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Word by Word

My Trip to the National Book Festival , or Tim and Judy's Excellent Adventure

Author Judy Cox with Sara, Katie and Susan at the National Book Festival
Wow! What a stupendous trip! My husband and I flew to Washington, D. C. on Friday, September 23. Picture acres of white tents pitched on the National Mall between the Washington monument and the Capitol building. Like the book lover I am, I'd seen the festival on C-SPAN's BOOK TV channel, and it gave me thrills to be there in person.

I helped to host the Oregon table and the Pavilion of States. Every child (adults, too) attending the Festival got a paper map (with MY book, "Don't Be Silly, Mrs. Millie!" listed on the back). The kids took the maps around to each state table, plus Guam and American Samoa to get them stamped.

After the even, we met the librarians, Sara and Katie, and Oregon children's author Deborah Hopkinson and her son for a crab cake dinner at Union Station.

The next couple of days were packed with sightseeing. I'd seen the White House on an earlier visit, so my husband and I opted to visit the Giant Pandas at the National Zoo instead. We watched the pandas do what they do best--eat and sleep. An adult panda can eat up to 40 pounds of bamboo a day!

A few days later, we boarded the Amtrak train and took trains all across the entire country. We traveled through fourteen states! We got to eat in the dining car and sleep in teeny-tiny berths in a roomette. What an amazing trip!

Thanks to everyone at the Library of Congress and Oregon Center for the Book for inviting me!  Read More 
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Mrs. Millie Goes to Washington, D. C.

Mrs. Millie is going to the National Book Festival!
Mrs. Millie is going to Washington, D. C.! I've been invited to help host the Oregon table at the Pavilion of States at the National Book Festival in Washington, D. C. on Saturday, September 24, 2011.

Each year, a different Oregon author is invited, and I'm so proud and excited to have been chosen. What an honor to represent Oregon literature! My book, "Don't Be Silly, Mrs. Millie!" will be listed on the map of the states. Participants take the map to the state tables and get them stamped. I'll get to visit with readers from all across the country. Maybe I'll even see the First Lady and her children--or the First Grandma!

I'm thrilled to be going to Washington, D. C. I haven't been there since 1965--when my whole family drove from California to New York to see the World's Fair. I'll bet things have changed just a little bit! Who knows, maybe I'll have material for a new book when I get back!  Read More 
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And the Winners Are....

Judy Cox
Monday was a big day in the world of kidlit. The ALA Youth Media Awards were announced. The awards are the equivalent of the Oscars for children's book authors, illustrators, and publishers.

The awards, given by the American Library Association, are announced during the ALA January conference. In 2005, Elbrite Brown won the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award for New Talent for his gorgeous cut paper illustrations for my book "My Family Plays Music". Amazingly, I didn't find out for two weeks!

This year's Newbery Award went to "Moon Over Manifest" by Clare Vanderpool.

The Caldecott (for picture book illustration) went to "A Sick Day for Amos McGee,” illustrated by Erin E. Stead and written by Philip C. Stead.

I'm looking forward to reading these books, along with the other award winners and honor books. I don't always agree with the committee's selections--my most frequent complaint is some of the books seem to have less kid appeal than adult appeal--but I know that a Newbery or Caldecott winner will always be beautifully crafted, adding breadth and depth to the world of children's literature.

What were some of your favorite books this year?  Read More 
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