The John Newbery Medal for this year’s outstanding contribution to children’s literature was awarded to The One and Only Ivan, by Katherine Applegate. It was inspired by the real-life story of a gorilla in Tacoma, Washington named Ivan who “became a celebrity after being placed with a large group of gorillas in the Atlanta zoo, where he made paintings and signed them with a thumbprint.” This is Ms. Applegate’s first Newbery Award, although she has authored numerous books for children. The Newbery award, regarded as the most prestigious honor in children’s literature, was announced Monday by the American Library Association at its midwinter meeting in Seattle. Also announced was the Randolph Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished picture book for children. This year the ALA presented the award to This Is Not My Hat, by Jon Klassen, about a little fish who has stolen a hat and suffers for it. Yesterday’s article in the New York Times has more about the awards.