Did you hear about the big event in New York City last night? No, I’m not talking about the Met Gala or Rihanna’s dress. I’m talking about the 8th annual Children’s Choice Book Awards—and you should be too!
Most readers are introduced to literature at a young age, and the right books can foster a lifetime of bookish enjoyment. That’s why we here at Bookish can easily get behind any movement that helps put more books into the hands of readers. The CCBA is sponsored by the Children’s Book Council, and all donations and profits from the event go to Every Child a Reader, an organization that focuses on encouraging the love of literature from a young age.
The CCBA takes the award show experience to a new level by reminding everyone that even awards ceremonies needn’t be so serious. Everything from the hosts to the nominees highlight the joy that reading brings and the amazing things that can happen when books are shared. Here are just a few things that we think make the CCBA the best award show around:
1) There’s food!
Jennifer Lawrence is often heard lamenting on the red carpet about her hunger level and the food she’s planning on scarfing down after the awards are handed out. At the CCBA, all authors left fed and happy. Come join us, JLaw, we even have french fries.
2) There’s no curtain call music
Many a great acceptance speech has been cut short by the cruel sound of the orchestra starting up. It’s just a step up from being yanked off the stage via cane. Thankfully, this doesn’t happen at the CCBA. Instead guests are treated to an impromptu story from Jimmy Gownley (who talked about how the dumbest idea his best friend ever had turned into his CCBA-winning book, The Dumbest Idea Ever!) and an impassioned moment from Brown Girl Dreaming‘s Jacqueline Woodson (who reminded us that while this has been a productive year for inclusively, there’s still more work to do).
3) We can trust the voters
Similar to Nickelodeon’s Kid’s Choice Awards, this is an opportunity for actual readers to make their voices heard. Forget degrees or fancy experience, the most important criteria that these voters require is a passion and love for reading.
4) The kids attend the ceremony and even participate
Rather than sitting through a clip from a movie that you may or may not have seen, the CCBA chooses to showcase their nominees differently. Instead a child from the category’s age group climbs up to the stage with books in hand and reads an excerpt. Few things are more enjoyable than watching a young reader carefully pronounce every word on the page, all while infusing into the excerpt the spirit and personality that the author intended. The crowd laughed and cheered at all the right moments; these kids were a hit.
5) The fashion is unforgettable
When hosts Jon Scieszka and Betsy Bird walked out on stage to “Uptown Funk” in matching bright purple suits, I thought nothing could top it.
And then Matt de la Peña came out to present in a fire engine red suit (and obvi selfied with the crowd):
And when I really thought I had seen it all, Brian Selznick blew everyone away with his colorful and sparkling ensemble:
Next year, I’ll be sure to step up my own fashion game to match.