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I tried to resist Lift, written by Minh Lê and illustrated by Dan Santat — a story of sibling rivalry in which young protagonist Iris feels usurped by her younger brother until she presses a magical elevator button that lets her escape into fantastic adventures. I saw it when it was...

Tell us all about your Mock Caldecotts!

You may not be surprised to see that, once again, we are asking you, our readers, for your Mock Caldecott plans! We know that many of you — teachers, school librarians, public librarians, and even booksellers — do mock Caldecotts with students, library patrons, etc. And you know we love to hear about them.  Want to...

A Thousand Glass Flowers

Do you ever sit with an object and think about where it’s been and where it’s going? I like to do this with my vintage beads. I run the strands through my fingers, hold them up to the light, and think about the artists who made the tiny, precious spheres,...

NYT/NYPL List, We Miss You!

JULES: Some of you may have already heard that, sadly, the New York Times/New York Public Library Best Illustrated Children’s Book Awards will not take place this year, because of the pandemic. (Here are last year’s awards if you want to take a stroll down memory lane.) I look forward...

Bedtime for Sweet Creatures

Kudos to author Nikki Grimes and artist Elizabeth Zunon, who together have created a most unusual bedtime book in Bedtime for Sweet Creatures. One of the most unusual things about the text is that it is narrated by the protagonist's mother, who throughout the book addresses her child as she...

A Quick Pause for Nominations

It's that time of year again at Calling Caldecott where we pause briefly in our coverage of 2020 picture books to ask for readers' input. What books that are eligible for the Caldecott are your current top favorites? It's not been a typical year, to put it mildly. And award...

What the Hell Is Didactic Intent Anyway?

ELISA GALL: Part of the Caldecott terms and criteria reads: "The committee should keep in mind that the award is for distinguished illustrations in a picture book and for excellence of pictorial presentation for children. The award is not for didactic intent or for popularity." In recent years, I've seen...

2021 CaldeNotts

If we here at Calling Caldecott ran the world, one of the first things we’d do is make it so that the Caldecott award could become an international award. The Caldecott manual states: “The award is restricted to artists who are citizens or residents of the United States.” But, as...

How to Find a Bird

I'm not a big bird fan, bordering on phobia (the thought of talons and my big, curly hair—horror). Living in the city, all the pigeons and the geese and the poop.  How to Find a Bird by Jennifer Ward, illus. by Diana Sudyka, came out in August and was reviewed,...
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