May 2 was the longest day of my life. I knew all of the candidates on the Caldecott ballot would be contacted at some point to learn if they had been elected (or not). I kept the phone with me all day awaiting the call and praying for good news. Friends were texting, some were also awaiting election results, others were just encouraging me as I waited.
The call finally came that afternoon, and it was Dan Bostrom, the ALSC Marketing Manager. He asked how my day was going and then said, "I have some news that's going to make it even better." I almost jumped out of my skin. I had been elected! I squealed and danced all through the library!
Serving on the Caldecott Committee has been a dream of mine for many, many years ... ever since I started sharing picture books with students. I love art and words and marvel at the way the two come together so exquisitely in this format. The privilege of serving on this committee is an honor and a responsibility I will not take lightly. It will be hard work, but I look forward to the reading, evaluation, discussions, debates, and challenge of working with a group to select one medal winner.
This weekend at the ALA Annual Conference I was able to attend a lovely Random House cocktail party celebrating illustrators Chris Appelhans, Marc Brown, Brian Floca, Mary GrandPre, and Kevin Hawkes. Hearing these talented artists talk about their work filled my heart and reaffirmed my love for illustration and the power of the picture book. (This basically happens every time I hear an author or illustrator speak or read a picture book!) My heart swelled knowing that I will play a small part in making picture book history.
Thank you to all the ALSC members who voted for me and gave me this special opportunity. I can't wait to get started!