Water Is Water: A Book about the Water Cycle

water is water

In this exploration of the water cycle, Jason Chin uses watercolor and gouache to paint lovely scenes of a family’s pond-side, rural homestead. Each season is shown in vibrant colors and thoughtful details, and water is shown in a different form on each page. I particularly liked the choice to present the house and its […]

The Night World

night world

There’s a lot to like about The Night World, from Caldecott medalist Mordicai Gerstein. Unlike your esteemed leaders here at Calling Caldecott, I’ve never been on the Caldecott committee, but if I were, this book would be in my serious-consideration stack. Let’s start with the dust jacket. It welcomes readers with a window, as a […]

Meet the Dullards

pennypacker_meet the dullards

Today we’re considering Meet the Dullards by Sara Pennypacker, illustrated by Daniel Salmieri. If you haven’t had a look at this book yet, do yourself a favor and go find it. It’s far from dull. As you can see from the cover, there’s something going on here between the text and the art similar to […]

The Skunk


I admit to being a leeetle unsure of what to make of this one. In an SLJ interview, author Mac Barnett was less than definitive: “What is The Skunk about? Is it a comedy? A romance? A ghost story? A tale of paranoia? An allegory of trauma?” And the Kirkus review called it “peculiar, perplexing, and […]

My Pen

my pen

There are few things more exciting than a picture-book artist creating in an unexpected style. Christopher Myers, winner of the 2015 Coretta Scott King Book Award for his illustrations for Firebird, written by Misty Copeland, provides a fanciful exploration of creativity with pen and ink drawings in My Pen. The intrigue begins on the book […]

Wolfie the Bunny

wolfie the bunny

With Wolfie the Bunny we welcome another new-sibling picture book into the world — this one with tons of humor and age-appropriate drama, and with plenty of child appeal in both text and art. (And carrots. Lots of carrots.) What will the Real Committee be looking at? I imagine they will ooh and aah over the actual cover (under the jacket) […]

Gordon Parks: How the Photographer Captured Black and White America

gordon parks

KT: I was excited to see this book come in because I have long been a fan of Gordon Parks’s photography, and I was eager to learn more about him. Carole Boston Weatherford’s book is less a biography than it is the story of how he found his calling. When he was twenty-five, he was […]

It’s Only Stanley

agee_it's only stanley

Pursuant to Robin and KT’s post on Wednesday, each of us will have his or her own list of persistent omissions from the Caldecott rolls; mine is topped by Eric Carle, Rosemary Wells — and our subject for today, Jon Agee. Why not Jon Agee? At the Horn Book at Simmons Colloquium earlier this month, […]

Can We Get These Folks a Sticker, Please?


                ROBIN SMITH: Over the years, I have heard people moaning that certain illustrators had never won the Caldecott award and would never win. To my innocent ears, that seemed unfair. As I learned more about picture books, one thing did become clear to me: certain very good illustrators never seemed to […]

My Bike

my bike

Ah, one of my favorite subjects: picture books for the very young. This year some of my most-loved books fall into that category, including several we’re talking about on Calling Caldecott this fall. We all know that these books face an uphill battle when it comes to Caldecott recognition. But that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve […]