Music has the Grammys, movies the Oscars, television the Emmys, and children’s book have their own yearly awards for different types of books. Roll out the red carpet for these 2013 award winners.

“This is Not My Hat” by Jon Klassen, Candlewick Press, 2011, ages 3 to 7.

Little fish steals the hat of a big sleeping fish who wakes up and follows the little fish into the seaweed in search of his hat. Readers will surmise the little fish’s fate when the big fish swims out of the seaweed wearing his hat. This winner of the Caldecott Medal for illustrations in a picture storybook, creates an underwater setting through dark background contrasted with the layered seaweed of muted tones.

“The Day Dirk Yeller Came to Town” by Mary Casanova, Illustrated by Ard Hoyt, Farrar Straus Giroux, 2011, ages 4-8.

Townsfolk are shaking in their boots as Dirk Yeller turns the town upside down looking for a way to stop his twitchin’, itchin’, and jumpin’. A young boy points Dirk towards the perfect solution, and it’s one that book lovers will appreciate! Mary Casanova and Ard Hoyt received the Bill Martin Jr. Picture Book Award, recognition given by the Kansas Reading Association.

“The One and Only Ivan” by Katherine Applegate, Harper Collins, 2012, 305 pages, ages 8-12.

Ivan, a silverback gorilla, is the main attraction at a strip mall animal show. Although born in the jungle, he was stolen away at a young age, then purchased and raised by a human. In his new “domain” Ivan watches television, eats yogurt-covered raisins, and discovers his talents as an artist. Although based on a true story, Applegate’s narrative portrays many facets of the human-animal relationship. Told through the eyes of Ivan, a gorilla who doesn’t waste words, the story unfolds through a series of journal-type entries, and presents the emotions of despair and joy as felt by animals. Winner of the Newbery Medal for outstanding children’s novel, The One and Only Ivan is destined to be a favorite of animal lovers young and old alike.

“Bomb: The Race to Build – and Steal – the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon” by Steve Sheinkin, Roaring Book Press, 2012, 241 pages, ages 10 and up.

Physics, chemistry, and history are brought to life through photographs and description of the story surrounding the creation of the atomic bomb. Steve Sheinkin is masterful at making technical information readable without sugar-coating the details so that science and history buffs alike will be riveted to this story of suspense, betrayal, and destruction. Readers will also be compelled to ponder the moral dilemma of a weapon of mass destruction, as did the many scientists at Los Alamos in the early 1940’s. Bomb received the Sibert Medal for informational books and was a National Book Award Finalist.

Whether read to a child, with a child, or by a child, any book can be a winner, and no special recognition is needed for a book to be your favorite.

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