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Calling Caldecott 2016 ballot #2 now open

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This is when it gets really exciting for us. We had access to the secret link where we could see more and more votes come in yesterday. It was kind of like watching a road race in extreme slow motion. At 10 a.m. one book had a huge lead. When I checked back at 1:30 […]

Calling Caldecott 2016 ballot #1 now open

The voting booths were filled with voters at Memorial Hall in Independence, Kan., Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2006. (AP Photo/The Independence Daily Reporter, Nick Wright)

As promised, here is a link to the ballot. It will be open until 9 a.m. (EST) Tuesday. That’s tomorrow. Around noon Tuesday, Jan. 5 we will post the results of the first ballot AND a link to the second and final ballot. For those who want to think some more before voting, here (below) […]

Pre-voting instructions + ballot 1 choices

The voting booths were filled with voters at Memorial Hall in Independence, Kan., Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2006. (AP Photo/The Independence Daily Reporter, Nick Wright)

This year, Calling Caldecott has zoomed by! It’s not just our imagination. Last year there were 22 weeks between Labor Day and ALA; this year, only 18. But it feels rushed every year because there are so many good books out there. Even posting three times a week — and sometimes two books to a post […]

Two books about emotions

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Normally our post title is the book’s title, but both of these together would be way too long: When Sophie’s Feelings Are Really, Really Hurt by Molly Bang and I Used to Be Afraid by Laura Vaccaro Seeger. Both illustrators have won Caldecott honors in the past, but never the actual Medal. Could this be […]

Are you following Calling Caldecott?

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I hope so. If not, here’s the link. At this time of year — from Labor Day to the beginning of the American Library Association’s Midwinter conference — my blog attention is divided because I also write for Calling Caldecott, a mock Caldecott blog. I hope some of you teachers have tried mock Caldecotts in […]

Out of the Woods

Out of the Woods

As Martha could tell you, this post has been really difficult to write because I love this book so much and want to do it justice. Why hasn’t Rebecca Bond been on my radar? Well, now she is. Out of the Woods is a story first told by Bond’s grandfather about a forest fire he […]

The best-of-the-year lists have begun

The New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Books

Teachers often ask how to keep up with the best new books. Good intentions are one thing, and real life (long days, class prep, paper grading) is another. For those with limited time, I recommend going online near the end of the year when children’s book review journals post their “best of the year” lists. […]

A tale of two Winnies

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When I was on the Caldecott committee, we were strict about following the rule that said we couldn’t discuss books published in other years, even if we were tempted to compare a book to its creator’s previous titles. But we certainly DID compare similar nominated books. In our year there were several books with similar […]

Meet the Dullards

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Today we’re considering Meet the Dullards by Sara Pennypacker, illustrated by Daniel Salmieri. If you haven’t had a look at this book yet, do yourself a favor and go find it. It’s far from dull. As you can see from the cover, there’s something going on here between the text and the art similar to […]

The Grasshopper and the Ants

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The Grasshopper & the Ants adds another title to Jerry Pinkney’s growing set of books based on fables by Aesop and Andersen. Unlike his Caldecott-winning The Lion & the Mouse (2009), this title has text, except for an extended wordless sequence in the middle. But the Caldecott committee will not be comparing this to Pinkney’s […]