Funny Bones

funny bones

You know that skeleton woman with the big flowered hat? Guess what? Her name is la Catrina, and she wasn’t created by Russell Stover. You may not recognize the name José Guadalupe Posada, but you’re probably familiar with his most iconic illustration. La Catrina is everywhere these days, especially since el dia de los muertos […]

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 […]

Lenny & Lucy

lenny lucy

It’s hard to believe that there was once a time when full-color picture books were uncommon. It was usually an indication that the artist had somehow proved himself worthy (::cough:: Maurice Sendak) and was awarded with a full palette to use on his masterpieces (::cough:: ::cough:: Where the Wild Things Are). When you look back […]

Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina & New Orleans

drowned city

I was fortunate enough to be in the crowd when the Tamaki sisters’ This One Summer was announced as a Caldecott Honor book (at the Youth Media Awards, where the Coretta Scott King, Caldecott, Newbery, etc. are announced) this past January. I remember hearing more than a few audible gasps in the theater, and with […]

Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement

voiceof freedom

One thing the members of the Caldecott Committee are looking for each time they open a new box is the wonderful feeling of New. When I was on the committee, whenever I opened a Caldecott box, I would feel the burden of The Same. A book would remind me of another book. The illustrations would […]

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 tale of two Winnies


When I was on the Caldecott committee, we were strict about following the rule that said we couldn’t discuss books published in other years, even if we were tempted to compare a book to its creator’s previous titles. But we certainly DID compare similar nominated books. In our year there were several books with similar […]

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 […]

Drum Dream Girl


I love a story that I have never heard before. Enter Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl’s Courage Changed Music, which tells, in the simplest language, the story of Millo Castro Zaldarriaga. It does not surprise me that I had not heard of one little girl in Cuba; what surprised me was that girls were […]

Leo: A Ghost Story


This book is one of my favorites of the year, and I would imagine it’s one that the Caldecott committee will discuss at length. (It has also recently been named a NYT Best Illustrated book.) Mac Barnett’s excellent storytelling, combined with Christian Robinson’s illustrations, make this a true picture book. Robinson’s childlike illustrations (a mix […]