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Lift

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!

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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!

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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

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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

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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?

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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

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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,...

Exquisite: The Poetry and Life of Gwendolyn Brooks

In her afterword for Exquisite: The Poetry and Life of Gwendolyn Brooks, artist Cozbi A. Cabrera talks about how she loved researching the life of legendary poet Gwendolyn Brooks. Cabrera thanks the staff at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's Rare Book and Manuscript Library for allowing her to hold...

How to Talk about Picture Books

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In case we don’t say it enough, we here at Calling Caldecott are immensely grateful to all of the guest posters who visit and write about picture books. We enjoy reading their posts and appreciate their thoughtful contributions. We love it when someone points out something in a picture book...

In the Woods

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We’ve already had a half dozen nature-themed books highlighted at Calling Caldecott, and there are at least that many still to come! Will In the Woods, a poetry collection exploring woodland life during the course of a year, be a stand-out in this impressive field? Veteran illustrator Rob Dunlavey has built his career...

A New Green Day

Before I had children, I had it all planned out. Thanks to my chosen occupation (children’s librarian), I already had a house filled with picture books of all kinds. I knew the literature. I knew which books would appeal to one age range or another. I was book-smart about children’s...

The Next President

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We all know you can throw a rock and hit a children’s book about presidents. They are everywhere. And they are necessary so that we can learn about (and learn from) our past. But not all nonfiction children’s books about presidents are created equal. When Kate Messner’s and Adam Rex’s...

CaldeComics 2021, Part Two

Today on Calling Caldecott, Niki Marion writes about two more 2020 graphic novels. Read her earlier CaldeComics post here.   When we talk about the Caldecott Medal, we often assume that because the award recognizes “the most distinguished picture book for children,” the winner must be a picture book in the traditional...

Outside In

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Cindy Derby’s illustrations in Outside In, written by Deborah Underwood, were made with watercolor and powdered graphite on cold press paper—and, per the copyright page, “some of the lines were created with dried flower stems and thread soaked in ink.” It’s a perfect example of the book’s theme: that nature...

CaldeComics 2021, Part One

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Today on Calling Caldecott, Niki Marion writes about three 2020 graphic novels. She will contribute a second graphic novel round-up post later this week. —J.D. Every year the ALA Youth Media Awards roll around, and every year I’m a touch disappointed not to see more graphic novels among the various award...

You Matter

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I have a confession to make. I am generally not a fan of the all-too-earnest, self-esteem-building “concept” picture book. I could explain why, but then we’d have to consult my therapist and we’d be taking precious time away from discussing this book. Which I love. Truly. Christian Robinson’s You Matter...

The Camping Trip

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“People in cities don’t understand / falling in love with the land.” So goes a line from one of my favorite Girl Scout songs, “Moon on the Meadow.” Jennifer K. Mann’s picture book The Camping Trip takes protagonist and narrator Ernestine from being one of those “people in cities” to getting her first taste...

Whoo-Ku Haiku: A Great Horned Owl Story

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I often say that a nonfiction picture book for children is the best introduction to a new subject for readers of any age, especially when the illustrations are as richly informative as the text, and that is true for me about great horned owls and Maria Gianferrari’s Whoo-Ku Haiku: A...

My Best Friend

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I admit it -- I am a proponent of picture books aimed at the very young, and I am aware that these books don’t often garner Caldecott recognition. But they deserve our attention.  So here's one: My Best Friend, written by Julie Fogliano and illustrated by Jillian Tamaki. It's the story of...

We Are Water Protectors

I simply cannot get enough of We Are Water Protectors. It stands out among the books published this year for its importance in our shared culture and for its elegant beauty. Before I ever saw the book, I saw an illustration from one of its pages — the image of...

Oil

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I love nonfiction picture books. I love books that educate our children and inspire them to social action and justice. And I love seeing the responses of children when I read these kinds of books aloud to them and they are moved to make changes in themselves, their community, and...

A Year Without Page Turns

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Those of you who read Calling Caldecott may have seen some think pieces this year about what it has been like to read and review books during 2020. Because of the pandemic, publishers (generally speaking) have been distributing digital copies of books to review publications and their reviewers. Vicky Smith of...

