The Horn Book » Calling Caldecott http://www.hbook.com Publications about books for children and young adults Fri, 29 Aug 2014 15:23:45 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.4 Mr. Tiger love at last! http://www.hbook.com/2014/06/blogs/lollys-classroom/mr-tiger-love-last/ http://www.hbook.com/2014/06/blogs/lollys-classroom/mr-tiger-love-last/#comments Mon, 02 Jun 2014 14:01:59 +0000 http://www.hbook.com/?p=38080 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 […]

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brown mr tiger goes wild Mr. Tiger love at last!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 can read the tweets here.

Being on the BGHB committee is a unique experience. The judges are responsible for knowing about ALL the children’s books published in a 12-month period, not just picture books or fiction or nonfiction as with the ALA awards. But at the same time, the three-person committee streamlines the process and allows for email discussions and sitting-in-someone’s-living-room discussions that just don’t work with a 15-member committee. Congratulations to judges Nina Lindsay, Claire Gross, and Amy Pattee. Well done!

I hope you will all check out these books and read them over the next few months if you haven’t already. And you should STRONGLY consider coming to the Horn Book at Simmons colloquium in the fall. It’s a one-day conference the day after the BGHB awards and always features the winners and the award judges. Since we only just learned who won, Katrina and Roger are still working on the details, but you can save the date now: October 11, 2014. Here’s a link to last year’s program to give you a general idea. As you can see, it’s a great conference for working teachers — and anyone who loves children’s books.

HBAS Mr. Tiger love at last!

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Worlds collide http://www.hbook.com/2014/03/blogs/calling-caldecott/worlds-collide/ http://www.hbook.com/2014/03/blogs/calling-caldecott/worlds-collide/#respond Wed, 05 Mar 2014 19:20:49 +0000 http://www.hbook.com/?p=35910 Readers of this blog will know exactly why I am linking to this month’s School Library Journal‘s cover story: kudos to Brian Floca, Locomotive, and our own Robin Smith!

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locomotive1 268x300 Worlds collideReaders of this blog will know exactly why I am linking to this month’s School Library Journal‘s cover story: kudos to Brian Floca, Locomotive, and our own Robin Smith!

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Picture Book Fix, the linked-up edition http://www.hbook.com/2014/03/blogs/calling-caldecott/picture-book-fix-linked-edition/ http://www.hbook.com/2014/03/blogs/calling-caldecott/picture-book-fix-linked-edition/#respond Tue, 04 Mar 2014 14:00:44 +0000 http://www.hbook.com/?p=35874 I assume you are all waiting next to your mailbox for the newest Horn Book magazine. It’s ALL ABOUT ILLUSTRATION, people! While you are waiting, here are a few teasers that have been released early for your picture book pleasure. Let me walk you through the digital content while you wait for the whole gorgeous […]

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barton my bus Picture Book Fix, the linked up editionI assume you are all waiting next to your mailbox for the newest Horn Book magazine. It’s ALL ABOUT ILLUSTRATION, people! While you are waiting, here are a few teasers that have been released early for your picture book pleasure. Let me walk you through the digital content while you wait for the whole gorgeous magazine to get to you. 

  • First, here is a link to the last time The Horn Book published a special edition about picture books. The “Studio Views” from 1989 are right here. Isn’t that amazing?
  • Second, this article about design by Jon Scieszka and Molly Leach is being reprinted in the new print edition, too.
  • And right here is a fabulous piece by smart person and frequent Calling Caldecott poster Julie Danielson about media.
  • KT Horning, friend and brilliant reviewer (remember the guest posting on our blog??) has this review of My Bus by Byron Barton for your reading pleasure.
  • Wonder just what it takes to be recognized as a new illustrator? This piece by Shadra Strickland will challenge your assumptions and make you appreciate (and read and buy)  books by new illustrators and by illustrators of color.

Stay warm, check your mailbox, and settle in for some good reading about picture books and their makers.

PS And, in case you missed it, Lolly has a new blog! It’s all about teaching with good books. Join in the discussion right here. 

