Well, it’s getting down to the wire here. It won’t be long before Lolly and I put together the ballot for you to vote on. In the meantime, I am going to briefly talk about a few books that are still on my personal stack. I need to make up time if I am going to squeeeeeeeze them in before the ballot comes out.
I am not sure why I didn’t talk about Baby Bear Sees Blue before now. It’s a lovely book about a little bear discovering the world through the questions she asks her steady, loving mother. Wolff is a prolific illustrator and writer and there seems to be no artistic technique she has not employed. This time she uses linoleum block printing which is later watercolored. She wrings every bit of color out of her watercolor too! The linoleum blocks are chockablock full of surprises and rewards for the young reader: little birds and other animals, bright fruit. The title page alone is filled with visual foreshadowing of most of the colors that will follow. It’s subtle what she does and I love it.
Like other Caldecott winners that respect the intelligence of very young readers (I am thinking of Kevin Henkes in particular here), Wolff builds a world slowly and the world is exciting, yet familiar and comforting to the young reader. I especially appreciate the use of the color black, which is the warm and safe cave…and the Mama Bear herself. If only every little person had a Mama Bear like this one!
Is there enough here for the committee?