The Tree Lady

tree-lady

A few weeks ago we put out a call for titles we might have missed, and Ed Wolfer recommended this book. It’s a complete coincidence — scouts’ honor — but the timing of this post coincides with a blizzard here in New England. The warm colors and desert world evoked in this inspiring picture book […]

Papa’s Mechanical Fish

fishything

Here it is, the week between Christmas and New Year’s. A rather quiet time – so it’s the perfect moment to discuss a distinctly UNquiet picture book. Snoozy and understated this book ain’t. Papa’s Mechanical Fish tells the story of eccentric (and unheralded) inventor Lodner Phillips, who builds a working submarine in the summer of […]

The Mighty Lalouche

lalouche

The Mighty Lalouche is something of a late bloomer, showing up on best-of-the-year lists (including School Library Journal’s and this blog) and various libraries’ mock Caldecott ballots. A come-from-behind contender, as it were, which is quite appropriate given its subject: a modest, unassuming Parisian postman who becomes an unlikely champion of the sport of “la box […]

Entering the homestretch

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Back in September we came up with a list of 2013 picture books we hoped to cover on this blog. As Robin said then, we make no promises, but we do want to discuss as many books on that list as we can. So, as a sort of Thanksgiving appetizer, here’s what’s coming up in the next few weeks as […]

“One common gift”: a direct line to childhood

Picture book author and editor extraordinaire Charlotte Zolotow died yesterday at the age of 98. The children’s literature world is mourning her death but celebrating, as well, her enormous contributions to the field. Here on Calling Caldecott our focus is a narrow and intense one: we devote our time and energy to looking at this year’s — and only this year’s […]

Parrots over Puerto Rico

parrots over puerto rico

Let’s talk about Parrots over Puerto Rico today — written by Susan L. Roth and Cindy Trumbore and illustrated with lush, amazingly detailed fabric and paper collages by Roth. Published by Lee & Low, this nonfiction picture book relates the history of the Puerto Rican parrot (Amazona vittata) from 5000 BCE through today; from thriving community […]

The New York Times Best Illustrated List

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The New York Times List of the 10 Best Illustrated Children’s Books of 2013 was released today, and here it is:   Journey, written and illustrated by Aaron Becker (Candlewick) Ballad, written and illustrated by Blexbolex, translated by Claudia Z. Bedrick (Enchanted Lion) Jane, The Fox and Me, written by Fanny Britt, illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault, translated by […]

Daisy Gets Lost (but hopefully not by the Caldecott committee)

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Is it just me, or are there are an unusually large number of wordless/nearly wordless picture books worthy of Caldecott consideration this year? So far we’ve discussed Bluebird, Inside Outside, and Flora and the Flamingo. Upcoming contenders include Aaron Becker’s Journey, Jerry Pinkney’s Tortoise and the Hare, and David Wiesner’s Mr. Wuffles!. So many, in […]

Have You Seen My New Blue Socks?

have you seen my new blue socks

Here is a book that knows how to visually establish conflict and character right off the bat. On the very first double-page spread (after the title spread), we meet a sad little green duck wearing big chunky lace-up shoes. The only other thing on this sea of white space is the text, in oversized type: “I have […]

Bunnies on Ice

bunnies on ice

Can everybody say “saturated”? Johanna Wright’s Bunnies on Ice is done in a style entirely different from Inside Outside, and yet the effect is the same: little hands will want to touch these pages. The oil-on-canvas full-bleed double-page spreads have so much texture to them that they are almost palpable. Every time I open the […]