Honeybee: The Busy Life of Apis Mellifera

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According to National Geographic, the average size of a worker honeybee is between 0.4 to 0.6 inches. And yet this little critter serves a mighty role in the food chain. Some humans may view bees as a pest, but we depend on honeybee pollination for many of the foods we...

Hike

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Now that I’m living closer to my family, I have the advantage of a built-in picturebook audience in my nieces and nephew. Luckily enough, I was hanging out with my youngest niece when I received Hike by Pete Oswald. Since she loves books, she was eager for me to read it...

A Girl Like Me

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I’ve always loved how Nina Crews’s photocollages juxtapose photographic realism with compositional flights of fancy in ways that indulge children’s frequent interest in seeing other real kids in books, as well as their propensity for imaginative play. Crews’s art for Angela Johnson’s poetic text in A Girl Like Me capitalizes on...

Packs: Strength in Numbers

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Hannah Salyer may not be a name you know, but her book, Packs: Strength in Numbers, is a rarity. It’s a debut picture book by a young and talented illustrator receiving award buzz. She has already been featured in interviews at Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast and Kirkus. With fluid lines created...

Black Is a Rainbow Color

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Caldecott Honoree and Coretta Scott King Book Award winner Ekua Holmes wows readers with her meticulous illustrations in Black Is a Rainbow Color, written by Angela Joy. The story starts with a young African American girl coloring a rainbow and notes that her color, black, is not in the rainbow.  From the...

Overground Railroad

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On June 24, 1944, my grandparents boarded a northbound train in Mount Olive, North Carolina, headed for New Haven, Connecticut, where my grandfather’s sister lived. For my grandparents, leaving Mount Olive meant opportunities for jobs other than working on the farm or cleaning someone’s house. It meant leaving behind the...

The Old Truck

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I’m worried. My task here is to review The Old Truck by brothers Jarrett and Jerome Pumphrey. But the book contains such a breathtaking amount of Caldecott-worthy elements, I’m concerned that I might not give each one its due before my time and space run out. Here goes . ....

A Conversation with Kadir Nelson

Kadir Nelson is the author-illustrator of The Undefeated, winner of the 2020 Randolph Caldecott Medal. Julie Danielson interviewed him by email for Calling Caldecott.   Calling Caldecott: What have been some of the highlights of your Caldecott year?  Kadir Nelson: I’ve been blessed with a wonderful year thus far. The news of...

Let's Do This!

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Hi again! Today, we are sharing the list of books we plan to cover at Calling Caldecott in the months leading up to the big awards announcement. As we noted the other day, please remember that this list is not definitive. Books may fall off the list, and we may...

Calling Caldecott 2021

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Hello, dear readers. It’s good to have you back as we kick off this year’s Calling Caldecott season. Ordinarily, I’d write something about how Calling Caldecott is one of many things I like about fall and winter, along with sweater weather and the possibility of snow. But there’s nothing ordinary about...

The 2020 Robin Smith Picture Book Prize

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My wife, Robin Smith, knew children's literature well — she co-founded this blog, served on many book award committees, and reviewed for The Horn Book Magazine and Kirkus Reviews — and she taught second graders for 24 years. Daily, she read picture books to them.  Robin died in 2017 at the age...

2020 Caldecott Announcement

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The wait is over! The 2020 Caldecott Medal Selection Committee has made its choices: one winner and three honor books. The winner is: The Undefeated, illustrated by Kadir Nelson and written by Kwame Alexander:  The honor books are: Bear Came Along, illustred by LeUyen Pham and written by Richard T. Morris:  Double Bass...

The Real Awards Are Nigh!

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We want to take a moment here at Calling Caldecott, as we wrap up our book coverage, to extend our thanks. Mind you, we aren’t entirely done here at the blog. We promise we have more posts in store for you. I mean, OF COURSE we do! The Caldecott announcement is...

Results of the 2020 Calling Caldecott Mock Vote

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The votes are in! And the results yielded a mock winner and four honor books. Our readers chose Oge Mora's Saturday as the winner. Bear Came Along, illustrated by LeUyen Pham; My Papi Has a Motorcycle, illustrated by Zeke Peña; Truman, illustrated by Lucy Ruth Cummins; and The Undefeated, illustrated by Kadir Nelson, received the next highest number of...

