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Practically Paradise
Inside Practically Paradise

Henry Bergh Book Award

During ALA Annual many awards are given. Being the practical person I am, I hate receiving praise and applause. I prefer receiving my personal notes from people and prizes in my mailbox/email-box.  Still I enjoy praising others and acknowledging their successes. It's even better when there's food involved. During ALA Annual in Toronto I had a time with no meetings to attend. Having brought with me every single postcard/invitation I had received in the mail, I worked my way through nearly every event I could to totally immerse myself in the conference experience. One of my very favorite events was discovering the ASPCA's Henry Bergh Book Awards and Honors reception with cookies! Chocolate chip cookies, no less! 

I had never heard of this award, although I was familiar with many animal groups. I was impressed by what I saw and explored the ASPCA more thoroughly online after conference. During Hurricane Katrina last year many of us witnessed the suffering of the animals and their owners. At that time I was so very proud to be a member of ASPCA to support the work they did.

This year legendary My Side of the Mountain author Jean Craighead George will receive the ASPCA® Roger Caras Achievement Award during ALA Annual in Washington, DC. You are invited to attend the cocktail reception after the exhibits close on Monday, June 25, 5:30 P.M. to 7:30 P.M. at the Renaissance Ballroom East at the Renaissance Washington Hotel, 999 9th St NW, Washington, D.C.  Please be sure to RSVP to so they have enough! If you have further questions about the awards, be sure to email Miriam directly at I appreciate Miriam's calling me today so I could double check all my facts.

Like to learn more about these awards? From their website on the Humane Education Department one person behind is Miriam Ramos:
Miriam launched the ASPCA® Henry Bergh Children's Book Award in 2000 and today, the popular award program includes the ASPCA® Henry Bergh Illustration Award, ASPCA® Henry Bergh Young Adult Award and ASPCA® Roger Caras Award.  Miriam has spearheaded the creation of, a website offering tips, articles, lessons, and features for educators, librarians, and parents.  

“Children's experience with books plays an important role in their learning process and their willingness to read.  Books are more than just words, they teach valuable lessons.  Humane literature involves choosing books that promote humane values and are good literature.  A humane book not only entertains children, but provides accurate information about animals and promotes character traits such as compassion, responsibility, and care.   To assist parents, educators and librarians with choosing a book about animals that instills humane values, the ASPCA created an on-line children's bibliography that includes award-winning books from the ASPCA Henry Bergh Children's Book Award program for students of all ages. This searchable database of hundreds of children's books allows parents, educators, and students to find accurate and humane literature on animals and the environment.”

You can find out more about the awards and past recipients at the ASPCA website.  Be sure to check out the resources for teachers. My ASPCA titles are extremely popular with my elementary students (and their older siblings).I am always amazed to discover great titles that I have missed somehow. 

Who else will be at the reception? Special guest ASPCA Special Investigator Joe Pentangelo (catch him in action on the award-winning Animal Planet series, Animal Precinct). This is a wonderful feel-good event that you definitely don't want to miss. Just be sure to RSVP so they have enough for me to get my treats. Having two dogs & a cat in the house I know the importance of having enough treats!

For those of you who are award buffs, I'll see you at the AASL Awards Luncheon. (I was on a committee, not a recipient. Thank goodness!) Keep telling us about the special awards we should be highlighting.