 

 

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See you soon? http://www.hbook.com/2014/02/blogs/calling-caldecott/see-soon/ http://www.hbook.com/2014/02/blogs/calling-caldecott/see-soon/#comments Thu, 06 Feb 2014 16:59:39 +0000 http://www.hbook.com/?p=35053 It’s been a blast visiting with you over the past few months. At times, we had to scramble to keep up with all the reading and writing, but I hope you all enjoyed the ride with us. Martha, Lolly, and I will pop in over the course of the coming months to let you know […]

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 See you soon?It’s been a blast visiting with you over the past few months. At times, we had to scramble to keep up with all the reading and writing, but I hope you all enjoyed the ride with us.

Martha, Lolly, and I will pop in over the course of the coming months to let you know what we are adding to our personal Caldecott shelves. If you see something YOU think is promising, please leave the title in the comments below. As I say all the time, I have to rely on reviews and recommendations to help make up my potential slate of Caldecott contenders, so don’t be shy!

I have not seen any finished books yet, but I am pretty excited about Lois Ehlert’s newest– The Scraps Book: Notes from a Colorful Life. It just got a star in The Horn Book, and Kirkus liked it too. I am a nut for R. Gregory Christie’s illlustrations, so I am also looking forward to seeing the book he did with Carole Boston Weatherford, Sugar Hill: Harlem’s Historic Neighborhood. I did not see it at ALA, so it might not even be a picture book. I don’t care — I have to have it.

I have quite a substantial pile of good-looking books for review, but I will wait to comment until I actually read them.

Thank you for all your recommendations, comments, opinions, and questions. Before long, it will be time to start up our postulating about next year’s crop of Caldecott-eligible books.

 

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Caldecott committee member Judy Freeman weighs in: A guest post http://www.hbook.com/2014/02/blogs/calling-caldecott/2014-caldecott-committee-member-judy-freeman-weighs-guest-post/ http://www.hbook.com/2014/02/blogs/calling-caldecott/2014-caldecott-committee-member-judy-freeman-weighs-guest-post/#comments Tue, 04 Feb 2014 16:13:25 +0000 http://www.hbook.com/?p=34853 [Editors' note: this post, a passionate defense of the awards committee process and an illuminating glimpse into the workings of this year's Caldecott committee, specifically, originally appeared on Calling Caldecott in the comments. We thought it merited a post of its own. So, without further ado...here's Judy!]   OK, I think I need to weigh in here at long […]

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[Editors' note: this post, a passionate defense of the awards committee process and an illuminating glimpse into the workings of this year's Caldecott committee, specifically, originally appeared on Calling Caldecott in the comments. We thought it merited a post of its own. So, without further ado...here's Judy!]

 

OK, I think I need to weigh in here at long last. I’ve been following all of your posts all year without commenting, but with great enjoyment, because, as a member of the Extremely Handsome, Lovely, Intelligent, and Talented 2014 Caldecott Committee, I couldn’t show my hand.

First off, we read all of the books you did–and many, many more that you didn’t mention. Hundreds. Every style and genre. We read them aloud to kids and adults; ran mock Caldecott elections with kids and adults; showed them to friends, family, and other artists; and read them and examined them over and over. We were immersed in art all year. It was exhilarating and exhausting. We looked at case covers, dust jackets, gate folds, gutters, flaps, and every medium imaginable. That was before we got to Midwinter. We took extensive notes  on each book, read reviews and blogs, and compared them with our own opinions. We went to museums and art galleries, read books about children’s book illustration, reflected on past Caldecotts, and thought deeply about our own tastes and preferences. We tried to evaluate books with an open mind. Are we artists? No. Do artist get ticked off that a committee of librarians and children’s literature fanatics pick a book for its art? Oh, yeah. And yet, we persevered.

Let me just review the process for you, especially Sam Juliano who seems to think we stiffed Mr. Tiger Goes Wild intentionally and for all of the folks who can’t figure out why we didn’t give 5 honors like they did last year. (That was a surprise last year, actually–usually, 4 honors causes gasps from folks, and 5 is a mighty big number for any awards committee.) Personally, I love it when a committee is able to give lots of honors–it means more books for kids to love. But that’s not how it works when you are voting for an award. And I do think Mr. Tiger Goes Wild is a beautiful book. We did not snub it or any other book in any way.

