I've been a fan of the Cybils Awards ever since they were first announced. They do for children's books what the Fids and Kamily Awards do for kids music -- use the talents of a bunch of people who spend a lot of time thinking and writing about that particular art form to come up with a consensus list of the best of the year.
Well, now I'm very much a part of it on the books side, too.
That's right, I'm one of the judges for the 2008 Cybils. Specifically, I'm a Round II judge in the Fiction Picture Book category. What that means is that once the Round I Panelists narrow the nominations down to 5 or so of the best fiction picture books of they, I'll be one of the judges picking the eventual winner.
Why me? Well, I gotta tell you, our family's got 4 library cards and we're not afraid to use 'em. Mo Willems, P.D. Eastman, Ezra Jack Keats -- we read 'em all. Little Boy Blue is in prime picture book age (he's currently got a slightly weird attraction to Jez Allborough's Cuddly Duddley), and Miss Mary Mack has no problem downshifting and going back to some picture book favorites. So if there was any category made for me, this is it.
Anyway, nominations open October 1 -- anyone can nominate a book -- and I'll be sure to remind you...