It's Time to Vote! — Calling Caldecott 2020 ballot is now open

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It's that time again! Time to weigh in officially on our UNofficial mock Caldecott vote. This year we once again mimic the Real Committee's actual process in some ways, and not in others. This year, we asked our readers to submit mock nominations in November and December — seven in all,...

¡Vamos!

¡Vamos!: Let's Go to the Market by Raúl the Third with color by Elaine Bay was on the Horn Book’s 2019 Fanfare list and received a starred review in the Magazine. Sometimes these decisions involve debate and discussion. Other times — like this one — consensus is clear: Yes! Beginning with the...

A Big Bed for Little Snow

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On the paper jacket for Grace Lin's A Big Bed for Little Snow, a companion to her 2019 Caldecott Honor book A Big Mooncake for Little Star, we see a grinning boy atop a blue-gray, cloudlike bed. The boy's grin exudes mischief, and feathers float in the air. Has he been jumping on the...

2020 CaldeNotts

As an international academic and educator who has lived in the United States for a little over four years, I have often wondered about the following statements under the “Terms, Definitions, and Criteria” section of the Caldecott awards: “The award is restricted to artists who are citizens or residents of...

Home in the Woods

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Home in the Woods is a story of loss and love, hope, hard work, and healing. It is a book of green and gentleness, softness and loyalty, perseverance and hardship, love and courage. In fact, I find myself so smitten by the art and artistry that I thought for a long...

What We Wish We Had Time For

The ALA Youth Media Awards are nigh, but we here at Calling Caldecott still have some book coverage planned for this week and next. We have a few more guest posters to come who will share their thoughts on eligible 2019 titles. Even so, we know that we won’t have...

Daniel's Good Day

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How many times a week do you hear or speak the phrase “Have a good day!”? It’s what Daniel hears from his friendly neighbors. One sunny day, he sets out on a walk to Grandma’s house and decides to ask his good day–wishing neighbors, “What makes a good day for you?” Their answers...

"Nominations," Part Two

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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...

The Shortest Day

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Soon after I was assigned The Shortest Day for Calling Caldecott, I heard author Susan Cooper and illustrator Carson Ellis speak about their collaboration at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. Scrawled in my notes from that day is the sentence, “This isn’t a poem about merry feudal...

A Place to Land

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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...

Saturday

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In a December 2018 interview at the site Art of the Picture Book, Oge Mora mentions that a quote from her favorite painter Jacob Lawrence — "when the subject is complex, simplicity is the only way to treat it" — inspires her. She praises Lawrence's playful style, as well as the way he created...

Double Bass Blues

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As I read Double Bass Blues, I can see and feel the double meaning of the title. Nic is a young Black boy who plays the double bass at his suburban school. Unlike his friends, to get home he must travel across town — and with a double bass on his back....

We want to know your Mock Caldecott plans (and results!)

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One of the things I miss most about school librarianship is doing mock Caldecott units with students. There is a lot they can learn about picture books from a close examination of them — they learn about art and design and writing and how both art and design can extend a text...

Fry Bread

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Fry Bread disappeared from my elementary-school library desk before I had the chance to process it with plastic and barcode stickers. When I then crossed paths with the eager student who had borrowed it, she looked up at me with a smile matching that of the baby on the book’s...

Nine Months

Jason Chin, author and illustrator of such excellent science books as Grand Canyon (2017), Island (2012), Coral Reefs (2011), and Redwoods (2009) has a talent for combining story and nonfiction content. The narratives, illustrations, and nonfiction elements always work together, so much so that his books make great read-alouds and the information, woven into the stories,...

A Stone Sat Still

Recently at his blog 100 Scope Notes, Travis Jonker set about calculating the likelihood that a Caldecott winner may repeat his or her win in the future. He’d crunched similar numbers for the Newbery already, but even so, the results surprised him. He wrote: “I didn’t expect the number of repeat winners...

A Brief Pause for "Nominations"

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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...

River

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Elisha Cooper’s River is the story of a woman who travels the length of the Hudson River by canoe. She starts one morning at a mountain lake (the book’s backmatter tells us it’s New York’s Henderson Lake), waves goodbye to her family, and heads downstream: “Three hundred miles stretch in front of her....

