2014 Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards

The winner for fiction is Andrew Smith, for Grasshopper Jungle; for nonfiction is Steve Sheinkin, for The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights; and for picture book, Peter Brown for Mr. Tiger goes Wild.  The Honor Books winners in the fiction category are Elizabeth Wein, for Rose Under Fire and Gene Luen Yang for Boxers & Saints; for nonfiction, Steve Jenkins for The Animal Book: a Collection of the Fastest, Fiercest, Toughest, Cleverest Shyest – and Most Surprising – Animals on Earth and Patricia Hruby Powell for Josephine: the Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker;and for picture book, Daniel Beaty for Knock Knock: My Dad’s Dream for Me, and Shaun Tan for Rules of Summer.  Congratulations to all!


Tomie dePaola featured in latest Kearsarge magazine

One of our favorite NCLC donors, Tomie dePaola, is the cover guy for the winter 2012/2013 Kearsarge magazine, with a great article inside written by John Walters accompanied by lovely photography by Tom McNeill.  Now 78 years old, Tomie has published something like 250 books.  His newest book, The birds of Bethlehem, is a retelling of the Nativity story from a bird’s perspective.  John Walters interviewed Tomie about his life and love of reading and art, his teaching career, and his outlook on the many awards he has received.  His favorite, Walters reports, is that his hometown of Meriden, Connecticut, named its children’s library after him.

The Angel for Tomie’s 2012 Christmas card is a re-imagining” of one of his designs for a hand-screened greeting card business in Vermont in the late 1950’s.  Tomie has changed the background, added color and lettering, and reports, “It’s an interesting thing to take an image that is fifty-plus years old and re-visiting it.”

Tomie’s house is full of ornaments he has designed himself, in addition to a large collection of folk art from around the world.  And, Walters reports, “plenty of poinsettias.”

Katie Davis exhibit opens at the Dodd Center

The Katie Davis exhibit is up and running in the Dodd Center Gallery.  Original materials from the Davis Papers for her books The Curse of Addy McMahon, Party Animals, Mabel the Tooth Fairy, Who Hoots and Who Hops are featured as well as books and some great “Scared Guy” items.  The exhibit runs from October 29, 2012 to February 22, 2013.  There will be a reception and gallery talk by Katie on Saturday, Nov. 10, from 2-4 in the Dodd Center.  Her books will be for sale at the Book Fair.  For more information to go bookfair.uconn.edu.

Katie Davis exhibit, Dodd Center Gallery

Katie Davis exhibit, Northeast Children’s Literature Collection

Judy Blume to speak at Mark Twain House

The Mark Twain House & Museum is hosting Judy Blume next week as a fundraiser for the historic home and museum. Judy is a wonderful writer who has changed the lives of children all over the world for many decades.

They still have a number of seats left for the event. She’s speaking on Thursday, June 21st at the University of Hartford. Tickets can be purchased at http://harttweb.hartford.edu/tickets.aspx (they are $25, $40, or $85 depending on seating, and an opening reception with Judy at the highest ticket level). Judy will also be doing a book signing after the event.

The Mark Twain House is offering a discount code for local organizations, especially those with kids involved, in order to make the event more affordable for families. The discount code is FUDGE and can be entered online when buying tickets, or over the phone.

Malka Penn Children’s Book Collection on Human Rights

In 2005, Michele Palmer of Storrs, Connecticut, established the Malka Penn Children’s Book Collection on Human Rights as part of the Northeast Children’s Literature Collection at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center.  The picture books, young adult novels and non-fiction works address issues such as the Holocaust, racism, prejudice, war and conflict.  The works below were  published in 2010 or were made available in the U.S. for the first time in 2010.Ms. Palmer, who has written several children’s books under the pseudonym Malka Penn, is also a volunteer for the Windham Textile and History Museum.


Chapman, Fern, Is It Night or Day? (New York : Farrar Straus Giroux, 2010).

Ellis, Deborah, No Safe Place. (Toronto : Groundwood Books/House of Anansi Press, 2010).

Engle, Margarita, The Firefly Letters: A Suffragette’s Journey to Cuba.  (New York : Henry Holt and Co., 2010).

Jablonski, Carla, Resistance: Book 1 (New York : First Second, 2010).

Kittinger, Jo, Rosa’s Bus.  (Honesdale, Pa. : Calkins Creek, ©2010).

