I have been looking forward to today for a long time.
I was giddy when I found out that I wouldn’t have to keep checking my phone during my lunch and prep periods to see what was going on because I could definitely get one of the virtual seats for the Great Big Announcements taking place in Seattle this morning because I could watch it with my students.
And I’d email the Jr. Librarian all the excitement so he could see it when he got home.
But then Mother Nature swooped in and we ended up with an Ice Day. For both of us.
So instead of watching with a room full of teenagers and one excited teacher’s aide, I’ll be watching it with a really really REALLY excited first grader.
While we’re snuggled up on the couch still in our PJs.
(At 11 AM EST. Don’t judge.)
I know no matter who wins, there were some incredible books that I fell in love with last year. Same for my son. Ditto for my students. Our lists of favorites are varied. If you put any 15 of us in a room and had us attempt to name the best of the best, it would be a struggle.
And we’d love not one of those titles we loved before any less.
But I read Kate Messner’s beautiful poem again this morning – the one she wrote for the authors and illustrators who don’t get the shiny sticker – and I kept thinking about how authors don’t necessarily get to experience what we do every day at school. We teachers and librarians are fortunate enough to overhear the, “You have GOT to read this!” and the “The best book I’ve ever read…” and see the pages turned furiously, eyes wide with focus, drawing in every detail of the world they’re seeing for the first time – or the hundredth.
We need an Author/Illustrator Appreciation Day.
Or better yet WEEK.
And what better week to have it than this week?
Wouldn’t it be lovely to flood our favorite authors with those stories, those images, those overheard words, and the realities that – award or no award – their books have created readers?
Cheer on your favorites, celebrate the winners, and thank the authors of the books you love for the magic they have given us.