ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Several award winners turned to song to accept their honors at this year's American Library Association conference.
Among the songsters were: Daniel Handler and Maira Kalman, authors of "Why We Broke Up" (Little, Brown, $19.99, ages 14 up); Shane Evans, author/illustrator of "Underground" (Roaring Brook Press, $16.99, ages 5-8); and Kirby Heybourne, narrator of the audiobook version of "Rotters" (Listening Library/Random House, $55, ages 14 up).
The audiobook version of "Rotters," a novel written by Daniel Kraus, received the 2012 Odyssey Award, given annually to the best audiobook for children or teens. At the Odyssey Award ceremony on June 25, Mr. Heybourne feted librarians in a brief song titled "I'm a Librarian."
His song rhymed "librarian" with words like "humanitarian" and featured a stanza that stated: "If you prick us, do we not ... READ?"
Mr. Evans, who won the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award for "Underground," began his acceptance speech at the June 24 event by pulling out his guitar and singing a song he had written for the occasion. The Coretta Scott King book awards highlight the best works annually by African-American illustrators and authors.
Like his book, Mr. Evans' song focused on the importance of freedom for all, and he led the hundreds of librarians at the event in a rousing chorus of "I'm walkin' my way to freedom."
On the evening of June 25, Mr. Handler and Ms. Kalman received a standing ovation at the Michael Printz Awards ceremony. The Printz Award is given annually to the best-written book for teens; several honor -- or runner-up -- books also are usually chosen.
In accepting their Printz Honor for "Why We Broke Up," the authors performed a deadpan ditty underlining the importance of librarians "from cradle to grave." Mr. Handler, also known for writing "A Series of Unfortunate Events" under the pseudonym Lemony Snicket, played the accordion and sang, while Ms. Kalman provided "percussion" by tapping shoes on a tabletop, popping a plastic bag, etc.
Here's the chorus:
"Without librarians, we'd be dumb,
"We wouldn't know our elbows from our bums,
"Librarians are our friends
"And we should take good care of them
"Because without them, we'd be D ... U ... M!"
Karen MacPherson, the children's/teen librarian at the Takoma Park, Md., Library, can be reached at Kam.Macpherson@gmail.com. First Published July 3, 2012 12:00 AM