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Announcing the Irma S. and James H. Black Awards and Cook Prize Winners!

April 24, 2018

This year’s Irma Black winner is:


7 Ate Nine by Tara Lazar;illustrated by Ross MacDonald

This year’s Irma Black Honor Books Are:


 How the Cookie Crumbled by Gilbert Ford; Sparkle Boy by Lesléa Newman;illus. by M. Mola and After the Fall by Dan Santat

The winner of the 2018 Cook Prize is:

Beauty and the Beak:  How Science, Technology and A 3D Printed Beak Rescued a Bald Eagle by Deborah Lee Rose and Janie Velkamp

The three 2018 Cook Prize Honorees are:



An award ceremony will take place on May 10, 2018 from 10:00 – 11:30 in the Tabas Auditorium at Bank Street College.  Keynote speaker will be author/illustrator Laura Vaccaro SeegerRegister Now.

For a live stream of the event on May 10th go to

The program will begin at 10:00.

The Children’s Book Committee’s New Awards Medal!

April 13, 2018


The Children’s Book  Committee unveiled its new awards medallion on April 5, 2018 during its annual prize ceremony.



The new medallion was based on the Children’s Book Committee’s current logo.



At the request  and with the input of then Chair of the Children’s Book Committee,  Alice Belgray, the image was created by Joan Sinclair.  Joan worked from 1982 – 1997 in the publications department. When she left after 1997, Joan continued to do freelance jobs for Bank Street.  The logo was one of these jobs.


Laurent Linn, a Children’s Book Committee, Member-at-Large and artistic director of Simon and Schuster used Joan’s logo to create the medal.  Laurent says,

“In creating the medallion, I wanted to have a balance of a contemporary look, reflecting the wonderful Bank Street CBC logo, with a classic feel worthy of the legacy of these important awards. Also, because the medallion will be printed on book covers, as opposed to being an actual sticker, it needed to have a dimensional look as if it were embossed and metallic. So I digitally crafted a medal with the current logo, a classic golden shine, and faux dimension that resulted in the final image!”




Committee members are delighted with the medallion and look forward to seeing it grace the covers of its award books for years to come!

The Children’s Book Committee Awards 2018!

April 12, 2018

On April 5th the Children’s Book Committee celebrated its 2018 children’s book awards.



It was a very special day.  Each guest received a copy of the Children’s Book Committee’s Best Books of the Year 2018.

The Best Children's Books 2018 - cover - final for printer_Page_1


During the ceremony:





Madeleine Dunphy, publisher Web of Life Books accepted the non-fiction award for Hawk Mother: The Story of a Red-tailed Hawk who Hatched Chickens.  Author, Kara Hagedorn accepted via video.





Cynthia Loh, Vice President and publisher Bloomsbury Books accepted for poet Nikki Grimes.  Nikki also accepted via video.




Renée Watson accepted her fiction award in person and posed with some of the Committee’s young reviewers.

Bank Street Article

Publishers Weekly Article

For videos of the day go to:

Opening Remarks
Program Acceptance Speeches




Seeking 2018 Spanish Language Children’s Books for Review

March 8, 2018
The Children’s Book Committee (CBC) at Bank Street College of Education is seeking books in Spanish for its new “recommended” list.  Books for consideration should be published only in Spanish or translated into Spanish from another language in 2018. Work published prior to 2018 will not be considered.   Each work for consideration will be given a rigorous review by Spanish speaking members of the CBC.  Culturally authentic translation, tone and illustration will also be considered. Please send the name of a contact person with email and phone with each shipment.
Books can be sent directly to:
Dr.  Cynthia Weill, Director, Center for Children’s Literature, 5th Floor Library

Bank Street College of Education, 610 West 112th Street, New York, New York  10025


Go to Recommended Spanish Language Books 2018 for Books Published in 2017 for examples and to download this year’s list.

2018 Recommended Books Display for Books Published in 2017
Contact for more information.

A Celebration of Bilingual Books and Latinx Communities

March 6, 2018

Despite a nor’easter the day before our March 3rd conference, A Celebration of Bilingual Books and Latinx Communities was a great success!  KidLit Intro

The day started with an introduction by author, Emma Otheguy (Marti’s Song for Freedom/Martí y sus versos por la libertad, Lee and Low 2017).  Emma’s KidLit Interview


Emma offered some personal experiences about childhood reading growing up in a Latinx household and its impact.


