Bank Street College Children’s Book Awards
Children not only learn to read at Bank Street College’s School for Children; they also learn to evaluate picture books. They, as well as students in 13 other schools throughout the country (and one in Canada), have chosen a book authored by Bank Street’s own Robie H. Harris ’70 as this year’s winner of the 37th Irma S. and James H. Black Picture Book Award: Mail Harry to the Moon! (Little, Brown and Company). The book’s illustrator, Michael Emberley, collaborated with Harris for the eighth time.
Harris, a renowned author of dozens of fiction and non-fiction children’s books, taught at the Bank Street School for Children after receiving her master’s from the Graduate School in 1970. She also worked closely with two well-known children’s book authors at the Bank Street Writers Lab: Irma Simonton Black (in whose memory this award is named), director of Bank Street’s publications division; and Bill Hooks, who became director after Irma.
The children selected Mail Harry to the Moon! from an outstanding group of four finalists. The other three nominees are designated as “Honor Books”. They are: Nic Bishop Frogs (Scholastic), written and illustrated by Nic Bishop (his Nic Bishop Spiders was an “Honor Book” last year); The Ghost Catcher (August House), a retelling of a Bengali folk tale, written by Martha Hamilton and Mitch Weiss and illustrated by Kristen Balouch; and What To Do About Alice? How Alice Roosevelt Broke the Rules, Charmed the World and Drove her Father Teddy Crazy! (Scholastic), written by Barbara Kerley, with illustrations by Edwin Fotheringham.
The awards were presented at a breakfast ceremony at the Harvard Club in New York City.
This year’s keynote speaker was Lisa Von Drasek, children’s librarian at Bank Street College, and a nationally-recognized expert on children’s literature. #