For a list of the 2017 Newbery, Caldecott, and other book award winners (usually named in January each year), see the American Library Association posting.

Rainbow ruler

October 19, 2017, is "Read for the Record" Day. The title chosen for this year's global celebration of reading is Quackers by Liz Wong, (Knopf, 2016).

See Jumpstart, for activities and information about the 2016 Read for the Record Campaign.

Rainbow ruler

The annual "Read Across America" celebration to motivate wide reading is once again set for March 2, 2018, in honor of Dr. Seuss's birthday. See NEA for activity ideas, materials, and background information.

Rainbow ruler

March 20, 2018 is "The Very Hungry Caterpillar Day" in honor of the 47th anniversary of Eric Carle's classic book. Schools, libraries, and bookstores are invited to host events and activities. Videos of Eric Carle talking about the book and reading from it are available on his official website. A printable activities booklet for The Very Hungry Caterpillar is available from Penguin Books.

Rainbow ruler

Begin thinking about festivities for National Children's Book Week, April 30-May 6, 2018!  Continue to check the Children's Book Council for updated events information.

Rainbow ruler

The Poetry Foundation has named Margarita Engle as Young People's Poet Laureate. The award "aims to raise awareness that children have a natural receptivity to poetry and are its most appreciative audience, especially when poems are written specifically for them."( Engle has achieved considerable critical acclaim for her picture books, verse novels and poetry collections. Among her titles are: Bravo!: Poems About Amazing Hispanics (2017); Lion Island: Cuba's Warrior of Words (2016); Silver People: Voices from the Panama Canal (2016); The Lightning Dreamer: Cuba's Greatest Abolitionist (2015); The Poet Slave of Cuba: A Biography of Juan Francisco Manzano (2006); The Surrender Tree: Poems of Cuba's Struggle for Freedom (2008), a Newbery Honor Book; Tropical Secrets (2009), and Hurricane Dancers (2011). Engle is a multiple recipient of the Pura Belpré Author Award, including her winning memoir Enchanted Air (2016). Visit Engel at to find out more about the author and her books.

The position of Young People's Poet Laureate has a tenure of two years. Engle succeeds Jacqueline Woodson, Kenn Nesbitt, J. Patrick Lewis and Mary Hoberman. Jack Prelutsky served as the first Children's Poet Laureate, named in 2006.

Rainbow ruler

Gene Luen Yang was named National Ambassador for Young People's Literature. He is the first graphic novelist to achieve this honor. His best known book is American Born Chinese (First Second, 2006), winner of the Michael L. Printz Award and finalist for the National Book Award. His other books include Boxers and Saints (2013) and Secret Coders (2015), illustrated by Mike Holmes. The two-year Ambassador position was created in 2008 to raise national awareness of the importance of lifelong literacy. Yang will promote Reading Without Walls, a platform he developed with the Children's Book Council and his publisher, First Second, that aims to excite young people about reading outside their comfort zones. "A huge part of being a kid is exploring the world," he said. "Books are a bridge between them and what might be unfamiliar." Previous Ambassadors are Jon Scieszka, Katherine Paterson, Walter Dean Myers, and Kate DiCamillo.

Rainbow ruler


Nancy Willard, author of more than 40 children's books in a career that included poetry, short stories, essays, and novels, died February 19, 2017, at age 80. Her book of poetry, A Visit to William Blake's Inn, received the 1982 Newbery Medal and Caldecott Honor Book status (illustrated by Alice and Martin Provensen), a "double" that had not been previously accomplished.

James Stevenson, author of more than 100 children's books and creator of nearly 2000 cartoons for The New Yorker magazine, died February 17, 2017, at age 87. His picture books included, among others, the Mud Flat Friends series, an autobiographical series beginning with When I Was Nine, and a collection of poetry books, starting with Sweet Corn.

Paula Fox, author of adult novels and more than 20 books for young people, died March 1, 2017, at age 93. Among her celebrated novels are One-Eyed Cat (1984), Monkey Island (1991), The Eagle Kite (1995), and 1974 Newbery Medal winner The Slave Dancer.

Paul Goble, author and illustrator of numerous picture books that celebrate the culture and folklore of Native American nations, most notably Plains Indians, died January 5, 2017, at age 83. Goble won the 1979 Caldecott Medal for The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses.

Natalie Babbitt, author of over 20 novels for children and illustrator of 10 additional titles, died October 31, 2016, at age 84. Her books include Knee-Knock Rise, a Newbery Honor Book in 1971; The Search for Delicious (1969); The Devil's Storybook (1974), and The Eyes of the Amaryllis (1977). She is perhaps most well-known for Tuck Everlasting (1975), which was adapted for film and stage.

Anna Dewdney, author/illustrator of the best-selling Llama Llama picture books, died September 3, 2016, at age 50. Her first book featuring Baby Llama was Llama Llama Red Pajamas, published in 2005, and it was followed by seven more titles.

Brian Wildsmith, British illustrator of more than 80 books, died August 31, 2016, at age 86. His ABC won the 1962 Kate Greenaway Medal for illustration. Some of his best-known titles include Birds (1967), Wild Animals (1967), Fishes (1968), and Mother Goose: A Collection of Nursery Rhymes (1964).

Morton Schindel, founder of Weston Woods Studios and producer of audiovisual adaptations of children's picture books, died August 20, 2016, at age 98. He produced more than 300 films and 450 recordings, including The Snowy Day and Doctor De Soto (which was nominated for an Academy Award in 1985 for Best Animated Short Film). Schindel was a recipient of the Regina Medal for outstanding contributions to children's literature.

