2 Birds: New National Ambassador for Young People's Literature and New Look

Bird #1: I am sure that those of you who are interested in this kind of thing already know that, on Tuesday, January 5, 2010, two time winner of the Newbery Medal and the National Book Award Katherine Paterson was named the new National Ambassador for Young People's Literature. Paterson takes the helm from the first ever ambassador, Jon Scieszka. And I had finally mastered the spelling of his name... Now it will take me months to remember that Katherine spells her last name with one "t," not two. But, I will have lots of practice. While I have read many of Paterson's books (my husband and I took turns reading Jacob I Have Loved while I was in labor with my second child. Weird, yes, but a memory that sticks with you) I have yet to review one here.

Besides being the author of 38 novels and picture books, Paterson is the vice president of The National Children's Book and Literacy Alliance which is an organization of award winning authors and illustrators working together to make "issues related to young people's literacy, literature, and libraries an ongoing priority for." The NCBLA develops special projects aimed at promoting literacy, literature and libraries as well as educating the public about practical literacy solutions. Paterson is also an Alida Curtis Lifetime Member of the United States Board on Books for Young People, which promotes international understanding and good will through books for children and teenagers as well as a Lifetime Member of the International Board on Books for Young People, which represents a network of people from all over the world who are committed to bringing books and children together.

If you would like to know more about Katherine Paterson, who she is, where she came from and what her agenda for the next two years might hold, check out books business reporter for the New York Times, Motoko Rich's, article from 1/4/10, New Envoy's Old Advice for Children: Read More.

Bird #2: On a significantly less important note, I am changing the face of my blog in the interest of being able to present images in a better format. I LOVE being able to add pieces of the brilliant art work from books I am writing about, as well as other images, and I have been frustrated with the clutter and cramped quarters of my old layout. I know this is boring and I may change back, but for now, for the new year, it feels clean and crisp! Hope you like it, or at least don't loath it. All labels and other good stuff are now at the BOTTOM of the page. As always,


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