Lottridge, Celia, Home is Beyond the Mountains. (Toronto : Groundwood Books/House of Anansi Press, 2010).

Molnar, Haya, Under A Red Sky: Memoir of a Childhood in Communist Romania. (New York : Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 2010).

Nelson, S.D., Black Elk’s Vision. (New York : Abrams Books for Young Readers, ©2010).

Pinkney, Andrea, Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down.  (New York : Little, Brown, ©2010).

Ramsey, Calvin, Ruth and the Green Book. (Minneapolis, MN : Carolrhoda Books, ©2010).

Reynolds, Aaron, Back of the Bus. (New York : Philomel Books, ©2010).

Robinson, Anthony, Hamzat’s Journey: A Refugee Diary. (London, England : Frances Lincoln Children’s Books, 2010, ©2009).

Shimko, Bonnie, The Private Thoughts of Amelia E. Rye. (New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2010).

Slade, Suzanne, Climbing Lincoln’s Steps. (Chicago, Ill. : Albert Whitman, ©2010).

Stanley, Diane, Saving Sky. (New York : Harper, ©2010).

Warner, Jody, Viola Desmond Won’t Be Budged. (Toronto : Groundwood Books/House of Anansi Press, 2010).

Oral Histories added to NCLC’s website

l-r: Terri J. Goldich, Curator; Billie M. Levy, Donor; Kena Sosa, Researcher.  Seated:  Mrs. Eva Greenwood.

l-r: Terri J. Goldich, Curator; Billie M. Levy, Donor; Kena Sosa, Researcher. Seated: Mrs. Eva Greenwood.

In April, 2011, Ms. Kena Sosa became the 4th recipient of a Billie M. Levy Travel and Research Grant. Her topic of research is the experience of Jewish children who escaped Nazi persecution to England and other countries by means of the Kindertransport program. This link goes to a full description and access to the transcripts of two oral histories conducted with women who were transported to England as children in the Kindertransport program. Ms. Sosa’s PowerPoint presentation, a requirement of the Levy Travel and Research Grant, is also available from the web site.  This was the first grant presentation to leave the audience in tears.

Thanks, NECBA and Scholastic!

Thanks, Nan Sorensen, Scholastic, and the rest of the New England Children’s Booksellers for the donation of books by the wonderful authors at your conference on June 15.  It was fun to give tours to such knowledgeable and engaged listeners.  And your speakers were delightful:  M.T. Anderson, Nan Rossiter, Joyce Baskin, Angela DiTerlizzi, and all the rest of the stellar lineup.  I had the pleasure of awarding Matt Collins the CT Book Award for Children’s Illustration last year at the CT Center for the Book’s celebration so it was great to see him again.  What a talented group of folks you are!

–Terri J. Goldich, Curator

Ruth Plumly Thompson 1939 “Oz” Book Donated to NCLC

Following the death in 1919 of L. Frank Baum, the author of the original The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Ruth Plumly Thompson was hired by Baum’s publisher to continue the Oz series.  Ms. Thompson of Philadelphia wrote one Oz book a year from 1921 to 1939 when Ozoplaning with the Wizard of Oz was published by Reilly & Lee.  The phrase “The Wizard of Oz” was added to coincide with the release of the movie, The Wizard of Oz, by MGM the same year.  The illustrator is John R. Neill, who illustrated many of Baum’s Oz books after Baum and the original illustrator of the The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, W. W. Denslow, parted ways after a dispute over royalties. 

Ozoplaning with the Wizard of Oz, by Ruth Plumly Thompson

Ozoplaning with the Wizard of Oz (Chicago: Reilly & Lee, 1939). By Ruth Plumly Thompson, illustrated by John R. Neill.

Neill wrote three Oz books after Thompson resigned from writing the series in 1939.  The story contains the original characters, Dorothy Gale, the Tin Woodman, the Scarecrow, and the Cowardly Lion and of course the Wizard of Oz.  Jellia Jam (“Jamb” in the original Baum) is the Wizard’s “pretty little serving maid” who does not appear in the movie version.  The Soldier with Green Whiskers and Nick Chopper join everyone for a dinner party at the Wizard’s home so the Wizard can show off his new inventions, two Ozoplanes named Ozpril and Oztober.  The Soldier, Tin Woodman, and Jellia board the Oztober and through the Soldier’s bad luck, take off through the roof on a long adventure.

–Terri J. Goldich