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Top five picture books?


It’s time to weigh in with your top five picks for the 2016 Caldecott Medal! Last week, 2015 Caldecott committee member Susan Kusel reminded us what it’s like to be on the Real Committee this time of year, as members submit their seven allowed nominations. And Robin wrote last year both about that nomination process and […]



It’s a bit of a theme week here on Calling Caldecott: on Monday, Megan Lambert extolled the gifts found in Kevin Henkes’s Waiting; today, we also Wait. Antoinette Portis taps so perfectly into that universal tension between adults’ approach to experiencing the world (“Hurry!”) and a child’s (“Wait”). A tension made visually manifest on the cover, as the busy mother is moving forward […]

Mock Caldecott Catch-up, part 1

moon is going to addy

In a recent post we asked for your local school and library Mock Caldecott lists, and several titles came up that we wanted to add to the Calling Caldecott conversation. Two of these are the subjects for today: Big Bear little chair by Lizi Boyd and The Moon Is Going to Addy’s House by Ida Pearle. Boyd’s Big […]

Two Mice

two mice

This little book packs a whole lotta wow per square inch. It took me some time to see everything it has to offer, but now that I have, I’m totally sold. (Philip Nel raved, too; Two Mice “exemplifies the elegant efficiency of the picture book” and “unfolds with perfect economy.”) Before we even open the book, there’s much to remark on. […]

A Call for Mocks!


The fall is whooshing by, and here at Calling Caldecott we’ve just about covered the spring 2015 titles (those published from January thru June) —whew! — and are ready to move on to discussing the fall season’s books. But time feels short. With ALA Midwinter being so early this year, perhaps you’ve already begun to […]

Boys to remember

reynolds_all american boys

Four novels featuring teenage boys — in both contemporary and historical settings — take on big issues, with memorable results. All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely is a ripped-from-the-headlines story written with nuance, sharp humor, and devastating honesty. When a quick stop at the corner store suddenly escalates into a terrifying scene […]

The Skunk


I admit to being a leeetle unsure of what to make of this one. In an SLJ interview, author Mac Barnett was less than definitive: “What is The Skunk about? Is it a comedy? A romance? A ghost story? A tale of paranoia? An allegory of trauma?” And the Kirkus review called it “peculiar, perplexing, and […]

Vera B. Williams (1927–2015)


We were saddened to hear about the death last week of legendary children’s book author and illustrator Vera B. Williams. It’s a loss to our field; she was, truly, unique. Her groundbreaking picture books celebrated children and family and communities — all kinds of children, all kinds of families, and all kinds of communities. Both A Chair […]

Wolfie the Bunny

wolfie the bunny

With Wolfie the Bunny we welcome another new-sibling picture book into the world — this one with tons of humor and age-appropriate drama, and with plenty of child appeal in both text and art. (And carrots. Lots of carrots.) What will the Real Committee be looking at? I imagine they will ooh and aah over the actual cover (under the jacket) […]

My Bike

my bike

Ah, one of my favorite subjects: picture books for the very young. This year some of my most-loved books fall into that category, including several we’re talking about on Calling Caldecott this fall. We all know that these books face an uphill battle when it comes to Caldecott recognition. But that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve […]