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Make Meatballs Sing

In 1937, C.S. Lewis reviewed J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit. Noting that his good friend’s story was unlike anything previously published, Lewis wrote, "You cannot anticipate it before you go there, as you cannot forget it once you have gone.” His sentiment perfectly expresses my thoughts on Make Meatballs Sing, which...


I was a pretty curious child, who liked to poke and peek. I asked a lot of questions (and still do). Helen Yoon's Off-Limits captures this kind of spirit and energy of exploration and curiosity, one that many young children possess. There’s something so exciting about being told that some place...

Why the Hell Don't More Holiday Books Win the Caldecott?

Today on Calling Caldecott, a conversation between Elisa Gall and Jonathan Hunt about holiday books and the Caldecott Award. (This is an entry in their why-the-hell Calling Caldecott series. Previous posts include discussions about the Caldecott and photography; board books; the Newbery Award; and "didactic intent.") – J.D. and M.V.P.  ELISA...

CaldeComics 2022

Two voices are always better than one, so we’re excited to co-author this year’s CaldeComics post (à la Elisa Gall and Jonathan Hunt). We first became CaldeBuddies while we were at Simmons University together, each of us maxing out our library cards at the Boston Public Library’s Faneuil Branch in order...

I Is for Immigrants

When learning a new language, its alphabet is often the logical place to begin. Understanding the shapes, sounds, and functions of individual letters can help establish a critical foundation for speaking and reading the language and can increase overall comprehension. With I Is for Immigrants, Selina Alko uses the alphabet book...

Should the ALA Awards Get Graphic?

I always look forward to reading here at Calling Caldecott about the graphic novels and comics that could bring home a Caldecott. Just next week we will hear from Alec Chunn and Niki Marion about the 2021 graphic novels that have grabbed their attention. We’ve seen graphic novels win some...

Nominations, please!

Hello, everyone! Mid-November is when we typically pause our coverage of the year's Caldecott-eligible books to ask our readers to weigh in with their favorites.  You probably all know the drill by now — we're asking for four nominations now; three more to come in mid-December. This mirrors (very roughly) the...

The 2021 New York Times/New York Public Library Best Illustrated Children’s Books list

It’s that time of year! Last Friday, the 2021 New York Times/New York Public Library’s Best Illustrated Children’s Books were announced. We at Calling Caldecott always look forward to this list, and to see the winners this year is particularly exciting, since last year’s awards were cancelled. This was due...


Hurricane, based on John Rocco's childhood experience, is a companion to his picture books Blackout (a Caldecott Honor book) and Blizzard. The dramatic title Hurricane fits with the previous titles, but the book just as easily could have been called Dock. The micro setting of a dock and the macro setting of a neighborhood near a quiet...
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