0439813786.01. Sclzzzzzzz Ss500 The midwinter American Library Association meeting is taking place in Philadelphia this week, and yesterday’s session included an avalanche of award announcements. The PW link has all of them but we’ll skim along for those of interest to the comics world.

First off, and the big one, Brian Selznick won the 2008 Randolph Caldecott Medal for The Invention of Hugo Cabret, a thick, genre-busting book that combined words, pictures and pictures with words. It’s a very significant win in that most Caldecott winners are picture books — Cabret’s win definitely opens up the category.

Sometime animator/cartoonist Mo Willems was named a Caldecott Honor Book with Knuffle Bunny Too: A Case of Mistaken Identity

The Mildred L. Batchelder Award for best work of translation went to Viz Media for Brave Story by Miyuki Miyabe, translated by Alexander O. Smith. The Batchelder Honors book included Nicholas and the Gang by René Goscinny and Jean-Jacques Sempé, translated by Anthea Bell.

Willems won again with There Is a Bird on Your Head! which took home The Theodor Seuss Geisel Award for beginning reader books.

Occasional Iron Man scripter Orson Scott Card was presented with The Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime contribution in writing for young adults,

Finally, the Alex Awards were presented by YALSA, the Young Adult librarians group, and Jeff Lemire’s Essex County Volume 1: Tales from the Farm, published by Top Shelf Publications was named to the list, the first graphic novel since Persepolis.

The Alex Awards were created to recognize that many teens enjoy and often prefer books written for adults, and to assist librarians in recommending adult books that appeal to teens.

H/T for that last item: Blog @Congrats to all the winners!

Heed our words: 2008 is going to be the year of the children’s comic as never before.