Rachel G. Payne

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Board Books Get an Award of Their Own

Board books don’t tend to win major awards. True, a handful have been named ALA Notable Children’s Books, including one of my all-time favorites, Global Babies by the Global Fund for Children. Many a Caldecott winner has later been republished in board book format, and some work well, notably Kevin...

Board Book Roundup: Young at Heart

The conventional wisdom is that board books are for birth to three years, and I’m a firm believer that board books need to be developmentally appropriate for their audience (see my November/December 2019 column “Board Books Build Brains”). Board books are, at their core, for babies and toddlers. But is...

Board Book Roundup: Board Books Build Brains

They rarely win awards. Few make it to the annual “best of” lists. They get stepped on, chewed, drooled on, and thrown. Their core audiences may not remember a word of them in a few scant years. Their pages are frequently viewed out of order. But board books are some...

Out of Wonder

Ekua Holmes burst on the children’s book scene in 2015 with her phenomenal debut, the multiple award–winning — including a Caldecott Honor — Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement (written by Carole Boston Weatherford). But she didn’t come out of nowhere. She was an established fine...

Banquets and bling

Continuing with this series of behind-the-scenes of the Caldecott committee, I thought it would be fun to give you peek at the Newbery/Caldecott/Wilder Banquet, which took place just last month at the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago. (If you haven’t yet, please read Javaka Steptoe’s Caldecott speech and Martha’s post...

The Good, the Bad, and the Self-Published: Could an Indie Picture Book Win the Caldecott?

Right about now, the 2018 Caldecott chair is likely receiving a steady trickle of self-published books in the mail. Yes, these books are completely eligible for the award! As long as their illustrators are American, that is. But is this an exercise in futility? Could a self-published picture book actually win?...

It's Raining Books

The 2018 Caldecott committee is likely getting some interesting parcels right about now. Brown cardboard boxes, shiney red bubble-wrap envelopes, annoying padded mailers that spew paper fibers all over the place when opened. The book deluge has begun. As Karen MacPherson (who served with me on Caldecott 2016) remembers, “It was...

The Caldecott Calendar

Editor's note: This is the first installment in a series of posts by various former members of various former Caldecott committees  ;) who will in the coming months here on this blog discuss the committee process as well as some of the challenges and issues faced — from handling the...
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