Next, Boston Public Librarian, Sujei Lugo moderated a panel on “Bilingual, Board Books and Books for Young Children.”  Board book author, Susie Jaramillo, author/illustrator Cecilia Ruiz and bilingual author Emma Otheguy talked about what makes a great bilingual, board and young children’s picture book.  Sadly, author Angela Dominguez, because of the nor’easter was unable to get her flight and attend as planned. KidLit Video


Later, Sonia Rodriguez of LaGuardia Community College led a panel on “Diverse Voices in Latino Books.” Illustrator, Raúl Colón, author/illustrator Eric Velasquez, translator, Teresa Mlawer and Meg Medina spoke about diversity, hope, identity and the future of kid’s literature. KidLit Video


During the break, participants purchased bilingual, Spanish language and Latinx themed books to be signed by the authors from the wonderful selection provided by the Bank Street Bookstore.


After the panels, participants attended reading groups where they discussed all genres of Latinx themed work.  List of break out session leaders, topics and books read. 

DSC06389Finally, the wonderful Meg Medina, author of Mango, Abuela and Me (Candlewick) gave the keynote speech.

The ever thoughtful Meg started off her talk with the slide to the left.

Our planned keynote author/illustrator Duncan Tonatiuh’s flight was canceled the night before the conference. Although the audience was disappointed not to hear from Duncan, Meg wowed the crowd with a wonderful talk about her childhood, her writing, community and the importance of Latinx work. We are so very grateful to her for offering such a brillant and enjoyable talk at the last minute! KidLit Interview with Meg

We hope to have a similar conference again very soon.  The conference was initiated and organized by Dr. Cynthia Weill, Director of the  Center for Children’s Literature at Bank Street with the input of librarians from the New York Public Library, Bookops, Lehman College, Club Leo at Scholastic, author Emma Otheguy and School Library Journal.

Article about the event:

School Library Journal

Publishers Weekly, scroll down

A special thank you to Kid Lit TV for live streaming the day!






Announcing the 2018 Irma Black Award Semi-finalists!

February 15, 2018

Announcing the finalists for this year’s Irma Simonton Black and James Black Award for Excellence in Children’s Literature.  The award goes to an outstanding book for young children – a book in which text and illustrations are inseparable, each enhancing and enlarging on the other to produce a singular whole. The Irma Black Award is unusual in that children are the judges of the winning book.

Register your classes to vote.

This year’s finalists are:


7 Ate 9: The Untold Story by Tara Lazar; illustrated by Ross MacDonald (Disney Hyperion)


After the Fall: How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again written and illustrated by Dan Santat (Roaring Brook Press)


Sparkle Boy by Lesléa Newman; illustrated by Maria Mola (Lee and Low Books Inc.)


How the Cookie Crumbled: The True (and Not-So-True) Stories of the Invention of the Chocolate Chip Cookie written and illustrated by Gilbert Ford (Simon and Schuster)

The winner will be announced at the end of April.  Awards will be presented on May 10, 2018 at Bank Street College.

We love to share the quips and anecdotes students make about the books during the jurying process.  If you have something particularly insightful to share, please send and we may read it during the awards ceremony.  Photographs are also appreciated.

Register your classes to vote.

For information contact

2018 Bank Street Writer-in-Residence Wins Two Prestigious Book Awards!

February 13, 2018
The Center for Children’s Literature at Bank Street College is delighted to announce that its 2018 Dorothy Carter Writer-in-Residence, Renée Watson has won the 2018 Coretta Scott King Author Award and a Newbery Honor for her middle grade novel, Piecing Me Together (Bloomsbury). This book also won Bank Street College’s Children’s Book Committee’s Josette Frank Award.
Watson is scheduled to work with Becky Eisenberg and Greg David’s 9s/10s classes in April on creative writing.
Each year the Center for Children’s literature at Bank Street hosts a prominent writer to work with the School for Children.  The Writer-in-Residence program is named after long time graduate school faculty member, Dorothy Carter.
Past Writer-in-Residence authors at Bank Street have included Kwame Alexander, Newbery medalist for The Crossover. Adam Gidwitz, Newbery Honor recipient for The Inquisitor’s Tale and Kat Yeh, The Truth About Twinkie Pie, Crystal Kite winner.
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