March 14, 1996
Vol. 15, No. 13

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    Prizes for children's literature established

    in honor of Zena Sutherland The inaugural Zena Sutherland Prizes in Children's Literature -- the first major children's-literature prizes to be judged by children -- will be awarded by the Laboratory Schools on Thursday, March 28, to author and illustrator Marjorie Priceman and illustrator Ed Young.

    Priceman, who will accept the awards on behalf of both honorees, will give two lectures, at 8:15 and 9:50 a.m. Thursday, March 28, in Max Palevsky Cinema. The lectures are open to the public.

    The creation of the Sutherland Prizes recognizes the contributions of University alumna and Professor Emeritus Zena Sutherland, one of the nation's leading authorities on children's literature. The contest was supported with a grant from the Heineman Family Fund.

    Donna Schatt, a librarian at the Laboratory Schools, worked with teachers Philip Matsikas and Karen Putman to establish the prizes, which are intended to increase student interest in books by boosting their appreciation of the creators of children's literature.

    Students in third, fourth and fifth grades reviewed the seven nominated titles and discussed and compared the different illustrators and their styles.

    The students also designed a statuette to be given to prize recipients. Much of the design work was done by sixth-grader Zsuzsanna Babai.

    In voting on the nominations, the students awarded the prizes for Best Overall Picture Book and Best Text to Priceman for her book How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World (1994). Young was selected Best Illustrator for his work on Iblis (1994), a rich interpretation of the Garden of Eden story based in Islamic religious tradition.

    Students reviewing the books were exuberant in their praise. A student wrote of How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World, "This is a tongue-in-cheek way to gather the ingredients for an apple pie. The reader is whisked away with the main character around the world just to make an apple pie. What a concept!"

    Another student wrote, "This is a terribly good book. Priceman really thought about the book. She has a clever way of writing. It can even help kids with their sense of agricultural locations. She even put a recipe for apple pie at the end of the book. Yum!"

    Sutherland, who is Professor Emeritus in the University's former Graduate Library School, co-wrote the classic children's- literature text Children and Books, now in its eighth edition.

    She received her A.B. in English in 1937 and her A.M. in library science in 1966, both from Chicago. She joined the University faculty in 1972 and was editor of the Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books from 1958 to 1986.