Neumann University celebrated the tenth anniversary of the Bock Book Award on Tuesday, October 6, by awarding the prize to Zen Ties by Jon Muth. The Frances and Wesley Bock Book Award for Children’s Literature is awarded each year by the Neumann University Library and the Neumann Institute for Franciscan Studies.
According to the book, Zen Ties is a disarming story of compassion and friendship that reaffirms the importance of our ties to one another. Muth was on campus with his family to accept the award from President Mirenda and Mike Powell from the Neumann Library. Muth read his story to children from the Child Development Center and demonstrated some ink illustrations for the children.
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 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; Each Living Thing by Joanne Ryder, illustrated by Ashley Wolff, 2001; and Saint Francis and the Christmas Donkey by Robert Byrd, 2000.