Odd Duck

Odd Duck

First, let me remind you that my expertise is not comic books or graphic novels. I DID grow up reading lots and lots of comic books of the Archie & Veronica and Baby Huey variety and have read many graphic novels for young adults. The TOON books have their own special place in my classroom. I am […]

That Is NOT a Good Idea!

That is not a good idea

Those of you with children under the age of five are experts on Mo Willems — Knuffle Bunny, Elephant and Piggie, the Pigeon. This year’s must-have book for the Willems fan is That Is NOT a Good Idea! It’s a hilarious hybrid: part silent movie, part picture book; part cautionary tale, part inside joke. But […]

Mr. Tiger Goes Wild

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Mr. Tiger, you rascal. The first time I saw art from this book, I wondered if I might be suffering from leaf motif overload. Between Jon Klassen and Lane Smith and a heap of others, I was beginning to tire of stylized leaves and trees, especially the ones that are computer manipulated and repeated. But […]

Entering the homestretch

home stretch 1

Back in September we came up with a list of 2013 picture books we hoped to cover on this blog. As Robin said then, we make no promises, but we do want to discuss as many books on that list as we can. So, as a sort of Thanksgiving appetizer, here’s what’s coming up in the next few weeks as […]

Melissa Sweet, part deux

little red writing

Take a minute away from the Thanksgiving prep to think about the last of Melissa Sweet’s 2013 trilogy. I will keep it short so you’ll have time to brine your turkey. Puns and plays on words are the order of the day in this humorous take on how to write a story. Sweet interprets Joan […]

Melissa Sweet to the third power

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Well, I hardly know where to start. Brave Girl Melissa Sweet is making a particularly big splash (and not just A Splash of Red, either). She has sharpened her Little Red Writing instruments and illustrated three books this year. She is not only a prolific illustrator, but one who loves research and creates stunning books […]

“One common gift”: a direct line to childhood

Picture book author and editor extraordinaire Charlotte Zolotow died yesterday at the age of 98. The children’s literature world is mourning her death but celebrating, as well, her enormous contributions to the field. Here on Calling Caldecott our focus is a narrow and intense one: we devote our time and energy to looking at this year’s — and only this year’s […]

Parrots over Puerto Rico

parrots over puerto rico

Let’s talk about Parrots over Puerto Rico today — written by Susan L. Roth and Cindy Trumbore and illustrated with lush, amazingly detailed fabric and paper collages by Roth. Published by Lee & Low, this nonfiction picture book relates the history of the Puerto Rican parrot (Amazona vittata) from 5000 BCE through today; from thriving community […]

The Dark

The Dark by Lemony Snicket

Come on, people, hasn’t the man won enough? Wasn’t his acceptance speech so wonderful that he could never ever be improved upon? Haven’t I already reviewed just about every book Klassen has written? Do I really have to talk about this one? Okay, I will. Laszlo is afraid of the dark. (So afraid that he has […]

Hello, My Name Is Ruby: A Conversation

hello ruby

Martha and I are going to try something different here on the blog today: we’re going to talk to each other about a picture book — Philip C. Stead’s Hello, My Name Is Ruby. We’ll start with the positives we each see in the book, and then move to any concerns we might have. Generally, we […]