Live from Chicago! It’s Robin

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FRIDAY, 10:45 AM: At the risk of seeming like a stalker, I have a few things to report from the Caldecott meetings in Chicago. Not really! I have nothing to report from the (closed) Caldecott meetings. But I am in Chicago, and I am at ALA. I was able to check with a friend to […]

Calling Caldecott winner is The Farmer and the Clown

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Congratulations to Marla Frazee’s spectacular The Farmer and the Clown, winner of this year’s Calling Caldecott mock vote! While the rest of you were checking the weather and worrying about travel plans and charging your cellphones, we were here checking the returns for Calling Caldecott (results below). Last year was unusual in that two books […]

Calling Caldecott 2015 second ballot is open

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Here it is: Monday. In exactly a week, all of our Mock Caldecott awards will be a memory, and children’s book chatter will turn to the Real Committee’s books. So, while each real committee member is organizing notes, putting together last-minute arguments, and imagining that the books she or he nominated will wear medals for […]

Calling Caldecott 2015 ballot #1 results

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This is when it gets really exciting for Martha, Robin, and me. We had access to the secret link where we could see more and more votes come in yesterday. I stopped checking around 11 p.m. last night but got right back online at 6 a.m. If we count up the first-place votes, a total […]

The polls are open!

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Come one, come all. The polls are now open! Here (and in the ballot button above) is your link to the ballot where you can vote until 9 a.m. EST tomorrow (Friday, January 23). We set up the ballot so you will vote for your first, second, and third place books, because that is how […]

Pre-voting instructions…it’s almost time!

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I find it hard to believe that we’re less than two weeks from The Announcement at ALA. It was harder than you might think to put our ballot together — and it will be just as challenging for the folks on the Real Committee to narrow the field and choose the titles they want to consider. […]

The year in review

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What a difference a year makes. Last year’s picture book crop included such a strong group of front runners that it was possible to…no, not predict, but at least anticipate some of the Caldecott choices. This year, it seems to me, the field is WIDE OPEN. And this year’s committee has quite a job in front of them. […]

Bad Bye, Good Bye

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You know that feeling that you’ve missed something? Well, I had that feeling last week when I pulled out the titles for my class’s mock Caldecott. I blithely grabbed Bad Bye, Good Bye and thought, “Uh-oh. I never wrote about this one, did I?” In true Robin Smith fashion (ask any of my editors what […]

Nana in the City

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This is a JUST RIGHT kind of book. Just the right size; just the right tone; just the right scope of experience/adventure for the audience. How does Lauren Castillo accomplish this just-rightness in the art? 1) Through the use of color. In the beginning she communicates the noise and smells and sheer overwhelming-ness of the big […]

The Iridescence of Birds: A Book About Henri Matisse

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Waaay back in January 2014, I saw this book. Hadley Hooper’s art blew me away. It still does. (And here Joanna Rudge Long reviews it for The Horn Book.) Henri Matisse is presented as a youngster, growing up in a dreary gray town. His mother introduces color to his life as she paints plates, arranges […]