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Delightful reads are vying for mock Dr. Seuss prize
Local librarian shares timely tips

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Date published: 1/21/2013

ATHLETES TRAIN FOR the big game, musicians rehearse for the recital and area youth services librarians prepare for the mock Theodor Seuss Geisel awards named after America's beloved Dr. Seuss. This past year we poured over a multitude of recently published beginning readers, carefully evaluating each for its quality of writing, distinctiveness and ability to instill in young children a love and enthusiasm for books.

This is not the first time we've done something like this. Each year we concentrate on a different American Library Association Youth Media Award, selecting several titles we think could win. At a special meeting, individual staff share the reasons they believe a book should win and then the group as a whole will discuss its merits. This year's event will be Wednesday, Jan. 23, at the Headquarters Library from 3-4 p.m. All are welcome. We end with a ballot, choosing one award winner and several honors.

"Bink & Gollie: Two for One" by Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee tells the story of two best friends, one is tall and one is short, but both take care of each other as good friends should.

Three short chapters describe their visit to the state fair. In the first, Bink tries repeatedly and unsuccessfully to throw a ball into a duck to win the "world's largest donut." Her terrible aim leaves the Whack-a-Duck man a little worse for the wear, but Bink buys a bag of doughnuts, which makes all three of them feel better. When Gollie decides to participate in the talent show, Bink worries she'll be nervous standing onstage in front of everyone, but Gollie is determined. Unfortunately, Bink was correct and Gollie finds herself standing silently onstage before walking off. Bink renews Gollie's self-confidence by finding her the perfect audience--a good friend and a barn full of cows. The final chapter describes their visit to a fortuneteller, who accurately recounts their recent experiences. But they're only interested in the future--the one that shows them together.

In "Penny and Her Song" by Kevin Henkes, Penny's efforts to share her new song are thwarted.

It's her very own, but first Mama and then Papa worry about waking the sleeping babies.

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