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The 2024 Robin Smith Picture Book Prize

It’s hard to believe that this is the seventh annual Robin Smith Picture Book Prize. It seems as if it’s been only a few months since my wife Robin died of cancer at age fifty-seven. I am so appreciative of The Horn Book Magazine and its Calling Caldecott blog, which...

What Would Robin Do?

I’m new to the Calling Caldecott team, so I figured I’d better learn as much as I could about how The Committee evaluates picture books (having never served on the committee). In looking back at old posts, I found blog co-founder Robin Smith — not surprisingly — contributed lots of helpful,...

The 2023 Robin Smith Picture Book Prize

With this sixth annual winner of the Robin Smith Picture Book Prize, I realize we now have a nicely curated collection of beautiful picture books that makes a great gift at holidays, birthdays, baby showers, or any occasion calling for a random act of book-giving. I even have a narrow...

The 2022 Robin Smith Picture Book Prize

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...

The 2021 Robin Smith Picture Book Prize

It’s hard to believe this is the fourth annual selection for the Robin Smith Picture Book Prize, four years since my wife, Robin Smith, died of cancer at age 57. Robin co-founded Calling Caldecott, reviewed for the Horn Book Magazine and Kirkus Reviews, served on the Caldecott committee and several others,...

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

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

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

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

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...

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