Boats for Papa

boats for papa

This is one gorgeous picture book. It’s perhaps even more remarkable, given that it’s by a debut artist. Since its publication last June, it has gotten lots of love. And even more love. Most reviews refer to the way the story tugs at the heartstrings: “A weeper.” “Heart-breaking.” I have to say that the message I took away […]



Is that Peter (of Ezra Jack Keats fame) on the cover of Daniel Miyares’s Float? Might be. There is something inviting about the cover of this gentle wordless book, isn’t there? Slip off the jacket and be wowed by the case cover — a newspaper boat floating off to the right and into the sun. The […]

The Bear Ate Your Sandwich

sarcone-roach_bear ate your sandwich

I wasn’t aware of Julia Sarcone-Roach until we reviewed  Subway Story back in 2010. What strikes most immediately about her art is the light. She achieves a luminous quality using opaque paint on paper that many watercolor artists would surely envy. According to the small print, she is using acrylics — a medium that can […]



Supertruck. So simple, so clever, so appealing both visually and thematically. And such a book for the very, very young. It will need all its superpowers to compete on the Caldecott table, against books with more elaborate and sophisticated art. But some of my favorite picture books of 2015 are for the youngest readers, including this […]

Border Crossing 101


  Some of you know that I am not a librarian and have never worked in publishing. And if you didn’t know before, you do now. That’s why I have to depend on others to explain the history and traditions of the ALA book awards. I simply don’t get them. There is nothing that makes […]

A Fine Dessert


Biscuits. Cobblers. Sweets. Dessert. Those are my favorite things to cook. When I saw that Sophie Blackall had illustrated a book about a dessert, I was on it. The book starts and ends with blackberries — literally. Blackall squished them into a paste and used it to paint the muted endpapers. The endpapers’ purple and […]

Last Stop on Market Street

de la pena_last stop on market street

And we’re off, with the first book discussion of the season. We are trying to present the books more generally in order of publication this year, in hopes that readers will have a better chance of knowing the books as they’re discussed. We’re starting with a book that was published early in the year, in […]

The Book List


Thanks to all for chiming in with suggestions! We’ve incorporated them into our own thinking and have come up with the following list of titles we plan to cover this fall. There will probably be additions as the season unfolds. For instance, we are still tracking down a copy of the suggested In a Village […]

Frequently Asked Questions

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Q: How many books do you read when you are a member of the actual Caldecott committee? A: It varies from year to year, but I think it would be safe to say that between 200 and 400 books are submitted. Some submissions are clearly not eligible (for instance, novels with no illustration, or books […]

On the radar

Calling Caldecott - on the radar

It’s WAAAY too early to predict the books that will rise to the top of the Caldecott pile when the committee meets to make their choices next January. So today we three Calling Caldecott bloggers will simply offer some titles that have caught our attention. (Or ones that we think might catch the committee’s attention. Or books we just want to talk about […]