Here’s how Sunday went: Caldecott committee meeting, website advisory committee meeting, Newbery Caldecott Wilder Banquet time. This year marks the 75th Anniversary of the Caldecott, so folks were encouraged to incorporate their favorite Caldecott winner into their clothing choices. For me, that meant opening my closet and reverse-engineering an outfit.
“Okay, what article of clothing do I have that could in some way be associated with a Caldecott book? Do I own a taxadermied lion mask? No. Maybe I could sit on a giant red exercise ball all night? Hmm – bad idea. Ooh! Tie with sea turtles on it! Flotsam! Yes!”
If you’re interested in seeing some people who did a much better job of dressing than I, the ALSC Blog has a gallery of attendees. Click here to check it out.
As for the banquet itself, I quote Jarrett J. Krosoczka:
This is true. I may have captured some of them here:
One of the cool things about the banquet is seeing the program. Each year it incorporates the Caldecott winning book. This time out they did a velum-covered This Is Not My Hat number that turned out very nice.
After mingling, dinner got rolling. This was the best part.
I tried to eat the marzipan Caldecott medal. Word to the wise: don’t try to eat the Caldecott medal. Stick to the chocolate dome and you’ll be good.
After dinner, the speechifying began with our Caldecott winner Jon Klassen. Before he got up to the mic, I mentioned to someone at my table that it was weird to see Mr. Klassen without a hat. Should’ve known. Once he got to the podium, he pulled out a Chicago Blackhawks cap and put it on. The crowd approved.
It was a beautiful speech. Funny, smart, touching. Eyes welled. Laughs were expelled. You could tell the medal meant a lot.
Up next, Newbery winner Katherine Applegate.
Her speech was memorable for so many reasons, but the most notable was because Applegate read a passage from one of her books. No, it wasn’t a solemn, weighty quote – in a genius move, Applegate read from one of the slightly tawdry romance novels she wrote. It was a moment of glorious self-deprecation that had the crowd rolling. But things did turn poignant, when she talked about the potential in every child.
Every other year of the Newbery/Caldecott Banquet, you get a bonus – the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award winner also speaks. This year’s Wilder winner was Katherine Paterson.
Yeah. Pretty solid pick.
It was nice to hear a legend like Paterson reflect on her lengthy, and prolific career. And it’s still swinging.
After the banquet, there was only one thing left to do.
Ride off into the sunset.