Illustrator Beth Krommes (right) gave participants at the Children's Literature Conference at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania a thrill when she held up the Randolph Caldecott Medal she received in 2009 for "The House in the Night" (right). The audience gasped when she passed the actual medal around so everyone in the audience could have the experience of holding the most prestigious award an illustrator of children's books can receive (left).
Krommes told about the excitement of getting a phone call to be sure to watch the broadcast of an awards announcement in which she would be named the Caldecott winner. As part of the ritual, each year the winner of the Caldecott (for illustration) and the Newbery (for writing) appear together on NBC's Today Show. Krommes appeared with legendary Neil Gaiman who had received the John Newbery Award for writing "The Graveyard Book".
Krommes told stories about having to quickly get her hair done and buy a new outfit before flying to New York City with her family to appear with Al Roker on the Today show and immediately receiving thousands of calls and emails from friends and well-wishers. Winning the Caldecott is one of the most exciting things that can happen to someone who loves children's book illustrating.
Click on the heading above to go to Beth Krommes' site and see her appearance on the Today Show.