I had TWELVE favorite books this year–all exceptional and astonishing in my eyes. An embarrassment of picture book riches. I’ve been evaluating/speaking about/writing about children’s books for 30+ years now and I cannot think of a single year when I’ve had this many picture books with which I was so utterly besotted. Can 12 books win the Caldecott? No. Am I stamping my feet in anger over the ones that didn’t make it? No. Did I get all of my choices? I don’t think anyone ever gets all of their choices on a committee like this. But I admire and respect all of our choices and feel each book is distinguished. Did everyone adore the same books I did? Get real. There were 15 people on our committee. We all had our beloved favorites and we all wanted with all our hearts to see them take home the gold, but only one book gets to do that.

I get goosebumps every time I open Locomotive, and getting to discuss it at length and in detail with the rest of the 15-member Caldecott Committee was an honor I won’t soon forget. Brian Floca was a bit speechless when we called him Monday morning, and I was teary just hearing his voice on the speakerphone of the little room of the ALA Press Office where all of us were crammed in, listening intently. Indeed, we felt pretty “punch drunk,” too. We had been locked in our conference room at the Marriott since Friday at 8 a.m., and finished our deliberations late Saturday night, with time out for meals and sleep. Not to worry–there was an ample amount of chocolate on hand for us to stay awake and alert (not to mention birthday cake).

After discussing/analyzing/reevaluating/critiquing the art of the scores of picture books we had nominated, it was finally time to vote. Well before the ALA Midwinter meeting, each committee member gets to nominate his or her 7 top books of all the many hundreds we read. This could mean we had 105 titles on our final discussion list, but since some books are bound to get more than one nomination, the actual number will be less. At our meeting, we had all of those books on hand, and spent many, many hours presenting the strengths and concerns of each book. When we were all finished going over each one, we filled in our ballots with our top 3 books. First place is worth 4 points, second place is worth 3 points, and third place is worth 2 points.

“Why only three honors? What’s the matter with that committee? Why didn’t they just pick more books?” I’ve read in people’s many comments online. Here’s the deal. For a book to win the gold medal, it must have a total of 8 first place votes, plus score 8 points above any other book. If you don’t have this point spread on the first ballot, you go back to rediscuss the books, removing from consideration the ones that got no votes, and vote again. Mind you, I had WAY more than 3 favorite books, and I think it safe to assume the same went for the rest of the committee. When one book finally rises to the top, like cream, then you have to decide which books are going to be named Honor Books. The committee decides how many books to name, based on the support and points received for each of the remaining books. If a book doesn’t get enough votes–if it scores too far below the other books, well, then, it’s not going to win. That’s life, folks.

I  would have loved to have given Honor Medals to many more books, but it has to have the support and votes of the committee. That means many wonderful and worthy books are not going to win–the ones that gather the most support, consensus, and votes by committee members are the ones that will get those shiny silver medals.

“Why didn’t THIS book win?” people will cry about their favorites. Rest assured, some of us on the committee probably loved that book, too, and were just as sad it didn’t make the cut. I, for one, remain madly enamored of my stack of picture books that didn’t win but which I have been thrilled to present/read aloud/use with kids, teachers, librarians, and parents this year at all my school assemblies, speeches at conferences, and children’s book seminars (including those for BER.org and at my upcoming 30th Annual Winners! Workshop across NJ in spring). That doesn’t mean the books that didn’t win aren’t fabulous or that a whole different stack of books wouldn’t have been named with a different committee at the helm. But these are the books that stood out, after all of our discussion, with Locomotive rising higher than any of them, and I say Hooray!

On any Awards committee, it’s a group consensus and decision, and you never get all of your choices, but, if you’re lucky, you do get some of them. The others, from listening to the discussion and re-re-re-re-re-reading/evaluating/reconsidering, you do most definitely come to appreciate for their distinguished qualities. I’m so proud of our Caldecott Committee and the work we did and of the 4 books we chose. What we ended with, along with Locomotive, were three extraordinary titles.

