July 2002 – Newbery: Sun., June 16, Part 3

The limo ride to the banquet. From left, Dinah Stevenson and my writing partner
Marsha Hayles (barely visible); then back to front, my daughter Anna, me, and
two-time Caldecott Medalist, two-time Honor winner (wow!) David Wiesner.

I’ve gotten a lot of questions about what I wore—believe me, finding the right dress was as difficult as writing the speech! The dress was ice blue, almost silver, spaghetti straps, very straight and simple, with a little beading here and there in two tones of pink, and a matching jacket, also beaded. The ballroom lighting had an interesting effect on the color—I heard some accounts that the dress was pale green and others that it was ivory. I wore the pearls my mother had given me as a wedding present, with a pendant of pink topaz that had been made for the occasion. Although I did a fair bit of agonizing over what to

When I entered the banquet hall, I was taken aback to see two gigantic screens flanking the dais; I had not been warned that each of my pores would be magnified to the size of a quarter. . . Thankfully, I couldn’t see the screens while I spoke. I am pleased to report that dinner was not rubber chicken; it was salmon and filet mignon, and although I was too nervous to eat much, what I did eat was very tasty. Impressive, considering that at least a thousand meals were being served.

Carole Fiore, president of the Association of Library Service for Children, opened the award presentation. Kathleen Odean, chair of this year’s Newbery Award Selection committee, spoke next and presented plaques to Honor winners Polly Horvath (for Everything on a Waffle) and Marilyn Nelson (Carver: A Life in Poems)—both MUST-READS, in my opinion. Then Kathleen introduced me and gave me the Newbery Medal in a beautiful wooden box. (I’m getting goosebumps just typing that. . .) I loved Kathleen’s introductory remarks, and she has graciously given me permission to reprint them here.”

Kathleen Odean’s Award Comments

The text of my speech is available in the July/August issue of Horn Book magazine. I’m grateful to all those who spoke to me afterwards, telling me how much they had enjoyed hearing it. Speechwriting and speechgiving are new for me, so the kind comments were greatly appreciated. And yes, it’s true that I presented the Medal to my father. It was, after all, Father’s Day, and I am very grateful that both

Caldecott committee chair Kate McClellan spoke next and presented plaques to Bryan Collier (Martin’s Big Words, text by Doreen Rappaport); Bryan Selznick (The Dinosaurs of Waterhouse Hawkins, text by Barbara Kerley); and Marc Simont (The Stray Dog). Then she gave the Caldecott Medal to David Wiesner, who now has a remarkable collection-two Caldecott Medals (for The Three Pigs this year and for Tuesday in 1992) and two Honors (Sector 7, 2000 and Free Fall, 1989). David’s speech, also available in the July/August Horn Book, gave great insight into his artistic vision and process. He also did the fabulous cover of that issuecheck it out at the Horn Book website and see if you can spot the joke.

Banquet photos:


With Dinah again.

With my daughter Anna, age 13-and that’s water in her glass, not wine!

With my critique partner Marsha Hayles, author of He Saves the Day
and several other adorable picture books.

With Marjorie Naughton of Clarion marketing (left) and at right, my cut-throat
fashionista tennis-tiger agent Ginger Knowlton of Curtis Brown Ltd.

Daughter Anna, son Sean: toothpaste-ad candidates?

The ‘home team’ at the banquet: Vivian Vande Velde, Mary Jane Auch, Roxane Chadwick, Marsha Hayles.

Opening remarks by Carole Fiore, president of the Association for Library Service
to Children. From left, Carole, Kathleen Odean, and me.

With David Wiesner and Dinah.

A hug after I gave the medal to my dad.

My niece Emma Park records the event!

A big smile of relief after finishing the speech.

My mom, my sister Julie Hubble and my sister-in-law Melanie Marshall-Park.
No, that’s not a weird camera angle-Melanie really is a foot taller than my mom!

Proud parents with the Medal.

My dad lets my nephew Craig Park hold the Medal.

After the speeches, a long receiving line—another wonderful opportunity to meet librarians from all over the country.

From left, facing the camera: Newbery Honor winner Polly Horvath, Cynthia Richey (incoming ALSC President), Honor winner Marilyn Nelson, Caldecott Medalist David Wiesner, Caldecott committee chair Kate McClellan, me, Newbery committee chair Kathleen Odean.

With Marsha and Nancy Quade, my dear friend from Brooklyn. Recognize her name?
Of course you do-it’s on the acknowledgments page of When My Name Was Keoko.
As well as reading the manuscript, Nancy came through with some crucial research
information for me during the writing of that book.

Monday, June 17

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