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Curtis, Taback Take Newbery, Caldecott
Diane Roback -- 1/24/00

The highlight of the American Library Association's annual midwinter meeting is always the Monday morning announcement of the winners of the top two prizes in children's books, and this year proved no exception. The 2000 winner of the John Newbery Medal was Christopher Paul Curtis, author of the novel Bud, Not Buddy, published by Delacorte and edited by Wendy Lamb. The Randolph Caldecott Medal went to Simms Taback for his picture book Joseph Had a Little Overcoat, published by Viking and edited by Regina Hayes.

Delacorte had gone to press four times already for Bud, Not Buddy, for a total of 65,000 copies in print; a fifth printing of 100,000 copies was ordered just after the announcement. Viking's first printing of 30,000 for Joseph will be augmented by a two-tiered second printing of 100,000 as well.

There were three Newbery Honor Books: Getting Near to Baby by Audrey Couloumbis (Putnam); 26 Fairmount Avenue, written and illustrated by Tomie dePaola (Putnam); and Our Only May Amelia by Jennifer L. Holm (HarperCollins).

Four Caldecott Honor Books were announced as well: Sector 7 by David Weisner (Clarion); The Ugly Duckling, adapted and illustrated by Jerry Pinkney, based on the fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen (Morrow); When Sophie Gets Angry--Really, Really Angry by Molly Bang (Scholastic/Blue Sky); and A Child's Calendar, illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman, written by John Updike (Holiday House).

Newbery Medalist Curtis was also given the Coretta Scott King Author Award, which recognizes excellence by African-American authors; the Illustrator Award went to Brian Pinkney, illustrator of In the Time of the Drums, written by Kim L. Siegelson (Hyperion/ Jump at the Sun).

The first winner of the brand-new Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in literature for young adults was Walter Dean Myers, for his novel Monster (HarperCollins). The award honors the late Michael L. Printz, a school librarian, known for discovering and promoting quality books for young adults. Three Printz Honor Books were announced: Hard Love by Ellen Wittlinger (Simon & Schuster); Skellig by David Almond (Delacorte); and Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson (FSG).

In other awards news, Walker & Co. won the Mildred L. Batchelder Award for The Baboon King by Anton Quintana, translated by John Nieuwenhuizen; the award g s to the best children's book first published in a foreign language in a foreign country and translated into English for publication in the United States. Chris Crutcher was named the 2000 recipient of the Margaret A. Edwards Award honoring lifetime contribution in writing for teens.

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