What *about* those Caldecott criteria?

Last week, Robin reminded us how crucial it is to keep the Caldecott criteria in mind as we examine this year’s picture books. We all know that the Caldecott rules and criteria are paramount and inviolable, and for decades committees have obsessively wrestled with the meanings and nuances of “excellence of execution in the artistic technique employed”; […]

The Pilot and the Little Prince

sis_pilot and the little prince

This is a hard post to write. I love Peter Sis’s work, and his latest book, The Pilot and the Little Prince, is getting lots of starred reviews, but I’m having trouble jumping on that bandwagon. Most of my issues with this book wouldn’t fly in a real Caldecott committee discussion. The art is gorgeous and […]

Firefly July: A Year of Very Short Poems

janeczko_firefly july2

Before we start chatting about specific 2014 picture books, take a moment to read the Caldecott criteria. They’re posted over there on the right, but I will help you find the important parts. Here they are, in part: In identifying a “distinguished American picture book for children,” defined as illustration, committee members need to consider: […]

#we need diverse (picture) books

little melba

Of course we do. Last year’s amazing crop of picture books included those illustrated by artists of color such as Yuyi Morales, Brian Pinkney, Jerry Pinkney, Angela Dominguez, Bryan Collier, Don Tate, and Kadir Nelson. This year we will see picture books illustrated by Christian Robinson (two of ‘em), Yuyi Morales, Raul Colon, Duncan Tonatiuh, Jason Chin, Susan […]

Now you know what we think

Bookshop for Boys and Girls

So, now you know where the three of us are in September. I wonder where we will be in January? Now that Lolly, Martha, and I know one another’s favorites, we will put our schedule together and start yapping about books soon. Go through our three lists here, here and here if you want a hint […]

Early days yet

farmer and clown

Hello! Welcome back to all you Calling Caldecott devotees — and welcome to those here for the first time this fall. This is the final post of a week in which Robin, Lolly, and I are making preliminary lists of the picture books eligible for Caldecott recognition that have, early in the process, struck a chord with each of us. Perhaps a book looks like […]

Taking stock

Josephine and Viva Frida

Now it’s my turn, and I find myself not quite as ready as I’d like to be. My job here involves looking at every picture book we review in search of the perfect art with which to illustrate the review. This means I have leafed through lots of books but only spent quality time with the […]

Getting to the top shelf

For Robin

Here is the truth of the matter: in less than three months, each individual Caldecott committee member will nominate seven books out of the hundreds he or she has seen this year. It’s kind of a sickening task: either you appreciate SO MANY that you have trouble cutting any out, or you really only have […]

Dusting off the blog

callingcaldecott_featherduster_271x288

School has started, and you know what that means…yup, we’re baaaack! For me, it means my second graders are getting in the groove, and now it’s time for me to relearn WordPress and try to twist Lolly’s arm for amusing graphics to brighten up the blog. Lolly Robinson, Martha Parravano, and I are going through our […]

Mr. Tiger love at last!

brown_mr tiger goes wild

Readers of Calling Caldecott — and all my students — will understand my joy at hearing the Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards announced Saturday. FINALLY some award love for Mr. Tiger Goes Wild! You can read the press release and reviews of the winning books here. We’ll put up photos from the announcement soon and you […]