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KAREN CUSHMAN AND Peggy Rathmann were awarded the top honors in children's books on January 22. The 1996 John Newbery Award was given to Cushman for her novel The Midwife's Apprentice (Clarion), edited by Dinah Stevenson, and the 1996 Randolph Caldecott Medal went to Rathmann for her picture book Officer Buckle and Gloria (Putnam), edited by Arthur Levine.
Both winners are relative newcomers to children's books; Rathmann's first book, Ruby the Copycat, was published in 1991, while Cushman's debut, Catherine, Called Birdy, came out in 1994, and won a 1995 Newbery Honor.
The awards are given annually by the Association for Library Science to Children, a division of …