Saturday, January 25, 2014

Celebration Saturday

Discover. Play. Build.
 I'm so happy that Ruth Ayres started a Celebrate Link-Up on her blog!!!  I will be joining the celebration every Saturday!!
Things I'm celebrating this week:
I'm going to do something different this week and celebrate one thing:  The 2014 ALA Youth Media Awards!
I, like many others who are passionate about books for young people, can not WAIT to hear who wins all the youth media awards on Monday.  I have my favorites like everyone else, but I know I'll be happy for whomever wins because the awards celebrate quality writing and art.  However, I'm going to celebrate one book one last time before Monday.  I have a feeling I will be celebrating it again AFTER Monday many times, but here's one more time BEFORE:
If you read my blog, you know JOURNEY is/was my book and word of the year, my 5th graders first theme topic this year, and a book I've celebrated since I first read it in August.  I'm not the only one who has celebrated it.  Here are examples of blogs who have also celebrated it:

Kid Lit Frenzy

Read. Write. Reflect.

Nerdy Book Club

Unleashing Readers

A Year of Reading

100 Scope Notes

A Mighty Girl

Even the PRESIDENT celebrated Journey on his famous book-buying expedition in November.  It was one of 21 books the Obama family purchased.

It's won awards already, is a New York Times best seller and announced as one of the NYT 10 Best Illustrated Children's Books of 2013, and is a favorite among countless Mock Caldecott Clubs.  It was one of Goodreads' Best Picture Books of 2013, and on and on.

In September, Aaron Becker made a video for my 5th grade classes: 
It remains one of my favorite author encounters ever.  The beginning is edited out because at the time, Aaron let my class in on some secrets that he didn't want the whole world to know yet.  It was very exciting for my class to be one of the first people to know what he was planning for his next books! The original video is about 15 minutes long, and he answers some more questions.
I have more to celebrate!  For my birthday, my husband surprised me with a signed and numbered print of Aaron's!  You can't see it in this photograph, but it says, "For Holly - THE JOURNEY NEVER ENDS!"  I just got it back framed and will hang it in my classroom.  This photo doesn't do it justice.  The colors are so rich and beautiful.  I just love it!!
So, I could celebrate this book forever, but I think you get the idea that I REALLY want this book to win the Caldecott on Monday.  I mean no disrespect to the other authors and illustrators that created wonderful picture books this year.  I have several that I like a lot, and one might come along and surprise us all. If so, I know it will be wonderful!  Check out this blog post to read about other ones my students and I enjoyed:
And one last thing!  I think I will be Las Vegas during the ALA Annual Conference! July 1st is my husband's and my 25th anniversary, and we thought Vegas would be a fun place to celebrate.  June 30th happens to be when the Newbery and Caldecott winner speeches are given.  ;-)  I plan on being there (my husband is a very understanding man - he's married to a book junkie, and he supports/puts up with it).  Aaron, I hope you're the one giving the speech for the Caldecott!  However, again, I'll be happy for the winner no matter what.  To create a beautiful picture book is to create a priceless work of art, and I admire anyone who can do that for our children!



  1. I really enjoyed Journey too! It was one of my favorites that I've read recently. Your birthday gift is wonderful!

    1. Isn't it?! Looking forward to hanging it in my classroom. :-)

  2. I finally was able to share this book with my class this week. It was so fun to see 4th graders so engrossed in a wordless picture book. Some of the boys were poring over it during an inside recess. Fingers crossed for a shiny sticker!

    1. Oh, I'm glad you got a chance to share it with your kiddos! It's one that you can look at again and again and get something new!

  3. Wow. What a great celebration of an mazing book.

  4. What a beautiful celebration of a beautiful book! Thank you!

  5. I've heard so much about this book - now I must own it. What a wonderful print, too, Holly - it will be a treat for both your students and you to have this in your classroom.

  6. Fabulous post, Holly! I love this book and I absolutely love your print.

  7. Wonderful to hear all the things that have connected you to this book, Holly. The picture turned out beautiful for your class. I hear great things too, & hope we're not all surprised! There were many super books this year, so I'm wondering too about the honor books?

  8. Wonderful post! The print is beautiful! Journey is going on my wish list right now!

  9. Thanks again, Holly. Hope to see you in June, one way or the other!

  10. What a wonderful gift from your husband. It is gorgeous. I am very appreciative of all the resources you shared. My students loved Journey. I'm going to share your blog post with them this week (whenever we can get back to school). :) Have a great week and stay warm.