Looking at our Honor winners, I am struck by how distinct and distinguished each one is: Mr. Wuffles! by the great David Wiesner, about a cat, some aliens, and some savvy insects (and, no, we were not allowed to discuss or mentioned any of his or anyone else’s’ other medal-winners; we only compared and contrasted books published in 2013–that’s the rules); Flora and the Flamingo by Molly Idle, a wordless story with pull-down flaps depicting the pas de deux ballet between a girl and a bird that makes you want to get up and dance; and Journey, a first book for Aaron Becker with luminous watercolors depicting a girl’s adventure thanks to a magical red crayon. Great stuff, this. I hope you have a ball sharing these titles with your children. There is no rule saying you have to love every book on any list. Pick and choose the ones that sing to you, but keep an open mind. Your kids may love (or not love) any of these books, too, and they may or may not agree with your opinion.

I think Locomotive is a real groundbreaker–there’s never been a Caldecott like it. There have been nonfiction books that won, but almost of them are biographical. Open it up and start turning pages, and I’m betting you will gasp in astonishment at the double-page illustrations of that glorious train and wish you could take that trip (the sparse bathroom facilities notwithstanding). If your third graders find the text too long, read it in installments. Sing train songs. Do train chants. Read and compare other train books. (Elisha Cooper’s fabulous Train and Jason Carter Eaton’s How to Train a Train are the ones I’ve been using with it all year. Too fun!) Look at footage of old trains online. Take a class train trip. Look up all the fascinating natural wonders cited in the text and illustrations. Celebrate a book that extends the children’s horizons and lets them travel vicariously across the U.S. in 1869.

I’ve been on Newbery (2000, Bud, Not Buddy) and Sibert (2008, The Wall) and those were fabulous experiences. And now the Caldecott, where we’ve selected books that we hope will give children and adults great joy for many years to come. I can’t wait to give copies to all the little kids (and big kids) in my own family. Whew. What a memorable week!

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The Return of Travis Jonker http://www.hbook.com/2014/02/blogs/calling-caldecott/return-travis-jonker/ http://www.hbook.com/2014/02/blogs/calling-caldecott/return-travis-jonker/#comments Mon, 03 Feb 2014 16:58:26 +0000 http://www.hbook.com/?p=34921 Back in early January 2014 Caldecott committee member Travis Jonker filled us in on his preparations for his committee’s Midwinter deliberations. Here, Travis (Michigan elementary-school librarian and author of the 100 Scope Notes blog, hosted on the SLJ website) returns with a brief postmortem. Love his answers, and LOVE the accompanying graphic. Thanks so much, Travis.       1.  How do you feel […]

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travis photo 300x300 The Return of Travis JonkerBack in early January 2014 Caldecott committee member Travis Jonker filled us in on his preparations for his committee’s Midwinter deliberations. Here, Travis (Michigan elementary-school librarian and author of the 100 Scope Notes blog, hosted on the SLJ website) returns with a brief postmortem. Love his answers, and LOVE the accompanying graphic. Thanks so much, Travis.

 

 

 

1.  How do you feel now that it is over – on a sliding scale from drained and exhausted to on Cloud 9—or both simultaneously?

I feel good. It’s been a wild year (the last few weeks especially), but nothing a couple days worth of early bedtimes won’t fix. Cloud 9 and slowly descending back to earth.

2.  How would you respond to those who might, er, have some issues with your committee’s choices?

I wish I had some great, satisfying way to answer that. It’s difficult, because we all have books we are passionate about. I suppose all I can say is that a great book is still great even if it doesn’t win the Caldecott. Cold comfort, but the truth.

travis great book 300x225 The Return of Travis Jonker

3.  What’s the first non-Caldecott eligible book you are going to read, now that it’s all over?

Well, I just read the first few chapters of El Deafo, a graphic novel/memoir coming out in the fall by Cece Bell that I picked up at the Abrams booth. Wow.

Wait, that’s an eligible book.

I also want to go back and read the 2014 Newbery books that I missed.

