The 2012 Caldecott Medal winner is A Ball for Daisy by Chris Raschka (2011, Schwartz & Wade Books). It’s a wordless picture book featuring a lovable little dog named Daisy. Daisy loves her ball. Daisy loves to play with her ball. Daisy is sad when her ball bursts. Daisy gets a new ball and a new friend. Daisy loves her new ball. The ink and watercolor illustrations clearly, beautifully, and colorfully convey the deceptively simple story of the little dog and her prized ball.
Three Honor books have been chosen this year. Blackout by John Rocco (2011, Disney Hyperion Books) showcases large, dynamic illustrations that depict one urban dwelling family’s unusual summer night. The story starts with a family together in their apartment, but separated by their busy lives. Then, they are brought together by a power outage and discover that spending time as a family is the best kind of time of all. This is a great modern-day tale.
Grandpa Green by Lane Smith (2011, Roaring Brook Press) features multimedia illustrations that sport very few colors. But because this book is so cleverly illustrated, it doesn’t need a lot of color. The story is told by the great-grandson of Grandpa Green. He tells his great grandfather’s life story in words while Grandpa Green “illustrates” his life via the shapes of the topiary trees in his garden. The text is understandably quite simple, allowing the appealing pictures to sing out loud and clear.
Me…Jane by Patrick McDonnell (2011, Little, Brown and Company) is my personal favorite out of the picks this year. It tells the story of environmentalist and humanitarian, Jane Goodall, when she was just a little girl who dreamed of helping animals one day. The ink and watercolor illustrations are cheery and sweet. But what I like most about this book are the photographs of Jane and the drawings she did herself as a girl. This is a must see for kids and adults alike.