Students Provide Input For Ladybug Awards

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By Liz Premo, Atlantic News Staff Writer

Atlantic News, Friday, November 17, 2006

[The following article is courtesy of Atlantic News]

Lane Library's Head of Children's Services Paulina Shadowens reading last year's winner of the Ladybug Award book to one of the Centre School's first grade classes.
[Atlantic News photo by Liz Premo]

HAMPTON -- What do buccaneer bunnies, a dancing tiger, a tree named Steve and a great fuzz frenzy have in common?

They are featured in four of the 10 children's book titles currently being considered for the annual Ladybug Picture Book Awards, a program of the Center for the Book at the NH State Library.

In Hampton, students at Centre School have been reading the stories on the list, submitting their votes for their favorite Ladybug Award nominees. The competing titles include "Henry & the Buccaneer Bunnies," "The Best Pet of All," "The Dancing Tiger," "The Dog Who Cried Wolf," "The Great Fuzz Frenzy," "Llama, Llama, Red Pajama," "Mr. Tuggle's Troubles," "Our Tree Named Steve," "Terrific," and "I Ain't Gonna Paint No More!"

In perfect step with this year's observance of National Children's Book Week (November 13-19) and the National Education Association's annual American Education Week (November 12-18), first grade classes walked from Centre to the Lane Memorial Library just this past Monday.

While there, they had a chance to meet Paulina Shadowens, the library's Head of Children's Services. Engaging the individual classes, Shadowen read "Skippyjon Jones," last year's lively and colorful Ladybug Award winner. Students were then taken on an informative tour of the Children's Room by Library Assistant, Joanne Mulready.

Across the street, Centre School Librarian, Paula Steren has been instrumental in coordinating the Ladybug Award activities between the school and the Lane Library, with assistants from school staff.

"It's a very, very nice connection," says first grade teacher, Kathie Street, adding "The books are fabulous. We read all 10 of them in class." The Ladybug Picture Book Award is designed "to promote early literacy and honor the best in recent children's picture books." A committee made up of children's librarians from around New Hampshire selects 10 picture book titles early in the year.

Special criteria must be met in order for each title to be considered for nomination: The book needs to have been published within the last three years, and be in print. It must possess strong appeal to its young readers, and it must display artistic quality with text which supports the illustrations. In addition, the book must not be a previously-nominated title, and either the author or the illustrator must be from the US.

Then, when Children's Book Week comes to NH each November, students in pre-school through grade three vote in order to choose the award winner. The winning picture book is announced at the end of the year. Both the author and the illustrator of the winning book receives a special crystal award, complete with the ladybug mascot.

Centre School students and their voting peers have provided important input to the selection process, all while enjoying an incredible bunch of picture books.

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