ALA Youth Media Awards, where they announce all the big winners in kidlit. This is what I watch every year for the announcement of the Newbery and Caldecott books, and then I immediately buy all of the Caldecotts for H’s collection–we have them all for every year of her life, plus the year I was pregnant (and lots of other years because I just love Caldecott books). I also picked up a lot of the other award winners announced on Monday, and by Tuesday they’d all arrived.

And when the Caldecotts were announced while I was taking H to school Monday morning, we were listening. Hello Lighthouse by Sophie Blackall took home the medal, and the four honor books are Thank You, Omu! by Oge Mora (which also won a Coretta Scott King illustrator award, I’d already ordered it when it was announced!), The Rough Patch by Brian Lies, Alma and How She Got Her Name by Juana Martinez-Neal, and A Big Mooncake for Little Star by Grace Lin. All the winners this year were author/illustrators.

I also bought the Newbery winner, Merci Suarez Changes Gears by Meg Medina.

And, I ordered several other award-winning picture books to add to H’s collection. Some of the best activism we can do is to support and buy books from diverse authors, read them together, and broaden our understanding of different kinds of people.

Julian Is a Mermaid by Jessica Love is the Stonewall winner for LGBTQ+ books for children.

Dreamers by Yuyi Morales won the Pura Belpre award for Latinx books for children and Drawn Together by Minh Lee, illustrated by Dan Santat, won the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature.

The Remember Balloons by Jessie Olivaros, illustrated by Dana Wulfecotte was the honor book and Rescue & Jessica by Jessica Kensky and Patrick Downes, illustrated by Scott Magoon, was the medal winner for the Schneider Family Book Award for the best books about the disability experience for young children.

Fox the Tiger by Corey R. Tabor won the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award for best easy reader.

It’s a big stack of books, and we haven’t read through them all yet, but they’re great additions to our collection this year.