4.  What do you plan to do with All Those Books? (We remember your overcrowded bookshelves…)

The books will go to children in a couple different ways. I’ll be adding many of them to the school libraries in my district for students to check out. Others will go to teachers’ classroom libraries. And another portion will go directly to kids to take home and keep.

 

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Talking my eight-year-olds down from the ledge http://www.hbook.com/2014/01/blogs/calling-caldecott/talking-eight-year-olds-ledge/ http://www.hbook.com/2014/01/blogs/calling-caldecott/talking-eight-year-olds-ledge/#comments Thu, 30 Jan 2014 16:58:04 +0000 http://www.hbook.com/?p=34690 It’s hard to know where to go when your second graders are more interested in figuring out why Mr. Tiger Goes Wild did not win a Caldecott than they are in telling you they missed you while you were in Philadelphia. No one wanted to tattle on each other or tell me long stories about […]

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mr tiger goes wild1 298x300 Talking my eight year olds down from the ledgeIt’s hard to know where to go when your second graders are more interested in figuring out why Mr. Tiger Goes Wild did not win a Caldecott than they are in telling you they missed you while you were in Philadelphia. No one wanted to tattle on each other or tell me long stories about their basketball games. They just wanted to Figure This Out. So, this post might be better on Lolly’s upcoming teacher blog (“Lolly’s Classroom” coming soon!), but let me tell you how I handled this one with my students.

I told them the truth. It wasn’t quite as hard as “Mom likes me more,” but it was close. Facts are facts: the committee liked the other books better.

Their response was quick: “But why??” Indeed.

My students and I had a LOOOONG discussion about Mr. Tiger and How This Might Have Happened. Since I have no idea what happened, I asked them. I turned on the voice memos on my phone and pushed record. Here are some of their transcribed comments:

I: ”His back legs are always darker than the front.” (Cries of “that’s just the shadow!” erupted at this point.)

J: “The leaves in this book are like the leaves in The Curious Garden and in Grandpa Green.” 

C: “The leaves are like the leaves in I Want My Hat Back.” 

K: “I think the tiger was a little too wild, like it should have been called Mr. Tiger Goes Really Wild.” (I tried to stir up something with this, but was unable to.)

B: “I thought the book was not very bright when he went into the wild. I thought it should be a lot brighter. And I thought the inside cover should have been the paper cover.” (This cover idea was a much-discussed point during the discussion last week — my kids were nuts for the orange, black, and white tiger-striped cover. Go figure.)

G: “You know how you said the pictures need to show more than the words? The pictures are exactly what the words say. You could tell the story with no words at all.”

Well, well, well. My head exploded a little bit with G’s comment. I had to read the book twice to try to see if there might be something to this as a discussion point. I had to admit that G might be on to something here. I don’t necessarily agree with her, but I can definitely see how this could have taken up some time in the committee. The phrase “extending the text” is an important one when folks talk about picture books. On most spreads in Mr. Tiger Goes Wild, the pictures show exactly what the words are saying and nothing more. I bet the committee hashed this one out.

Something else happened when I reread the book with my husband (bless his patience) for the zillion trillionth time. A question. Why did the whole town chill out and change while Mr. T was in the wild? I understand why Mr. T changes, but I can’t really explain from the words or the pictures why the rest of the town changed. They could not wait to send the wild tiger away.  Why the change of heart? That question might have come up in the committee, right? Also, the “…where he went completely wild!” spread is immediately followed by the “lonely in the field” wordless spread. That pacing seemed a tad rushed. Did someone on the committee notice this?

There is a wonderful thread that runs through Polly Horvath’s novel The Trolls where the characters are plagued with wonder about the beautiful man who just disappears. They spend the rest of their lives thinking of reasons why he left. I hope my students are not similarly plagued by “Why did a Caldecott NOT go to Mr. Tiger?” Because they will never know.