Why the Hell Hasn’t a Book Won the Newbery AND the Caldecott?

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ELISA GALL: The Newbery and Caldecott committees used to be one and the same. Before they were divided into two separate committees (this happened in the late 1970s), a book was either considered for one of the awards or the other: never both. Now a book can win both the Newbery...

You Are Home

I was always a library-dwelling indoor kid by nature, but some of my fondest childhood memories are from summer day trips in the Smoky Mountains — just a quick, early-morning drive to stake out a swimming hole before the tourists got there. It all comes back in sense memories of...

Vroom!

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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...

When Aidan Became a Brother

Could it be? A book with a trans character whose queer identity is not the sole storyline? Well, almost. But still, here it is — and a possible contender for the Caldecott Medal to boot. When Aidan Became a Brother is the story of a soon-to-be older sibling and his anxieties...

My Papi Has a Motorcycle

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Isabel Quintero and I have at least one thing in common. My Papi Has a Motorcycle, too, and although we used to ride on Sunday mornings instead of in the evenings, Quintero and I both know the bond-forming experience of a father sharing the road with his daughter. Quintero once again collaborates with...

The Undefeated

“This is for the unforgettable / The swift and sweet ones / who hurdled history / and opened a world / of possible.” From the opening lines of Kwame Alexander’s poem, readers are invited on a journey. It is a journey through a people’s story — through the sorrows, triumphs, and resilience...

The 2019 New York Times/New York Public Library Best Illustrated Children’s Books list

It's November, which means the annual announcement of the New York Times/New York Public Library Best Illustrated Children's Books list. At the end of October/beginning of November every year, I wake up each morning, wondering if today will be the day they make the announcement. (I know, I know. But if...

Bear Came Along

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In her illustrator's note for the rollicking Bear Came Along, LeUyen Pham writes, "This book is truly special to me. It was one of those rare stories that, the moment I read it, I knew exactly how it would look." Her vibrant illustrations, done in watercolor, ink, and gouache, reflect...

The Fisherman and the Whale

It seems many book creators of late are fascinated — and justifiably concerned — by increasingly frequent news about injured, captive, and entangled whales. This has resulted in a wealth of gorgeously illustrated books featuring observant, empathetic child characters who, in various ways, perform acts of environmental stewardship. Think Troy Howell and Richard...

Two Brothers, Four Hands

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Biographies by Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan are among my favorite nonfiction books. Action Jackson; Ballet for Martha; Chuck Close, Up Close; and Christo and Jeanne-Claude: Through the Gates and Beyond, among others, are models of fine writing and creative presentations. And I loved Hadley Hooper’s illustrations for Patricia MacLachlan’s...

The Bell Rang

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Any time I have heard an African American person speak of learning about slavery as a child, the memory entails some degree of shame. In his memoir Bad Boy, Walter Dean Myers wrote about feeling, as a child looking at his textbook’s shallow treatment of slavery, that somehow those people...

The Caldecott Torch

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Calling Caldecott readers may remember this September post in which Caldecott medalist Sophie Blackall mentioned how she and fellow medalist Matthew Cordell (the two most recent winners) recently brainstormed a new Caldecott tradition. Sophie's fab idea, which she suggested as she chatted with Matt at this year's ALA Annual conference, was...

The Little Guys

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In Leave Me Alone!, a 2017 Caldecott Honor book, Vera Brosgol gave us a grouchy grandma who just wants to be left TF alone. In The Little Guys, we meet a pack of admittedly adorable underdogs, working ably together to better themselves and all others within the group — but acting like a bunch...

CaldeComics 2020

Another year, another opportunity for graphic novels to make their way into Caldecott discussions. If, as Travis Jonker writes, wordless books are “Caldecott catnip,” then what does that make graphic novels? “Graphic elements” in picture books certainly seem to be an enticing treat (see: Mr. Wuffles!, A Different Pond, Creepy...

Another

My sister, a high school English teacher, is one of the most well-read and story-loving persons on the planet. She reads voraciously, indiscriminately, and deeply. When she presses a book into my hands, I know it will demand focused and thoughtful reading. This was the case with Joseph Campbell’s The...

