The Ocean Story Wins Bock Book Award

The Ocean Story
The Ocean Story
Bock Book Award
Granny Annie reads the The Ocean Story to children from Neumann's Child Development Center and Drexel Neumann Academy.

Neumann University selected The Ocean Story, written by John Seven and illustrated by Jana Christy, as the 2012 Frances and Wesley Bock Book Award for Children’s Literature. The award was presented on Tuesday, October 9th.

Granny Annie (Ann Wood) was on hand to read the story to students from the Child Development Center and Drexel Neumann Academy. Dr. Rosalie Mirenda, Neumann’s president, accepted the award on behalf of Seven and Christy, who were unable to attend the ceremony.

The book tells the story of the ocean, as old as the earth itself. Overfishing, pollution, and oil spills have highlighted the need to take better care of our oceans so that the story can continue to be told. With poetic, lyrical text and gorgeous illustrations, this book introduces the ocean story to the youngest listeners and offer a platform for questions and discussion from older readers.

Wesley Bock was co-owner of Kilner’s, a store in northcentral Philadelphia that provided equipment, clothing, and supplies to religious institutions. As a sales representative to the Sisters of St. Francis, he grew to be quite fond of the Sisters and began making contributions to the order.

When Wesley passed away, his wife Frances continued the contributions. When she passed away, the estate passed to their nephew, who, in consultation with the library, established the Bock Book Award in their memory.

The award acknowledges Franciscan values in children’s books and gives each year’s winner a prize of $500, a plaque, and a gold emblazoned emblem for the book. The text for the book should be values-oriented, interesting and stimulating for ages 3-8 years, and pleasing and aesthetic. The illustrations should provide support for interpreting the story, instill a reverence for and compassion for all creation, and depict creation, in all of its diversity. Both the text and illustrations should promote a moral attitude and/or action.

Previous winners include Mama Miti by Donna Jo Napoli, Felina’s New Home by Loran Wlodarski; Zen Ties by Jon Muth; We Are One by Dr. Ysaye M. Barnwell, 2008; Brother Juniper by Diane Gibfried, 2007; Daniel and His Walking Stick by Wendy McCormick, 2006; Boxes for Katje by Candace Fleming, 2005; The Boy with a Wish by Harry B. Knights, 2004; In the Blink of an Eye by Dieter Wiesmuller, 2003; Where does God Live? By Holly Bea, illustrated by Kim Howard, 2002; EachLiving Thing by Joanne Ryder, illustrated by Ashley Wolff, 2001; and Saint Francis and the Christmas Donkey by Robert Byrd, 2000.


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