Authors and illustrators provide fascinating facts about themselves and their creations through lectures and writings, as well as through their biographical material. A list of references to these sources is provided for those who want to search for additional facts. The items of trivia included in the book have been selected for their educational value, humor, and simple appeal.
The trivia facts are arranged chronologically. Whenever possible, specific facts correspond with the subject's birthday, book publication date, or other pertinent date. Additional facts are scattered throughout the book. Each date includes at least one item about a Newbery Medal-winning book or author and a Caldecott Medal-winning book or illustrator. Some dates include information about a classic or popular book that didn't receive Newbery or Caldecott acclaim. Complete lists of Newbery and Caldecott books, through 2000, are provided in Appendixes A and B. The lists are arranged chronologically beginning with the year the American Library Association presented the first award: 1922 for the Newbery winners and 1938 for Caldecott winners. Separate indexes of people and titles are also included.
Many books that may have been worthy of Newbery and Caldecott acknowledgement were published before the inception of the awards or were simply overlooked by the selection committees. For that reason, it seems appropriate that those classic or popular books be included in the trivia facts. Teachers often use these overlooked books— popular with children—in their classrooms through inclusion in a textbook, instead of a textbook, or simply as read-aloud books.
Knowing the background information about a book, an author, or an illustrator can encourage someone—adult or child—to read a particular book, whether the book didn't receive an award of any kind or was a Newbery or Caldecott winner.
The Newbery and
Each year, usually in late January or early February, the Association for Library Service to Children division of the American Library Association selects a book, considered to be the previous year's [most distinguished contribution to children's literature,] on which to place the Newbery Medal. The Caldecott Medal is presented to the previous year's [most distinguished picture book.] Other books also considered [distinguished] may be designated Honor Books, originally called Runners-up.
The author of the Newbery Medal book and the illustrator of the Caldecott Medal book receive a medal but no monetary prize, although any book that receives Newbery or Caldecott recognition shows a marked increase in sales. The medal is presented at an awards banquet held the following summer.