Letter from Rachel Alexander to Patricia Polacco


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Letter from Rachel Alexander to Patricia Polacco is text, with genre letter. Its dimensions are 11 in. x 8.5 in..

It was created on Tuesday, December 5, 1995.

Rachel Alexander is the Contributor. Rachel Alexander is the Author.

This is a copy of a letter sent from Rachel Alexander to author Patricia Polacco, announcing her selection as the first winner of the Jo Osborne Award for Humor in Children's Literature, which was established in memory of librarian Jo Osborne. In the letter, Alexander writes that, although future winners of the award would be chosen by a committee of those involved with children's literature, Osborne had specifically wished for Polacco to be selected as the first winner.

Polacco is the author and illustrator of over 115 books for children, including "Thunder Cake" and "Thank You, Mr. Falker." In addition to her children's writing, Polacco holds a Ph.D. in Art History. She has traveled extensively and is a promoter of international friendships and understanding as well as a supporter of projects in the U.S. to support literacy and conflict resolution.

Jo Osborne was a children's librarian at Worthington Libraries from 1979 until her death at age 59 in 1995. The Jo Osborne Award for Humor in Children's Literature was established in 1996 to honor her commitment to bringing children, books and humor together. The award recognizes the art of humor in either a single children's book or in the body of work of a children's literature author. As described in the brochure for the award, Jo "sought out the silly, the funny, the poignant, the witty for storytelling and puppet shows to impart a love of books to all the children who were lucky enough to cross her path" during her years as a librarian.

As described in the letter, Polacco received her award on February 9, 1996, during a ceremony at The Ohio State University's Children's Literature Conference. Polacco donated her $500 award to the Worthington Library, where it was used to install a painting of a scene from "Thunder Cake" that continues to hang in the children's area at the Old Worthington Library to this day.

In addition to Polacco's receipt of the award in 1996, the other Jo Osborne Award winners were Sid Fleischman (1997), Steven Kellogg (1998), Jon Scieszka (1999), William Steig (2000), Rosemary Wells (2001), Kevin Henkes (2002), Tomie dePaola (2003), Paula Danzinger (2004), Daniel Pinkwater (2010), and Betsy Lewin (2011).

Rachel Alexander was the chairperson for the Jo Osborne Award selection committee. She worked for Worthington Libraries from 1976 to 1985, and again from 1997 to 2008; during that time she served many roles, including community services librarian, children’s librarian, youth services manager and youth services materials selector.

The letter pictured here has been altered to remove addresses and phone numbers of the recipient and sender.

The original is in a private collection.

This file was reformatted digital in the format video/jpeg.

The Worthington Memory identification code is wcd0578.

This metadata record was human prepared by Worthington Libraries on March 3, 2023. It was last updated March 29, 2023.