But thankfully, I listen to my wife, scrapped the lame jokes and it was such a wildly successful night for all involved. Huge props to the Children's Book Council and Every Child a Reader for throwing such a fabulous party. It seems just about everyone with an ISBN was there that evening. Here are a few photographic highlights:
In the weeks leading up to the CCBA gala, I threw lots of stuff out on the social networks, mostly in jest. One week, I posted that I would demand only yellow M&Ms backstage and asked if people could give me more suggestions for my hosting contract. Imagine my surprise then, when before the program began, the CBC crew presented me with this gift for hosting the festivities.
|This brings the diva level to a whole new level—that's my face!|
First rule as host, coordinate your outfit with the set.
When it came time for me to introduce this year's Newbery and Caldecott medalists, Snooki stormed the stage. She always seems to be turning up where those award winners are . . .
Snooki was, of course, Jon Scieszka. Now Jon gets a lot of credit for getting dulled up like this, but his wife Jeri made him look like this and his daughter Casey lived through this. How did this happen, you might ask? Well when Snooki was on the Today Show back in January, I knew this would be ripe for lampooning. And I knew Scieszka was the man for the job. So right before he took the Meltdown stage back in March, I made sure to ask him in front of his wife. He wasn't so sure, his wife thought it was hysterical. And there you go . . .
Another fake social media update that I threw out there was that I was planning a musical number. And The Flannery Brothers responded with, "Let us know what you need!" Little did they know . . .
LeVar was every bit as awesome as one would hope he'd be. More so! In rehearsals, he asked, "What tone are you singing in?" I replied, "Tone deaf." Afterwards, LeVar pulled me aside and told me my voice was better than I was giving myself credit for. Wow - if LeVar can make me feel better about my voice, he really is the nicest person in the world. (Hear my voice for yourself in the video below.) What a thrill for me though—I grew up with Reading Rainbow. As a kid, when I saw the Reading Rainbow logo on a book, I knew that book was for me!
Congratulations to all of the winners. Here's a full list:
Author of the Year
Rick Riordan for The Lost Hero (The Heroes of Olympus, Book 1) (Disney-Hyperion)
Illustrator of the Year
David Wiesner for Art & Max (Clarion/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Kindergarten to Second Grade Book of the Year
Little Pink Pup by Johanna Kerby (Putnam/Penguin)
Third Grade to Fourth Grade Book of the Year
Lunch Lady and the Summer Camp Shakedown by Jarrett J. Krosoczka (Knopf/Random
Fifth Grade to Sixth Grade Book of the Year
The Red Pyramid (The Kane Chronicles, Book 1) by Rick Riordan (Disney-Hyperion)
Teen Choice Book of the Year
Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan (Dutton/Penguin)
A few videos did surface on the Internets. I will warn you ahead of time, I do not have a good singing voice. And this seriously was a huge act of bravery on my part to sing in front of people, but here I am singing the Reading Rainbow theme song:
And here's Snookieszka trying to hijack the show: