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A House That Once Was

How do you feel when a multi–Caldecott Honor winner creates a Caldecott-worthy book? Personally, I go through a series of different stages. You know. Denial. Morbid curiosity. Conversion. Proselytizing. At least that’s what happened when I took a deep dive into A House That Once Was by Julie Fogliano, illustrated by Lane Smith. As you […]

Hello Lighthouse

I like to believe that over ten years of reading books aloud to children has provided me with a strong sense of the ones that will capture not just their attention but also (and perhaps more importantly) their hearts and minds. The books they beg me to read again and again. The books that cause […]

Fox + Chick: The Party and Other Stories

I have a deep love for art that is excellent without being showy, and so I find myself in love with Sergio Ruzzier’s Fox + Chick: The Party and Other Stories. The Caldecott criteria include providing a child with a primarily visual experience, and here it is. Even children who can’t read but take a few […]

Martin Rising

This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. While we normally see, on an annual basis, a new crop of picture books about the legendary civil rights leader, there seem to be even more this year in an effort to mark this somber anniversary. Andrea Davis Pinkney’s Martin […]

CaldeComics, Part One

Today on Calling Caldecott, Alec Chunn writes about three 2018 graphic novels. He will contribute a second graphic novel round-up post later this year. —J.D. Jillian and Mariko Tamaki’s This One Summer was (controversially) chosen as a 2015 Caldecott Honor book. A graphic novel hasn’t received recognition since, though Thi Bui and Bao Phi’s 2018 Caldecott […]

Alma and How She Got Her Name

The first time I saw Juana Martinez-Neal’s Alma and How She Got Her Name was as a thumbnail image on a website alongside scores of other books. Even in low-resolution, postage-stamp size, I felt its softness and personalness, and I wanted to reach in and hold it. The cover — featuring Alma’s name spelled out in large hand-lettering, […]

The Field

When I was about four years old, my parents signed me up for a kids’ soccer program. All I remember is feeling terrified when it was my turn to be goalie — and somehow convincing the coach to let my best friend stay in the goal with me. Suffice it to say: soccer was not […]

All A-Board: Why the Hell Hasn’t a Board Book Won the Caldecott!?

Today on Calling Caldecott, a conversation between Elisa Gall and Jonathan Hunt about board books and the Caldecott Award. (If you missed it, last year they asked a similar question: Why the hell hasn’t photography won the Caldecott?!?) —J.D. ELISA GALL: Thanks to Allison Kaplan’s 2012 Children and Libraries article “From Board to Cloth and Back Again,” […]

Hello Hello

No illustrator creates animals the way Brendan Wenzel does. Once readers see a cat or a parrot or a tiger rendered in his distinct style, they may never look at the creature the same way again. And it all starts with those eyes. I call them Wenzelian eyes. The googly eyes never feel cutesy, but […]

This Is the Nest that Robin Built

Denise Fleming loves bright colors and texture, and this book’s palette is all about springtime, with all its yellow-greens and blues setting off the warm browns and reds of the foreground figures. She has moved away from her signature paper pulp painting technique this time, instead printing her colors onto paper that she cuts out and […]