Joyce Carol Thomas, author of more than 30 children's and young adult books, died August 13, 2016, at age 78. Her YA novel, Marked by Fire, won the National Book Award in 1983 and an American Book Award. She is also known for her poetry picture books, including Brown Honey in Broomwheat Tea (1993) and The Blacker the Berry (2008), both of which were named Coretta Scott King Author Honor Books.

Lois Duncan, author of 50 books and a pioneer in young adult suspense fiction, died June 15, 2016, at age 82. Killing Mr. Griffin (1978), Stranger with My Face (1981), Don't Look Behind You (1989), I Know What You Did Last Summer (1973 - one of her books that was made into a movie), and other titles kept teen readers on the edge of their seats at a time with the young adult genre was in its infancy. After the murder of her 18-year-old-daughter, Duncan published the nonfiction Who Killed My Daughter? (1992) which documented the investigation into her death, for which no one has been convicted.

James Cross Giblin, author of children's nonfiction, including The Life and Death of Adolph Hitler, winner of the Siebert Medal in 2002, and Chimney Sweeps, recipient of the National Book Award in 1983, died April 10, 2016, at age 82. Giblin was also an editor and founder of Clarion Books.

Gloria Houston, educator and author of best-selling picture books and novels for young readers died March 21, 2016, at age 75. Her books, including the Littlejim series, The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree (1988), My Great Aunt Arizona (1992), Mountain Valor (1997), and Bright Freedom's Song (2000), have been the recipient of numerous honors.

Andrea Cheng, whose books honored the heritage of her Hungarian family and that of her husband's Chinese family, died December 26, 2015, at age 58. She was the author of "The Year of…" series: The Year of the Book (2013), The Year of the Baby (2014), The Year of the Fortune Cookie (2015), The Year of the Three Sisters (2016), and The Year of the Garden (2017); Shanghai Messenger (2005); The Lemon Sisters (2015); and Etched in Clay: The Life of Dave, Enslaved Potter and Poet (2013), among other titles.

Vera B. Williams, author of numerous picture books that celebrated the diversity in families and communities, died October 3, 2015, at age 88. She was the recipient of two Caldecott Honor Book Awards: A Chair for My Mother (Greenwillow) in 1983 and "More More More," Said the Baby (Greenwillow) in 1991.

Judith St. George, author of more than 40 books for children, died June 10, 2015, at age 84. Best known for her works of historical fiction and biography, she was the author of the 2001 Caldecott Medal book, So You Want to Be President? illustrated by David Small.

Marcia Brown, an illustrator known for her retellings of folk tales and three-time winner of the Caldecott Medal, died April 28, 2015, at age 96. She received the distinction for Cinderella in 1955, Once a Mouse in 1962, and Shadow in 1983. Several of Brown's books also received Caldecott Honor Book status: Stone Soup in 1948, Henry-Fisherman in 1950, Dick Whittington and His Cat in 1951, Skipper John's Cook in 1952, Puss in Boots in 1953, and The Steadfast Tin Soldier in 1954. In 1992, she was the recipient of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award for lifetime achievement.

Margaret Bloy Graham, two-time recipient of a Caldecott Honor Book, died January 22, 2015, at age 94. She received the honors for All Falling Down by Gene Zion in 1952 and for The Storm Book by Charlotte Zolotow in 1953. She will probably be best remembered for illustrating Harry the Dirty Dog (1956) and its sequels, all by Gene Zion.

Bonnie Christensen, author-illustrator of numerous critically acclaimed picture books, died January 12, 2015, at age 63. She utilized a variety of art styles in her nonfiction and biographies that included: Woody Guthrie: Poet of the People (2001), Nelly Bly: America's Star Reporter (2003), Django: World's Greatest Jazz Guitarist (2009), Fabulous!: A Portrait of Andy Warhol (2011), and Elvis: The Story of the Rock and Roll King (2015).

Robert D. San Souci, author of more than 100 books, died December 19, 2014, at age 68. He was best known for his picture book adaptations of folk tales from many cultures, including several retellings of Cinderella and two Caldecott Honor Books, The Talking Eggs in 1990, illustrated by Jerry Pinkney, and The Faithful Friend in 1996, illustrated by Brian Pinkney. His Fa Mulan: the Story of a Woman Warrior was adapted as the Disney movie "Mulan," for which San Souci wrote the screenplay. He often collaborated with his illustrator brother, Daniel San Souci.

Norman Bridwell, creator of the beloved Clifford the Big Red Dog series, died December 12, 2014, at age 86. First published in 1963, the Clifford books have sold well over a million copies all over the world.

Zilpha Keatley Snyder, author of more than 40 books that were an intriguing blend of fantasy and reality for middle grade readers, died October 7, 2014, at age 87. She received a Newbery Honor Book for three novels: The Egypt Game in 1968, The Headless Cupid in 1972, and The Witches of Worm in 1973.

Walter Dean Myers, author of more than 100 books including novels, picture books, and nonfiction, died July 1, 2014, at age 76. He received two Newbery Honor Books, Somewhere in the Darkness in 1993 and Scorpions in 1989. Monster (1999) was the inaugural winner of the Michael L. Printz Award. He was the recipient of five Coretta Scott King Awards and six CSK Honor Books and was a National Book Award finalist three times. He was the author of Harlem for which is son Christopher received a Caldecott Honor Book in 1998. Myers received the Margaret Edwards Award in 1994 for his contributions to young adult literature. He received the inaugural Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2010. In 2012, he was named National Ambassador for Young People's Literature.

See Obiturary Archive for more obituaries.


Last updated 06/23/17

All content copyright Log Cabin Librarian