Hi everyone; Martha Parravano here. All the (much-appreciated) suggestions in the comments on Robin’s last post bring me to a question I’ve wanted to ask for a long time.
I have been evaluating and reviewing picture books for twenty-five years. But in doing so I consider the whole book — the interdependence of text and art; how the book works as a reading experience for a child; how the page turns pace the book; etc.
So when I read some of your suggestions over the weekend (and remember I am new to this game), I reacted like, well, myself — supporting some suggestions and scratching my head at others. Until it finally hit home: this award is NOT for the picture book. It’s for the ART in the picture book.
My question is — to those of you who have served on the Caldecott committee as well as to all you seasoned participants in mock Caldecott discussions: how do you step away from evaluating the book as a whole and look solely at the art? Or…do you?
Just as a reminder, here’s the link to the pertinent Caldecott terms and criteria.