One thing they noticed and loved this time through — and this was noted by a child who never voted for Mr. Tiger at any time — was how much they appreciated these two spreads and how fun it was that they are the same image, really. No one noticed THAT before and it was a fun “AHA” moment for them.

unnamed 300x225 Talking my eight year olds down from the ledge

photo 1 300x225 Talking my eight year olds down from the ledgeWatching my kids worry over this reminded me of how it feels to be on the real committee. You love a book. Others have concerns. You answer those concerns as best you can, but you really listen to them. You have to decide if the concerns are enough to change your mind or not. You listen to the discussions of all the other books. Some people point out things you totally missed. You consider these new observations. You vote. You discuss more. You listen more. You vote again.

You practice saying, “The Committee chose Locomotive for the medal.” For the rest of your life, people will try to figure out why your committee chose this book over all the others. You can never say more.

 

 

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Philadelphia Dreaming http://www.hbook.com/2014/01/blogs/calling-caldecott/philadelphia/ http://www.hbook.com/2014/01/blogs/calling-caldecott/philadelphia/#comments Tue, 28 Jan 2014 16:58:58 +0000 http://www.hbook.com/?p=34654 Well, that was a fast weekend. One moment I was racing out of the carpool lane at school in Nashville to make my flight, and before I knew what hit me, I was looking at the departure board at Philadelphia Airport. Midwinter ALA is a working conference. Most people are doing committee work for a good […]

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end of midwinter 300x224 Philadelphia DreamingWell, that was a fast weekend. One moment I was racing out of the carpool lane at school in Nashville to make my flight, and before I knew what hit me, I was looking at the departure board at Philadelphia Airport.

Midwinter ALA is a working conference. Most people are doing committee work for a good part of each day. Since I was not serving on any book committee, I was free to attend meetings, help with the Morris seminar, and visit the books at the booths at the convention center. In between, there was some time to see my ALA family.

The highlight of Midwinter is the announcement of the awards. Since the doors opened at 7:30 a.m. and I had heard that the room only held 800 people, I woke up early and headed out at 7:00. As we entered the convention center, we passed groups of giddy librarians on award committees waiting to make their phone calls. Though envy is a sin, I admit to a bit of envy as I imagined the confused and excited West Coast authors and illustrators as their phones woke them at the ungodly hour of 3:30 a.m. There is screaming and cheering, and I miss that experience.

The ballroom where the press conference takes place is huge, and a very large screen sits to the side. There are a few folks onstage waiting, and every five minutes a voice reminds us to take our seats.  Conversations are excited and predictions abound.

Many of you heard the announcements and the reactions from the folks in the room. There are the inevitable screams when someone hears a beloved book’s name called.

Here are some highlights:

  • The overwhelming joy and sorrow when the McKissacks were announced as the Virginia Hamilton Lifetime Achievement winners. I remember meeting them in Nashville a few years back, and the hole left by Fred’s passing was overwhelming when their names were mentioned.
  • Penny and Her Marble (by Kevin Henkes) winning a Geisel Honor.
  • Hearing that the author of the Geisel-winning book, Greg Pizzoli, was in the room to hear his name called live.
  • The proud face of the Morris Award winner, Stephanie Kuehn.
  • Seeing so many friends, my ALA family.
  • The Year of Billy Miller and the Newbery Honor.

Directly after the announcements comes the time for questioning. Why didn’t this win? Why did that win? What happened to Mr. Tiger? Stuff like that.

pile of books 225x300 Philadelphia DreamingNow that I am back with the Biggest Book Lovers of All (my class), I am overwhelmed by the cries of dismay about Mr. Tiger, their choice. Here is my party line: “We will never know why the committee decided the way it did. As people talk, they learn more and more about the books. Someone must have made a really good case for the other books, don’t you think?”

As I pack up my picture books for donation, I have to admit that there were a lot of books that could have won the Caldecott this year. From Dusk to Niño Wrestles the World to Building Our House to On a Beam of Light to Knock Knock and so on, it seemed that every book I touched could have been up on that big screen in Philadelphia. I wonder what the arguments were that moved the four winners to the top and moved the others off the table.

One thing I DO know is that I will never know that answer.

 

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2014 Caldecott Winners Announced http://www.hbook.com/2014/01/blogs/calling-caldecott/caldecott-winners-announced/ http://www.hbook.com/2014/01/blogs/calling-caldecott/caldecott-winners-announced/#comments Mon, 27 Jan 2014 16:20:46 +0000 http://www.hbook.com/?p=34542 Well, well, well, as Robin is wont to say. In case any devoted followers of this blog missed it ;), the Caldecott winner and honor books were announced this morning, and they are: Winner: Locomotive by Brian Floca Honors: Journey by Aaron Becker; Flora and the Flamingo by Molly Idle; and Mr. Wuffles! by David […]

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2014caldecott 550x477 2014 Caldecott Winners Announced

Well, well, well, as Robin is wont to say.

In case any devoted followers of this blog missed it ;), the Caldecott winner and honor books were announced this morning, and they are:

Winner: Locomotive by Brian Floca

Honors: Journey by Aaron Becker; Flora and the Flamingo by Molly Idle; and Mr. Wuffles! by David Wiesner

Congratulations to all the books, and kudos to the 2014 Caldecott committee for choosing some fine books amongst the extraordinary number of deserving picture books this year.

Here at Calling Caldecott, we can’t help but notice that several of the winners got a little extra love and attention from us — but that some of our other favorites are missing from the list. And that last year saw five honor books recognized, whereas this (very, very strong) year saw only three.

What do you think of the committee’s choices? Were there any surprises? Can you discern any trends or similarities among the winning books (outside their excellence)? We’d love to hear from you.

 

 

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My Head Is Full of Books http://www.hbook.com/2014/01/blogs/calling-caldecott/head-full-books/ http://www.hbook.com/2014/01/blogs/calling-caldecott/head-full-books/#comments Mon, 27 Jan 2014 05:38:29 +0000 http://www.hbook.com/?p=34492 If you are here looking for analysis of the awards, you are too early. I am typing this about 7 hours before the ceremony. Check back later for reactions. Here are some things I am thinking about, having spent the past few days immersed in books: Here is the sad truth: I do not see […]

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If you are here looking for analysis of the awards, you are too early. I am typing this about 7 hours before the ceremony. Check back later for reactions.

Here are some things I am thinking about, having spent the past few days immersed in books:

Here is the sad truth: I do not see every book that is published in a given year. (When I was on the Boston Globe/Horn Book committee, I felt like I saw every book, but not in a normal year.) One way I learn about new books is to read The Horn Book, School Library Journal, Kirkus Reviews, The Bulletin for Children’s Books, Booklist, and the many book catalogs that arrive in our mailbox. Still, things slip through the cracks.

So, while I am at ALA, I try to look at picture books in the booths. For those of you who have never been to ALA or IRA or NCTE or any of the alphabet soup of organizations that help put books in the hands of librarians and teachers, it’s something to behold! There are booths and booths filled with books and posters and pens and bookmarks. There are also smiling folks milling about, ready to tell you about their books. Most of these people are amazingly nice and seem to enjoy talking to every librarian on the planet. I do not fare well in these encounters, as I just feel awkward. The best of these meetings today was when I got to have one editor show me all he loved about a book coming out in the spring. He was glowing with admiration for the words and illustrations, and I loved watching that enthusiasm.

The worst was when someone flatly asked, “Why didn’t you have any of our books on your ballot?” The fact is, I have no talent for remembering which book comes from which publisher, and I wouldn’t be able to tell you which book came from which publisher. I just don’t care. I can barely remember who the authors and illustrators are–how in the world would I know who the publishers are? I remember pictures and stories. That’s all my small brain can hold.

Oh well.

This year, instead of jotting down titles and losing the pieces of paper, I used my trusty phone to photograph books I found especially intriguing. Last year at Midwinter, I was taken with On a Beam of Light. This year, the one book that impressed me was called The Iridescence of Birds by Patricia MacLachlan, illustrated by Hadley Hooper. Inexplicably, it is the one cover photo that refuses to download to my computer. So, jot that title down, friends, and take a look in OCTOBER of 2014 for it.

Most of the following books are not published yet, but I leave you with these images. These are some of the books I want to learn more about over the next few months.

Enjoy.

More from the announcements tomorrow. Counting the minutes.

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