Love Grows Everywhere is the 2023 winner of the Frances and Wesley Bock Book Award for Children’s Literature.
The award will be presented remotely to author Barry Timms and illustrator Tisha Lee on Wednesday, October 25, at 10:30 a.m. in the Student Multipurpose Hall. Tiffany McGregor, library director, will facilitate a Q&A with Timms and Lee after the presentation.
The book tells the story of a young girl who loves to make plants grow. Her actions are a metaphor for the care that is required to build strong relationships.
The Bookseller describes Love Grows Everywhere as “a gentle, lyrical story, celebrating the different kinds of love in a community.”
Reviewer Michelle Anne Schingler writes, “This bubbly picture book embraces a whole world’s worth of love, with examples drawn from all around us. The rhyming text eschews dressed-up notions of affection, reminding the audience that love doesn’t require a show ... Family love and community love are celebrated side by side, and every shade of human is centered in these uplifting pages.”
Timms is an award-winning storyteller who lives in London. His books include This is NOT A Unicorn!, The Twelve Green Days of Christmas, Where Happiness Lives, and Noah and the Starbird.
Lee lives in northern California. Love Grows Everywhere is her first book.
Faculty and staff are invited to bring their children to the event.
The Bock Book Award acknowledges Franciscan values in children’s books and gives each year’s winner a prize of $750, a plaque, and a gold emblazoned emblem for the book. Criteria for the award include text that is values-oriented, interesting and stimulating for ages 3-8 years, and pleasing and aesthetic. Both the text and illustrations should promote a moral attitude and/or action.
It is named in honor of Frances and Wesley Bock, co-owners of a store in Philadelphia that provided equipment, clothing, and supplies to religious institutions. Because of a long business relationship with the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, they grew to know the Sisters well and began making contributions to the order.
When the Bocks passed away, their estate went to their nephew, William Gagliardi, who was then a Neumann University staff member. In consultation with the university library, Gagliardi established the Bock Book Award for Children’s Literature in their memory.
The award has been presented every year since 2000 with the exception of 2020 during the global COVID-19 pandemic.