Every January, a new cycle begins: as the 2017 Caldecott committee makes their choices and ends their service (thank you, 2017 Caldecott Committee!), the 2018 Caldecott committee begins their work. We are pleased to say that this year we will attempt to echo that work as the year unfolds. Members of the 2018 committee are already on the lookout for contenders amongst the new books they are seeing in their libraries, schools, and bookstores — and in the boxes the publishers are perhaps already sending them. Here at the Horn Book we are looking at 2017 books, too, and over the next months we’ll be sharing what we are seeing with you. A tantalizing jacket here; a picture-book review there. Even more helpful (we hope) will be occasional posts from several members of recent Caldecott committees, who will be sharing with us their insights into the Caldecott schedule and process as well as some of the challenges and issues the committees face. Look for a post by 2016 Caldecott chair Rachel Payne soon.
But back to the new, eligible-for-the-2018-Caldecott books we are beginning to see … and speaking of cycles … Here’s the cover of a brand-new picture book by Elisha Cooper (Train; Farm; Beach; Dance!), due out from Roaring Brook Press in mid-March. We JUST received the hardcover in the office, so we know it’s ready for its upcoming appearance out in the world. Look for a beautifully choreographed, understated dance in the art — pages of line-drawing cats-in-action vignettes set amidst white space are punctuated by close-up portraits on double-page spreads with a single background color — said dance telling a poignant but ultimately hopeful story about the cycle of life. Well, more than that, really. But you’ll see for yourself when you see the book.