professornana (professornana) wrote,

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The Many Faces of Cybil(s)

For the past several years, I have been a judge on one of the committees for the Cybils. This year I volunteered and was accepted to serve on the Round One judging of fiction picture books. I had read so many picture books over the course of the year, so this seemed to be a good fit for me. I was joined in the process by some folks whose opinions about books I respect and admire including Travis Jonkers (@100scopenotes) and Jen Robinson among others. Our first order of business was to locate and read all of the nominated books. Many, for me, were second readings. All told, there were over 200 books to read. As I read, I keep a list of books I thought might make it to my final list of books to go forward. Early in the process I had about 25 titles (it was a banner year for picture books). Later I whittled the list down to 15 and then to 10. Eventually, as a committee, we discussed our shortlist titles to seek common books and then to put in a plea for a favorite of ours that might not be on other shortlists. All in all the discussion was calm and purposeful and friendly. We reached consensus, wrote our annotations, and awaited the official release of the finalists. You can find our finalists here:

And now, Round Two begins. A new committee reads the finalists and begins the discussion that will result in a winning title. I am so happy I was part of Round One. I would have a very difficult time selecting just one of the finalists. If you are looking for a good place to begin reading the best of 2014, you might begin with this list and with the Nerdies finalists as well. That list is here:

Happy reading!
Tags: nerdies, picture books, sibyls

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