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Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement

voiceof freedom

One thing the members of the Caldecott Committee are looking for each time they open a new box is the wonderful feeling of New. When I was on the committee, whenever I opened a Caldecott box, I would feel the burden of The Same. A book would remind me of another book. The illustrations would […]

Two Mice

two mice

This little book packs a whole lotta wow per square inch. It took me some time to see everything it has to offer, but now that I have, I’m totally sold. (Philip Nel raved, too; Two Mice “exemplifies the elegant efficiency of the picture book” and “unfolds with perfect economy.”) Before we even open the book, there’s much to remark on. […]

A tale of two Winnies

winniecovers

When I was on the Caldecott committee, we were strict about following the rule that said we couldn’t discuss books published in other years, even if we were tempted to compare a book to its creator’s previous titles. But we certainly DID compare similar nominated books. In our year there were several books with similar […]

A Call for Mocks!

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The fall is whooshing by, and here at Calling Caldecott we’ve just about covered the spring 2015 titles (those published from January thru June) —whew! — and are ready to move on to discussing the fall season’s books. But time feels short. With ALA Midwinter being so early this year, perhaps you’ve already begun to […]

Drum Dream Girl

drum

I love a story that I have never heard before. Enter Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl’s Courage Changed Music, which tells, in the simplest language, the story of Millo Castro Zaldarriaga. It does not surprise me that I had not heard of one little girl in Cuba; what surprised me was that girls were […]

Leo: A Ghost Story

leo

This book is one of my favorites of the year, and I would imagine it’s one that the Caldecott committee will discuss at length. (It has also recently been named a NYT Best Illustrated book.) Mac Barnett’s excellent storytelling, combined with Christian Robinson’s illustrations, make this a true picture book. Robinson’s childlike illustrations (a mix […]

I Yam a Donkey!

yam donkey

Who remembers a little book from last year called El Deafo? Graphic novel memoir? About growing up deaf? Won a Newbery Honor and an Eisner Award — that one. Cece Bell’s follow-up to El Deafo — that smart, witty, sensitive, unique, personal story — is a picture book about … a dumb-ass (literally!) donkey and the pompous yam who […]

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

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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 […]