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Calde-folklore: there's a hell of a lot of it

Today on Calling Caldecott, a conversation between Elisa Gall and Jonathan Hunt about folklore and the Caldecott Award. (This is an entry in their "why-the-hell" Calling Caldecott series. Previous posts include discussions about the Caldecott and holiday books; photography; board books; the Newbery Award; and "didactic intent.") ELISA GALL: While traditional literature is not eligible for...

Once upon a Book

For the past several years, I have run a mock Caldecott program for first to eighth graders at my public library. For each contending book, I lead the children through an “art walk” during which we talk about the images and how they tell the story. This leads to some...

The 2023 New York Times/New York Public Library Best Illustrated Children's Books

The 2023 New York Times/New York Public Library Best Illustrated Children's Books is out! Here is a list of the ten books: How to Write a Poem, written by Kwame Alexander and Deanna Nikaido; illustrated by Melissa Sweet  Rock, Rosetta, Rock! Roll, Rosetta, Roll!, written by Tonya Bolden and illustrated...

In the Night Garden

At first glance, In the Night Garden by Carin Berger reads as a lyrical good-night book with what appear to be digitally created collage illustrations, using scanned papers and found objects to add texture to the artist’s crisply drawn shapes.  A second look at the art — and at the...

November Nominations Results

The November Nominations at Calling Caldecott are in! We asked for readers to give us four titles that they thought were worthy of the Caldecott Award. Big thanks to everyone who posted on the website and social media. We will have one more round of nominations. In early December, we...

The Tree and the River

In this work of speculative fiction, Aaron Becker crafts an innovative wordless picture book that follows the life of a tree as it grows in a verdant valley next to a small river. Over several centuries, the tree witnesses the development of human civilizations from farm to village and then...

November Nominations: Choose Four

Around this time, the real Caldecott Award committee begins their nomination process, so over here at Calling Caldecott, we will do the same.  For the real committee, the nomination process consists of three rounds. In the first nomination, committee members nominate three books; in the second, two books; and in...

The Skull

Given the cover, you might think this book, based on old Tyrolean folktale, will open, “Alas, poor Yorick!” But, no, it opens with a young girl on the run, and as Otilla runs through the snowy forest, readers are plunged along with her. It’s an unusual story and completely engaging. But is it...

We Are Here

When I purchase books for my children and the other young people in my family, I’m always looking for texts that will affirm them and their place in this world. Even in 2023, I know as Black children they may not see books that reflect them in their classrooms or...

The Hospital Book

When I was a young librarian, there was one clear choice to give families who were looking for books to share with children before surgery or when a beloved relative was in the hospital: Going to the Hospital by Fred Rogers. Looking at a copy now, the fashions and medical equipment...

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