Tuesday, January 29, 2013

American Library Association Children's Book Awards

So the winners for the Newbery, Caldecott, and others are announced. They are the following:

Newbery: The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

:  This Is Not My Hat

Coretta Scott King
:  Hand In Hand: Then Black Men Who Changed America by Andrea Davis Pinkney and Brian Pinkney

: In Darkness by Nick Lake

Schneider Family Book Award: Back to Front and Upside Down! written and illustrated by Claire Alexander

Pura Belpré (Illustrator) AwardMartín de Porres: The Rose in the Desert, illustrated by David Diaz

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Preschools -- Helpful to the Needy or Not?

President Obama, in recent talks, has strongly advocated preschools for all underserved four-year olds. At first blush, I was all in favor of it -- our own school district has a preschool for needy children that is free to the families, and I've seen first hand what those children learn, now much better they come to kindergarten than how I assume they would have arrived. But then the studies were reported, too, some saying that the gains those children make even out by third grade, that they are no more advanced than other children who did not have that advantage. Now, hey, that couldn't be right, could it? Or is it?

I think we need to see a full accounting of those studies. With our economy as it is, I doubt free preschools will find any traction. But we do need to know.