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 […]

Inside Outside

inside outside

Inside Outside was published last April; I’m hoping many of you have seen it by now. In his illuminating interview with its creator, Lizi Boyd, Roger called Inside Outside a “lo-fi busybox of a book: sixteen wordless spreads of a child’s play and projects indoors and out, linked by the passing of the seasons and […]

It’s always men’s night at the Caldecott

gender slide

This is a perennially thorny subject, one that’s been aired before. But. Seeing the gender disparity amongst Caldecott winners this starkly expressed is kind of hard to ignore. Do we want to take this on again? Has anything changed since Roger’s 2007 blog post? Thom Barthelmess, past president of ALSC and currently curator of the […]

Locomotive

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The first thing you notice about Brian Floca’s Locomotive is its big, bold size and square shape. Jonathan Bean’s Building our House  has a larger-than-average trim size as well, but this is different. This one has a lot more bells and whistles (literally: “CLANG-CLANG CLANG-CLANG” “WHOO-OOOOOO”). This one is in-your-face big; this one has a steam […]