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The Bank Street Writers Lab Receives a Carle Honor

October 16, 2017

On Thursday, September 28th the Bank Street Writers Lab (BSWL) received a prestigious award from The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, MA.

Each year, the Carle gives out four awards to individuals “whose creative vision and dedication are an inspiration to everyone who values picture books and their role in arts education and literacy.”

The BSWL received the Carle Honors Mentor Award which recognizes editors, designers, educators, librarians, scholars and others who champion picture books and picture book art.  The BSWL received the award “in recognition of its leadership and support of writers and artists throughout its long history.”

Members of the Bank Street Writers Lab were present at the gala event which took place at Gustavino’s in New York City. Also, present was the legendary author and founder of the museum, Eric Carle. The awards ceremony was moderated by Newbery award winning author, Jack Gantos. Other award recipients included illustrator Ed Young, Dr. John Cole and Anthea Bell.

The Bank Street Writers Lab was started by the founder of Bank Street College, Lucy Sprague Mitchell in 1937. Mitchell a progressive educator, advocated for children’s literature that focused on the world that children knew the “here and now” versus the once upon a time fairy tale fantasies favored then by librarians. To encourage the development of this new material she formed the Writers Lab. Early members of the Lab included Margaret Wise Brown, Maurice Sendak and Mordecai Gerstein.

Over the years, the members of the Lab continued to contribute to the canon of children’s literature through development of Little Golden Books as well as The Bank Street Readers.

Today, professional authors, many who are well known in the field of children’s literature, continue to meet for three hours a month to collaborate, share information and give constructive feedback on each other’s manuscripts. Some of the current members have been with the Lab for as much as 50 years.

Says long time member and author, Doreen Rappaport (Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King) about the Lab.

“The Lab is an oasis for writers, where we get to share works-in-progress with a community with various talents and skills, who value each other, provide insight and critical and emotional support during the difficult creative task of producing a book, and are never, ever competitive.”

Bank Street Writers Lab members are profoundly grateful to Bank Street College of Education for the resources to continue creating great works of literature for children for 80 years!

Some photos from the event:


Bank Street Writers Lab Members from left to right: Caron Levis, Elizabeth Upton, Robin Newman, Selene Castrovilla, Susanna Reich, Cynthia Weill, Julie Gribble. Present but not shown: Myriam Chapman, Barbara Hazen and Caron Lee Cohen



Award recipients and Eric Carle Museum Board Members with the wonderful Eric Carle



CCL Director and BSWL Chair, Cynthia Weill receives the Award for Bank Street



Newbery Award Winning Author, Jack Gantos moderated the evening


The legendary Eric Carle says a few words at the event 


Photo Credit:  Johnny Wolf Photography

Two New Writing for Children Courses!

September 14, 2017

The Center for Children’s Literature and Continuing Professional Studies are thrilled to announce two new courses to be offered this fall in its very popular Writing for Children series.


Award winning author, Amy Hest will return to Bank Street to teach Part II of Writing for Children.



Award winning author, Amy Hest


Celebrated editor, Sharyn November will teach an on-line course on marketing manuscripts to publishers.



Sharyn November has decades of editorial and marketing experience.


Enrollment is limited for both courses. Do not delay in registering!

To see all of the programs offered in the series go to:



The Center for Children’s Literature at Bank Street College of Education and Peachtree Publishers is Teaming Up on a New Initiative to Promote High Quality Literature for Children in Spanish

August 9, 2017

Bilingual and Spanish Language Teachers 

Send Your Lesson Plan Ideas to Us and You Might Win a First Edition of:

Miguel y su valiente caballero: el joven Cervantes sueña a don Quijote

Miguel y su valiente caballero_jacket


Poems de Margarita Engle; Ilustrado por Raúl Colón

Traducido por Teresa Mlawer y Georgina Lázaro

(Peachtree Publishers 2018)

A poetic, fictionalized account of an iconic author with realistic, pen, ink and water color illustrations

Submit a one-page lesson plan or thematic unit outline you have created for a Spanish language or a bilingual classroom grades K-12 in any discipline using Miguel y su valiente caballero: el joven Cervantes sueña a don Quijote (You can work from this PDF  of the book  Miguel y su valiente caballero to create your plan.) The outline should contain the following information written in English or Spanish.

  • Your name and school
  • Description of Classroom, Grade Level, No. of Students, Discipline
  • Teaching Objective(s)
  • One or two paragraph summary of activities.
  • Materials Needed

Please put your information on this worksheet: Miguel y su valiente caballero hoja de trabajo. 

Bank Street staff and affiliates will review the work and we will post the best lesson plan ideas, crediting you on the Center for Children’s Literature blog. Winners will receive a first edition of the book from Peachtree Publishers soon after its release in March 2018.

For questions and to submit plans contact

Please send your lesson plan no later than January 30, 2018

Note we reserve the right to eliminate incomplete or unprofessionally prepared materials from consideration. Limit of 25 award copies. Submissions accepted from September 1, 2017 – January 30, 2018. Outlines will be reviewed for content, creativity, feasibility of execution, clarity of writing and intellectual quality by Bank Street staff. Submissions should need little or no editing. A sample of student work appreciated with submission but not necessary for application.

The Center for Children’s Literature at Bank Street College of Education seeks to promote the highest quality of literature for children in English and Spanish.

Miguel y su valiente caballero: el joven Cervantes sueña a don Quijote

PDF Miguel y su valiente caballero


Spanish Speaking Author and Illustrator Series/Ciclo de Autores e Ilustradores Hispanoparlantes

July 26, 2017

The Center for Children’s Literature and the Graduate School of the Bank Street College of Education are proud to continue their program in Spanish:

Ciclo de Autores e Ilustradores Hispanoparlantes/Spanish Speaking Authors and Illustrator Series

Conversations with Spanish-speaking children’s book authors and illustrators


Our first event on Friday, September 29th will feature Susie Jaramillo, author and illustrator of the delightful Cantícos board book series. Susie will speak at the Bank Street College Library from 5:00 – 7:00 about her work.  RSVP 


Friday, September 29, 2017, 5:00 – 7:00, Bank Street College Library, 5th Floor

Native and non-native speakers welcome to attend. Susie will autograph copies of her books, for sale by the Bank Street Bookstore, and refreshments will be served. The event is free but an RSVP is appreciated.



Join us for a literary concert with Newbery Award Winner, Kwame Alexander

July 20, 2017


Kwame Alexander and Mary Rand Hess with a copy of their new book Solo (Blink 2017)


Thursday, August 3,  2017
4:30 pm – 5:30 pm
Bank Street College of Education, Tabas Auditorium
Join us for a special evening of poetry and rock ’n’ roll!  Poet, Kwame Alexander will present excerpts from his new young adult novel Solo.  Musician Randy Preston will perform music composed for the book.  The music video for Excuse Me, an original song from Solo will be premiered.

A Q&A will follow with Kwame and his co-author Mary Rand Hess.

After the event, the authors will sign copies of Solo, available for purchase through the Bank Street Bookstore.

The event is free and open to the public.  Please RSVP.

Bank Street College of Education is located at 610 West 112th Street between Broadway and Riverside.



July 20, 2017





Mark your calendars for Saturday, October 28th for the 46th Annual BookFest at Bank Street College of Education.

We are thrilled to announce that Carmen Agra Deedy, winner of the Jane Addams, Pura Belpré and Irma Black awards will be our keynote speaker.

Other participants include Caldecott medalists David Wiesner,  Jerry Pinkney and Barbara Lehman as well as authors: Jon Scieszka, Carole Boston Weatherford, Rita Williams Garcia and Candace Fleming including author/illustrators: Stephen Savage, Eric Velasquez and Don Tate.

More details and registration information soon!

Participate in the Irma Black and Cook Prize Award Selections

June 29, 2017



Elementary School Teachers, Make Selection of a Prestigious

Bank Street Children’s Book Award Part of Your

2017 – 2018 Academic Year Curriculum


Want your students to practice their reasoning, persuasive speaking and to sharpen their visual skills while they participate in the selection of Bank Street’s Center for Children’s Literature’s annual best picture and best science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) book?

First and Second grade classes may participate in selection of The Irma Simonton Black and James H. Black Award for Excellence in Children’s Literature (Irma Black Award). 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 final judges of the winning book.


Follow the links for more information about the Irma Black Award  and to see a list of 2017 winners.  Registration



Third and Fourth grade classes are invited to jury the Cook Prize 2018.  The Cook Prize honors the best STEM book of the year published for children eight to ten. It is the only national children’s choice award honoring a STEM title. Follow the links for more information about the Cook Prize and a list of 2017 winnersRegistration.

Please share this information with your fellow educators and librarians.  Everyone is invited to participate.

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