A cookie dough mystery and a haiku-speaking panda are at the heart of the two children's books chosen to receive the 2009 Please Touch Museum Book Award. It's the only award of its kind to honor the publication of quality books for young children, and is given annually to two books in categories based on the age of the museum's visitors (kids ages seven and younger).
Ages 3 and Younger Category:
Who Ate All the Cookie Dough?
by Karen Beaumont, illustrated by Eugene Yelchin
In Who Ate All the Cookie?, Dough Karen Beaumont starts with a well-known rhyme and adds her own twist to create an engaging reading experience. The book cycles through a variety of animals, whom all profess their innocence, leading to a repeating refrain. The repetition, combined with Beaumont's fluid and fluent rhyming pattern, make this a fun read-aloud book sure to invite enthusiastic audience participation. And of course, any child reading this story won't be able to help calling out the names of the animals they recognize, which are rendered in Eugene Yelchin's colorful and vibrant designs.
Ages 4 to 7 Category:
by Jon J. Muth
Zen Ties is Jon J. Muth's follow-up to his 2006 Caldecott Honor book Zen Shorts. In Zen Shorts, Muth used a variety of artistic and storytelling styles to tell three parable-like stories, culled from traditional Zen and Taoist literature. In Zen Ties, however, Muth tells a single, original story about friendship, community, and Stillwater the panda returns, with his pint-sized nephew Koo in tow, to make new friends, Addy, Karl, and Michael. The book tells an important story about compassion as the children make a new friend in old Miss Whitaker. Muth's lush watercolor illustrations are beautiful and the characters are wonderfully animated.
Why does Please Touch Museum honor children's books?
Helping a child discover the joys of reading is one of the ways we hope to start our young visitors onto the path of learning. The winning books are imaginative, exceptionally illustrated, and help foster a child’s life-long love of reading. Language learning and literacy skills begin to develop in children very early, before they can even hold a book on their own! This is why it is important to begin reading to children at a very young age to help develop and nurture these skills as they grow. It's never too early to start!
We believe that by honoring unique and innovative children's books, parents will be introduced to great educational reads for their little ones. Plus, the award winning books are a great addition to storytelling at home. Families reading together is one of the ways the museum's "learning through play" philosophy comes to life, as it encourages adult-child interaction, imagination, and discovery.
The 2009 winners will be honored at the annual Delaware Valley Association for the Education of Young Children (DVAEYC) Early Childhood Conference on Friday, April 17, 2009.
Visit the museum's Kids Store for a selection of current and past Book Award winners.
For more information about literacy and family reading explore these helpful websites:
• National Center for Family Literacy
• National Institute for Literacy -- Early Childhood Literacy
• Zero to Three.org: Early Language and Literacy