Library announces picture book champions

Library announces picture book champions

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Emma S. Clark Memorial Library. File photo by Michael Ruiz

Put it in the books: Emma S. Clark Memorial Library has announced the winners for the Helen Stein Shack picture book award, a contest which showcases the young writing and artistic talent in the Three Village Community.

The grand prize for grades seven through nine went to “Good Night, Judy,” by Katie Zhao. Honorable mention went to “Rainbow,” by Nicole Freeley.

The grand prize for grades 10 through 12 went to “Sal the Sock,” by Michelle Pacala. Honorable mention went to “Honu,” by Samantha White.

“Good Night, Judy,” by Katie is a story with a familiar subject that many young children and their parents can relate to — a girl’s fear of the dark and the noises in her home at night.

“Sal the Sock,” by Pacala is a fun, colorful book whose story is told in a sing song, rhyming tone about a sock who loses his friends in the laundry.

Winning authors will be recognized at a private awards ceremony at Emma Clark Library on April 17, 2016, at 2 p.m. At the reception, a $500 scholarship will be awarded to both grand-prize winners, and bound books for all winning entries will be presented and added to the library’s Local Focus Collection.

In addition, an e-book will be created and made available for all winning entries. Light refreshments will be served at the reception, and desserts are once again being generously donated by The Bite Size Bake Shop, a local Three Village business.

All contest entrants will receive a certificate of participation at the awards ceremony. They will also be given the opportunity, on another date, to record a video reading their book for Community Service credit.

After the awards, at 3 p.m. on April 17, there will be a special story time of the grand prize-winning books. All Three Village residents may register on the library’s website,, for this unique opportunity — to hear the newest winners read their books for the first time — beginning April 1.

The Helen Stein Shack book contest called for teens in grades seven through 12 who live in the Three Village Central School District to create a children’s picture book. Each entry could be the work of a single author/illustrator or a collaborative effort.

The contest was divided into two grade categories, grades 7 through 9 and grades 10 through 12, with one grand prize winner from each group, as well as an honorable mention winner from each category.

This award is given in memory of Helen Stein Shack by her family. As a teacher, Mrs. Shack was committed to the education of children and she especially loved literature written for them.

She was a frequent visitor to the library where, even in retirement, she kept current with the latest children’s books.

At least year’s awards ceremony, Sherry Cleary, daughter of the late Helen Stein Shack, told the audience that the teens who enter this contest “demonstrate empathy, creativity, intellect and a tenacity. This looks sweet, but it is really hard work.”