An exhibit honoring the best American picture book for children comes to a close today.
"The Caldecott at Seventy-Five: the Oldest Picture Book Award in the World," has been residing in Sidewater Commons, located in Pattee Library, since Dec. 19 of last year.
“Typically, the books that are awarded are stellar,” said Catherine Grigor, manager of Libraries Publications and Public Relations at Penn State.
“This Is Not My Hat” — written and illustrated by Jon Klassen and picked on Jan. 28 — was the 76th year winner.
The exhibit, which features books up until the 2012 winner, is set up around the room with framed pictures of previous winners lining the walls. Under each photo is a description of the book.
Steven Herb, director for the 2012 Pennsylvania Center for the Book advisory board, said that the books that were chosen to hang on the walls were “pulled from the medium.”
“I tried to choose some that were significant,” he said.
Herb said that books were significant because of many different reasons whether historical, influential or relevant to the times.
He said that in particular, he chose the book “Where the Wild Things Are” because of its fame and because [Maurice] Sendak died last year.”
Herb said the Caldecott Award has been around since 1938. It is a companion to the Newbury Award, Herb said.
The award is given each year by the Association for Library Service to Children, which is a division of the American Library Association.
He said it was started to celebrate the best-illustrated children’s picture book.
“It’s achieved its purpose,” he said.
Herb said the award was named after Randolph Caldecott, a nineteenth-century English illustrator. Caldecott was different than other illustrators of his time, he said.
“[Caldecott] was very child oriented,” Herb said. “He [did] not illustrate in the painted way.”
Herb said that each year, a committee comes together on three separate occasions to choose that year’s winner.
“You end up looking at well over a thousand picture books,” he said.
The committee is made of 15 members, he said. Each member nominates seven books and on the third meeting, the group spends an entire weekend deciding the winner.
The winner receives a gold seal and other books receive a silver “Honor” seal, Herb said.
Student Hannah Burks said she thought it was a neat idea for the exhibit to be set up in an area with computers because so many students are there to see it.
“I think it’s a good idea because there is a lot of traffic,” Burks (junior-English and philosophy) said.
She said that she could relate to the books because some were from her childhood.
Burks said she thought that a lot of the ones that were displayed were “iconic.”
After the exhibit is taken down, it will be shared with a local grade school teacher who is doing a unit on literature with his students, Grigor said.
“He thought this would inspire [the children],” she said.