Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Mock Caldecott Panel

Five years ago the principal resource center/job challenges facing me were that of publicity or lack there of, building confidence within the College of Education concerning the facility and curriculum materials offered within, and as the Education liaison, creating partnerships with professors within the department. Each of these challenges was addressed quickly as the new hire honeymoon period would be brief. For publicity, I created a resource center web site and attended monthly College of Education meetings. To build confidence in the facility and materials I added a plethora of juvenile titles, doubled the curriculum textbooks and materials, and added items not initially in the collection. Along with extended hours and helpful, personable, well trained student workers, business picked up steadily. Creating partnerships with education professors was a more time consuming process. The children’s literature collection is one of the most important parts of the resource collection, therefore approaching professors teaching this genre was priority.

The Randolph Caldecott medal, awarded each year by the American Library Association, is presented to the “artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children published during the preceding year.” I have facilitated a Mock Caldecott panel with one of the children’s literature classes during the first week of classes for the last four years. Time is an issue, so I do prep work concentrating on selecting fifteen to twenty children’s books that would be Caldecott eligible for the upcoming awards date. The panel held today focused upon fifteen books eligible for the 2006 awards which will be selected and announced in January 2007 at the ALA Midwinter Meetings in Seattle, Washington. Three groups of students considered the following titles:

  • One green apple
    Eve Bunting / Illustrator Ted Lewin
  • Best best friends
    Margaret Chodos-Irvine
  • Ten-gallon Bart
    Susan Stevens Crummel/ Illustrator Dorothy Donohue
  • Railroad John and the Red Rock run
    Tony Crunk / Illustrator Michael Austin
  • Summer is summer
    Phillis Gershator / Illustrator Sophie Blackall
  • Sky boys: How they built the Empire State Building
    Deborah Hopkinson/ Illustrator James E. Ransome
  • The frog princess: A Tlingit legend from Alaska
    Eric A. Kimmel / Illustrator Rosanne Litzinger
  • Art
    Patrick McDonnell
  • Big brown bear goes to town
    David McPhail
  • Hippo! No, rhino
    Jeff Newman
  • Move!
    Robin Page / Illustrator Steve Jenkins
  • The little red hen
    Jerry Pinkney
  • Peggony Po: A whale of a tale
    Andrea Davis Pinkney / Illlustrator Brian Pinkney
  • A is for Zebra
    Mark Shulman / Illustrator Tamara Petrosino
  • John, Paul, George & Ben
    Lane Smith

Individual groups nominated one title to present to of the class; titles included Move, Peggony Po, and Summer is summer. After much discussion and voting, Move! was the ultimate winner and Peggony Po: A whale of a tale, an honor book designation. Generally speaking, students are unaware of previous Caldecott winners, both medal and honor, in the book stacks being considered. I enjoy listening to the discussion as students look at titles with a fresh eye and open perspective. For instance, one student in particular was taken with the illustrations for Summer is summer, illustrated by Sophie Blackall.

Blackall used watercolors to create the illustrations in Summer is summer. Though the students were not specifically enamored of the story presented, they felt it could be utilized in a preschool or kindergarten classroom as a read aloud. The student presenting this book as a potential class winner noted the illustrations used clever visual clues throughout the text as foreshadowing things to come. On the opening page spread a bumble bee is seen flying off of the second page; the bee is then the focal point of the next section. On the next set of pages, the bee flies by a tree and the subsequent scenes depict children resting under the same tree. This continues throughout the book, offering eagle eyed children a chance to guess what comes next. I read the book twice and did not notice this aspect of the illustrators work.

After the session, I create a web page for the resource center web site detailing the panel. Students are able to refer to this page in addition to the pathfinders distributed in class. The web page affords additional information since I am able to link authors and titles to the library catalog. If they enjoyed a particular illustrator, it is possible for them to locate other titles in the collection by the artist. This year with a smaller group, I made sure to publicize the new book shelf (always) and accompanying book review blog, highlighting the opportunity presented for them to comment on books reviewed. Many of the students stayed in the library to peruse new juvenile books for upcoming assignments; that in itself is a positive outcome for the day.

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1 comment:

provato events said...

Deborah Hopkinson will be on blog tour Feb. 22-28, 2009. Please contact me if you are interested in interviewing her.