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The YMA Phone Calls

So, I had to stay home again. I wasn’t in any of the little rooms where it happened, nor was I in the giant room where it was announced. Blech. I was, however, in a queen-sized bed with all manner of wireless devices surrounding me. I was prepared. And a good thing, too, because the […]

What do you think of the REAL Caldecott winners?

So, I bet a lot of you watched the awards live online. If you didn’t, here’s the link where you can see what happened this morning http://ala.unikron.com/2017/ I’m putting this post up really fast so you all have a place to respond to the winners. Martha and Robin and I will chime in later. Radiant […]

Announcing the 2017 Calling Caldecott winners

Our Mock Caldecott vote has concluded. Thanks to everyone (if our numbers and math are correct, over 600 of you—a record number) who participated. There may be hope for us all if we all still care this passionately about picture books. The winner of our Mock Caldecott, with a phenomenally high 1026 total points, is […]

2017 Ballot #1 results — and ballot #2 now open

The three of us watched the voting in real time yesterday and last night, and woke up early today to check numbers before the balloting closed at 9 am. This is a really exciting time for us, but it can also be heartbreaking as we see some of our favorites are not getting the voter love […]

Calling Caldecott 2017 ballot #1 now open

Here is a link to the 2017 Calling Caldecott ballot. It will be open until 9 a.m. (EST) tomorrow — Friday, January 13. Around 1 p.m., we will post the results and a link to the second ballot. Go ahead and lobby for your favorites in the comments here. Or mourn for the books that […]

Laying out the voting rules, 2016 edition

Okay, you know the drill. The Real Committee will meet in less than two weeks to make their final decisions. How in the world are they going to do it? I DON’T KNOW. We had a horrible time putting our ballot together, and we didn’t have hours of discussion and gallons of coffee to aid […]

Real Cowboys

Most of us associate illustrator Jonathan Bean with a more representative style and a less saturated medium. (Think Building Our House and This Is My Home, This Is My School.) But of course the Real Committee can’t be thinking about that, and anyway Bean made the right artistic choice for this book’s impressionistic text. The art is composed of […]

Ideas Are All Around

I suspect I will be in the minority when I tell you my thoughts about this book. But as I tell my students, you have to have the spine to say what you think, and the tact to do it in a way that is direct but not mean. But, wow, is that hard. Especially […]

“Judged purely on artistic merit”: The 2016 New York Times Best Illustrated Books

Editor’s note: Cathryn M. Mercier, director of the Center for the Study of Children’s Literature at Simmons College and a judge on the 2012 New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Books panel, generously took us up on a request to look at the picture books on this year’s list, in one bang-up, round-up post. Of the ten books […]

Miracle Man

Truth be told, I almost always avoid standard religious children’s books, as I find the majority of them trite, preachy, or overly sentimental. A picture book about Jesus could easily fall into one of these categories; could be a sentimental, moralistic depiction with a didactic message. But in the hands of author-illustrator John Hendrix, the story of Jesus feels simultaneously […]