Martha V. Parravano

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Little Women movie

Greta Gerwig's film adaptation of Louisa May Alcott's 1868 classic is by far the most inventive (constructed out of chronological order, with constant flashbacks and flash forwards); the most meta (with Jo March herself cast as the author of Little Women, and with an audacious twist at the end regarding Professor Bhaer); the most political...

Editorial: Bordering on the Absurd (January/February 2020)

This past November we put out a call on the Calling Caldecott blog for mock “nominations,” asking readers to name a few 2019 books they considered top contenders for the Caldecott Medal. Horn Book Editor in Chief Roger Sutton cheekily touted Small in the City — knowing full well that...

"Nominations," Part Two

Yes, it's time for the second round of Caldecott "nominations"! As you may recall, in November we put out a call for a first round, asking readers to name their top four choices (so far). Now we are back, asking for THREE more titles. Each member of the Real Committee must nominate...

Board Books for Holiday Travel

It's that time of year when families with children board planes, trains, and automobiles for holiday travel — and sometimes lugging their favorite full-size picture books can be a strain. That's when board book editions of those picture books come in handy. In Rachel G. Payne’s excellent board book round up in...

Happy Anniversary: When Sophie Gets Angry—Really, Really Angry...

When Sophie Gets Angry — Really, Really Angry… by Molly Bang was published by Blue Sky in 1999. It celebrates its twentieth anniversary in 2019.   Before 1999, we had picture books about hurt feelings, friendship rifts, disappointment and sadness and sulkiness; about terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad days. We...

A Place to Land

A Place to Land: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Speech That Inspired a Nation is an exemplary nonfiction picture book — as in, it represents the best of its kind. The story it tells — of the crafting of MLK's "I Have a Dream" speech at the 1963 March on Washington — is absolutely riveting; and the visual...

Review of Red House, Tree House, Little Bitty Brown Mouse

Red House, Tree House, Little Bitty Brown Mouse by Jane Godwin; illus. by Blanca Gómez Preschool    Dial    40 pp.    g 8/19    978-0-525-55381-6    $16.99 “Red house / Blue house / Green house / Tree house! / See the tiny mouse / in her little brown house?” A small mouse packs her...

A Brief Pause for "Nominations"

Hello, everyone! As you may be aware, the Real Committee has been busy all year with its regimented system of (informal) suggestions and (formal) nominations. Jules and I thought we would pause in our coverage of 2019 Caldecott-eligible titles to solicit your input. What books are your current top favorites? Just to briefly...

Vroom!

Barbara McClintock's Vroom! is one of my favorite picture books of 2019 for very young children — and I'm a perennial cheerleader for great books for the youngest, though they rarely if ever garner Caldecott recognition. Still! They are worth speaking up for.  In recognition of its audience, Vroom! wastes no...

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