Going Down Home with Daddy

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Going Down Home with Daddy's back cover boldly announces, “Nothing is more important than family.” It's a palpable sentiment throughout the story. A Black family of four wakes before dawn to pack the car for a trip “down home” to Daddy’s family reunion, an event they surely attend regularly. During the drive,...

Hey, Water!

Forgive me, dear readers, but I’m sort of cheating. I’m writing about Antoinette Portis’s Hey, Water! here at Calling Caldecott when, earlier this year, I reviewed it for the Horn Book Magazine. I’m going to embrace this, though, by leaning into my review and reiterating here the many things I like...

What Never Wins?

Travis Jonker's Calling Caldecott post about wordless books being "catnip" for Caldecott committees, and he's making me wonder again about what picture-book subgenres have never figured in the medals. Like: board books, pop-up books, books illustrated with photographs. Anything else?...

Gittel's Journey

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Gittel’s Journey — and thus, Gittel’s journey — feels vast. The trim size is on the generous side, with a dust jacket that shows our young protagonist against a backdrop of ocean and the faraway Statue of Liberty and, on the back, shows her amidst a large crowd of people disembarking from...

Field Trip to the Moon

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Look, I could beat around the bush, but I’m just going to tell you straight: nothing gets the attention of the Caldecott committee like a wordless book. Wordless is Caldecott catnip. “Yeah, yeah, Travis, what do you know?” Well, I know that my 2014 committee gave Honors to not one but...

What Is Given from the Heart

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In this posthumous offering from author Patricia C. McKissack, young James Otis and his mother are experiencing hard times: James Otis's father has died; they have lost their farm; their rundown new house floods; James Otis's dog disappears. The two things they have been able to hold onto are their faith and each other. In...

Mordicai Gerstein: A Tribute

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We here at Calling Caldecott are sad to have read the news about the death of Mordicai Gerstein, who wrote and illustrated children’s books for nearly five decades. I first heard about his death on Tuesday when Richard Michelson of R. Michelson Galleries in Northampton, Massachusetts, shared the news of his...

Sea Bear

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I typically shy away from books that carry any sort of “message.” The heavy hand of adulthood often lands a little too hard for my taste, replacing narrative and beauty with “You get it now, right?” Not so in Lindsay Moore’s nonfiction picture book Sea Bear: A Journey for Survival. In...

My Heart

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I’ve been diving into social-emotional books this year for a number of reasons, so I was interested in My Heart and saw it fairly soon after it was published. It struck me as a book that was going to challenge any ideas we might have about how a book about feelings should...

CaldeGeisel 2020

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Last year the Guessing Geisel co-host team was thrilled to make a visit to Calling Caldecott to discuss the crossover appeal of Emily Tetri’s Tiger vs. Nightmare. Although the title didn’t quite snag a crossover win, it did take home a Geisel Honor. Not too shabby! This year we’re once again...

A Conversation with Sophie Blackall

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Sophie Blackall is the author-illustrator of Hello Lighthouse, winner of the 2019 Randolph Caldecott Medal. Julie Danielson interviewed her by email for Calling Caldecott.   Calling Caldecott: Last year, we asked the Caldecott Medalist where he keeps his medal (it is beside his daughter's Ren Faire fist, no less), but where...

Let's Dive In: The List Is Here

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We're here today with our list of 2020 Caldecott-eligible books. We’ve asked the books (and our guest bloggers) to don some scuba gear, because we’re going to take some deep dives here at the blog — humor me with my weak aquatic metaphor; I’m only on my first cup of...

It's That Time of Year Again

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Well, hello there! We here at Calling Caldecott are waving in your direction (which is to say many directions), welcoming fall — here in the South, anyway, we finally have a subtle chill in the air — and welcoming back our readers for a new season of looking at outstanding...

Spring Picture Books on the Radar

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Why, hello there! We are running our fingers through a few months’ worth of cyber-dust here at the Calling Caldecott blog, given that our last post was in January.Have you been reading picture books in 2019? You can trust that we have, and we thought it would be a good...

The 2019 Robin Smith Picture Book Prize

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Perched on her rocking chair (brightly painted by her students with Alabama outsider artist Chris Clark), teacher Robin Smith would launch with glee and gusto into a beloved picture book, her second graders in a semicircle at her feet. Every day for 24 years she would read to her students...

