The Right Word

right word

While we took a short break over the holidays, you can bet that the members of the Real Caldecott Committee did not. Neither sleet nor dark of night nor even New Year’s or Festivus celebrations can deter committee members from their responsibilities. And now it’s January. Less than one month to go until…Deliberation Weekend! followed by…Announcement Monday! So […]

The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend

santat_adventures of beekle

It’s Boxing Day, friends. Time to talk about a sweet gift of a book. Because I know many of you are sneaking a peek at your phones and computers in between holiday cleanup, entertaining relatives, and furtive trips to the mall, I will make it a quick review. Beekle is an extremely adorable imaginary friend […]

More golden

bell_el-deafo_170x256

I’ve talked before about what a (surprisingly) rich year it’s been for picture books. As have others. It’s also been another strong year for graphic novels (viz. Sisters and El Deafo and This One Summer and more) — an art form that, based on the definition of the picture book in the criteria, is arguably eligible for Caldecott consideration: “1. A […]

Gravity

Gravity

In the past, Jason Chin has added a fantasy element to his information books. In Redwoods, for instance, a boy in the city reads about the redwood forest and is transported there, returning to his urban reality at the end of the book. In Gravity, Chin has gone fully meta: the children we see are […]

The Farmer and the Clown

9781442497443_f3568

Things are beginning to heat up. Mock Caldecotts are being decided; best-of-year lists continue to be released; over at Fuse #8, Betsy Bird has made her final predictions. It’s time to talk about a book that’s been one of my favorites all fall: Marla Frazee’s The Farmer and the Clown. I find it difficult not […]

All Different Now: Juneteenth, the First Day of Freedom

all different now

 I have written about and talked about this book a lot elsewhere, so it seems time to put my finger on why the Caldecott committee should take a close look at All Different Now. Before I start, I want to dispel a myth I hear a lot. It goes something like this: this is really […]

Buried Sunlight

bang_buried

Full disclosure: Molly Bang is one of those children’s-book people I’ve gotten to know a bit. Not so well that, as Robin puts it, she is likely to look me up on Facebook to see if I’m over the flu. But she’s visited my class a few times, we’ve corresponded by email, and I’ve visited […]

Your nominations, please

academy-award-nominations

At just about this time  of year, the Real Caldecott Committee members are wrapping up their nominations. At the Midwinter meetings, they will discuss only the titles that have been nominated. To clarify, members may suggest many titles throughout the year (and everyone on the committee needs to read all suggested books in their entirety) […]

Winter Bees and Other Poems of the Cold

sidman_winter bees

Baby, it’s cold outside. Time to look at this very wintry book. Taking it from the top… We notice the arresting cover: the leaping fox; the contrast between the fox’s red coat /dark paws and the white, snowy background; the overlay of snow in the air. Open the book to see endpapers the color of […]

We’re golden

2014 Calling Caldecott books

I think we’d all agree that last year was a remarkable year for picture books. And that last year was SO spectacular, SO impressive, that this year might have felt a little…flat. I’ve even caught myself feeling kind of bad for the current Caldecott committee — 2013 would be a tough act to follow. But this week, here at The Horn Book, we finalized […]