Calling Caldecott

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When I did my initial just-read-the-pictures look through Mine! (see Step 5 of Robin Smith’s advice), I found myself looking at this picture book as if it were a graphic novel. You know those occasional dramatic moments when the multi-panel structure gives way to an illustration that takes up the...

Calling Caldecott: Choose Three (Nom, Nom, Noms!)

Like many people, I’ve been captivated by the recent New York Times article that takes a deep dive into the cookies that Sesame Street’s Cookie Monster devours. (“Nom Nom Nom. What’s the Deal with Cookie Monster’s Cookies?”) What are those cookies made of? How do they crumble? Are they real?...

Christo and Jeanne-Claude Wrap the World

Artist-couple Christo and Jeanne-Claude made site-specific works — massive wrapped monuments and land-art spanning miles — which might seem unwieldy subjects for a picture book. But there is much in these artists’ adventures for children to love, and in G. Neri's Christo and Jeanne-Claude Wrap the World: The Story of Two Groundbreaking Environmental Artists, Elizabeth Haidle’s...

Night in the City

In a city after dark, the lit windows look warm and interesting. Each one has a story going on behind it. Who are these people? What are they doing? Julie Downing’s Night in the City explores that curiosity visually: some people, like the child in the story, prepare for sleep, but there...

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...
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