The Official 2019 Caldecott Winners

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The day has come! The 2019 Caldecott Medal Selection Committee has made its choices.The winner is:Hello Lighthouse, written and illustrated by Sophie Blackall. (This is her second Caldecott Medal — Finding Winnie won in 2016).The honor books are:Alma and How She Got Her Name, written and illustrated by Juana Martinez-NealThe Rough...

Calling Caldecott: Not a Crystal Ball

We mentioned this in yesterday's post, but it's worth repeating: our mock vote yesterday was really close! WOWZERS. (You can head here to see the results if you haven't seen the numbers yet.) As we watched the results come in yesterday, we were oohing and aahing over how close it...

And the winner of the 2019 Calling Caldecott mock vote is…

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…Yuyi Morales's DreamersCongratulations to Yuyi Morales for winning the mock vote here at Calling Caldecott!It's been a bit of a wild ride, though. If you look at the full results of our vote, you'll see that this was almost too close to call:1st choice(4 points)2nd choice(3 points)3rd choice(2 points)Total pointsA...

Calling Caldecott 2019 ballot #2 now open

We are almost finished! Our second ballot starts now and will be open until 9 a.m. EST tomorrow (Thursday, January 24), and we will announce the winner of our mock vote in the afternoon.In less than a week! — Monday, January 28! — we will find out which books will receive recognition from the Real Caldecott...

Calling Caldecott 2019 ballot #1 results

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The first round of voting is complete! Thanks to everyone who weighed in.As regular Calling Caldecott readers know — but it bears repeating for new folks — the real Caldecott Committee is required to vote for three books on each ballot, specifying 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place. When the votes...

Calling Caldecott 2019 ballot #1 is open

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Here is a link to the 2019 Calling Caldecott ballot. It will be open until 9 a.m. (EST) Tuesday, January 22. Sometime that afternoon, we will post the results and a link to the second ballot. [Note: because Monday is a federal holiday, we decided to let voting continue until...

2019 Calling Caldecott ballot #1 and voting instructions

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It's time for the 2019 mock vote here at Calling Caldecott! We have been discussing books here at the blog as far back as early March, and we hope you all have been reading and thinking and poring over books. The actual ALA Youth Media Awards will be in less...

Our Picture Book Year

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Jules: So, we here at Calling Caldecott have wrapped up our book coverage, and it's almost time for the mock vote. (More on that tomorrow!) But before that happens we thought we'd have a brief discussion about the year. No predictions here, because no one has a crystal ball. But we...

A Parade of Elephants

2
This year on Calling Caldecott we’ve had an impassioned plea for Caldecott recognition for board books. The title under discussion today isn’t a board book (well, not yet). But it’s for the same audience, and I’m about to make an impassioned plea for its recognition.Kevin Henkes’s A Parade of Elephants is both...

The Stuff of Stars

2
While on a recent drive across the state, I was listening to National Public Radio's Here and Now as correspondent Robin Young consulted with her high school choir director, Ron Cohen, about the composition of Handel's Messiah. During the conversation, Mr. Cohen described the technique that Handel employed to illuminate...

Stop That Yawn!

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This is not a bedtime story. On the cover are yawning people and animals — they’re already half asleep! — but in the middle of them all is a little girl and her cat, and they’re wide awake. The girl has brown skin and locs, and everything about her, from...

2019 CaldeNotts

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I love following along here at Calling Caldecott, reading posts and comments from extraordinarily astute and observant picture book evaluators and measuring the books in question according to their insights, whether or not they line up with mine. Indeed, perhaps the most gratifying function of a blog like this, for...

Undocumented

2
Undocumented: A Worker’s Fight by Duncan Tonatiuh follows a fictional man named Juan who emigrates from Mexico to the United States. As an undocumented restaurant worker, he is terribly exploited; a waitress, herself an immigrant from China, recruits Juan to help organize their colleagues, and they courageously file a legal...

A Home in the Barn

4
Could Jerry Pinkney bring home Caldecott gold once again with his illustrations for A Home in the Barn? I don’t have a crystal ball, and even Santa (who knows everything) won’t tell me. But I do love this book. As we’ve seen, there are many stellar picture books this year....
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