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The 2022 Robin Smith Picture Book Prize

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This is the fifth annual Robin Smith Picture Book Prize. My wife, Robin — teacher, writer, conference speaker, children’s book committee regular, and co-founder of Calling Caldecott — died of cancer in 2017. I am heartened that this prize in her honor represents so much of Robin’s spirit. The five...
      

Field Notes: Teaching Infinite Hope

Ashley Bryan’s Infinite Hope: A Black Artist’s Journey from World War II to Peace won the 2020 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award for Nonfiction and a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Award — but as a teacher, children’s literature aficionado, and friend of Ashley’s, I’ve known the book was special for...
      

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...
      

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 View from Robin's Rocking Chair

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Robin Smith, my wife, co-founded Calling Caldecott, and when she died last year, I knew that each fall would have me wondering which current picture books Robin would love most. The way I decide is to think of Robin’s rocking chair, painted in vivid reds and yellows and greens by...
      

The 2018 Robin Smith Picture Book Prize

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We here at Calling Caldecott think often of Robin Smith — beloved second-grade teacher, reviewer, and enthusiastic co-author of this blog before her untimely death last June. Her passion for and astute observations of picture books infuse the work we continue to do here, every day. Every. Single. Day. We wanted to do something special to...
      

"Be a Robin Reader"

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It was hard for the family and friends of Horn Book contributor Robin Smith to say goodbye to her after her death from bone cancer in late June, but we gathered to do so in Nashville in mid-July of this year. There were lots of tears as friends, family, colleagues,...
      

WWRD?

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A big hello to the Calling Caldecott community from here in middle Tennessee! I’ve been reading this blog since its inception in 2011. Since conversations about picture books and illustration aren’t regular occurrences with your so-called average person on the street, I’m always happy to find those places where picture...
      

Another September; another welcome

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As we have done for the past six years, Calling Caldecott is gearing up for another season of intense discussion about picture books, especially Caldecott-eligible titles. This year is not like the others, however, because it will be the first time that we will be operating without Robin Smith. As most...
      

Editorial: The Incomparable Robin Smith

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Robin Smith (1959–2017) was, famously, a talker. When I first met Robin some twenty years ago, we were sitting in a Children’s Literature New England lecture hall waiting for the day to begin. It was immediately apparent that she was something out of the ordinary: not only was she talking...
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