The Golden Duck Awards encourage science fiction literature for children and are presented every year at Worldcon, the convention of the World Science Fiction Society.
This year’s picture book award goes to Pam Smallcomb, author of Earth to Clunk (illustrated by Joe Berger, published by Penguin, Ages 4 to 8).
"Rarely have school letter-writing exercises been so much fun," wrote Kirkus Reviews.
“The unnamed narrator's teacher has come up with an unusual writing assignment: send a letter and "something from Earth" to an alien pen pal named Clunk … The boy sends Clunk his big sister ("THAT will teach him to have a pen pal from Earth"), but Clunk refuses to take the bait, sending instead a cute, friendly, and floating puffball named Zoid, who soon becomes the boy's avid companion… Smallcomb expertly channels a sarcastic kid who's secretly a softie, while Berger's expressive cartooning conveys the maniacal glee of a character who can't wait to one-up his frenemy." Publishers Weekly
Earth to Clunk has also won the 2012 Wanda Gag Read Aloud Book Award, sponsored by the Curriculum Materials Center at Minnesota State University Moorhead. Nineteen regional teachers and librarians, along with 110 MSUM students, read aloud 313 picture books to approximately 20,400 children to select the winning book.
Brand new Guild member Hena Kahn has also won a Golden Duck Award – the Eleanor Cameron Award for Middle Grades - for Worst-Case Scenario Ultimate Adventure #2: Mars! written with David Borgenicht and published by Chronicle Books, ages 9 to 12. The young reader guides the action in this adventure. School Library Journal says it “offers a successful combination of interactive fiction and nonfiction that reluctant readers will likely welcome.”