Caldecott Thoughts

Cover image  And the winner of the 2011 Caldecott Medal is…[insert drumroll here]……………………………………………………………………………………………..

 A Sick Day for Amos McGee, illustrated by Erin E. Stead and written by Philip C. Stead (Roaring Brook Press, 2010). 

I always imagined the announcement of the winner would be something like the scenario above, however, I believe in reality, once the winner is chosen by the Caldecott Medal Selection Committee (after much deliberation, I’m sure), the winner is simply and quietly called with the exciting news. How hard a decision it must be to narrow down, possibly from hundreds of picture books published in the previous year, to one winner and two honor books. If anyone has more information about the process, please share with the rest of us.

I like A Sick Day for Amos McGee. Something about the illustrations reminds me of Margret and H.A. Rey’s Curious George. Actually, until the Caldecott was announced, I didn’t realize the book was published just last year because the familiarity of the illustrations fooled me into thinking it had been around for a long time. I agree with Caldecott Medal Committee Chair Judy Zuckerman, who said, “Endearing, expressive characterization in spare illustrations rendered in muted tones distinguish this timeless picture book.”

Cover image Honor book Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave by Laban Carrick Hill and illustrated by Bryan Collier (Little, Brown and Company, 2010), is deceptively simple. But look closer and you’ll see amazing detail as well as interesting textures and patterns in the illustrations and backgrounds. Because this story is based on the life of a real person, you will most likely find this book in the nonfiction section of your library’s children’s room. It is a picture book though for sure. Many people don’t realize that picture books can in fact be nonfiction just as much as they can be fictional stories.

Cover image  Speaking of fictional picture books, this Honor book is fun, lively, and over-flowing with color. Interrupting Chicken by David Ezra Stein (Candlewick Press, 2010) is humorous (with a sweet ending) and I think your kids will get a real kick out of it.   

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