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The People's Painter

Illustrating a biography of an artist is its own challenge. In The People's Painter: How Ben Shahn Fought for Justice with Art — a picture-book biography of artist Ben Shahn, written by Cynthia Levinson — illustrator Evan Turk strikes a balance between allowing Shahn’s influence to infuse the illustrations (his intention, as...


The somber tone of Floyd Cooper’s illustrations in Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre, written by Carole Boston Weatherford, begins on the cover. The family — mother, father, and two young girls — is obviously in distress as they appear to flee a scene of fire and destruction. For those of us in...

The Rock from the Sky

I’ve always harbored a pet Caldecott theory. You know how some artists will win Caldecott Awards and Honors over and over again, while others never seem to get a foot in the door? I have often wondered if there was a window of opportunity there. Get in while you’re new —...

Mel Fell

Author-illustrator Corey R. Tabor’s exuberant Mel Fell starts with a dramatic announcement from a baby kingfisher named Mel: today, with her mama away, is the day she will learn how to fly. Hiding in a tree hole, her siblings, Pim and Pip, watch with great concern as Mel marches to the end...

Bear Island

When I was on the 2018 Caldecott committee, we chose Matthew Cordell’s Wolf in the Snow. In preparing for our deliberations, we read and re-read the book. Sounds funny to say that, when there are hardly any words in it, and the ones that are there are sound effects: “bark! bark! bark!” and...

Outside, Inside

There is so much to notice and appreciate about LeUyen Pham’s Outside, Inside that it’s hard to know where to start. This is a book about the COVID-19 pandemic, a book that explains the major societal changes the onset of the pandemic wrought in a way that the many preschoolers who...

A Conversation with Michaela Goade

Photo credit: Sydney Akagi. Michaela Goade is the illustrator of We Are Water Protectors (written by Carole Lindstrom, and published by Roaring Brook), the winner of the 2021 Randolph Caldecott Medal. Julie Danielson interviewed Michaela via email for Calling Caldecott.  Calling Caldecott: What was your first conversation with Carole Lindstrom like...

Building Our List

Today at Calling Caldecott, we start talkin' books. Which ones will we write about this year?  Here's where we remind you that this list is ever-evolving. Books may be added to it, and books might fall off of it.  Please also remember that we have zero, zilch, nada to do...

Calling Caldecott 2022

Hello! We interrupt your Target shopping for all the spectacular Christian Robinson products to announce that it's time to kick off our Calling Caldecott season. We are happy you are here to join us in discussing All Things 2021 Picture Books! (Or, well, the Caldecott-eligible ones anyway.) We last saw you...
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