Monday, June 18, 2007

Mock Caldecott ... early choices

I am currently collecting books, and by "collect" I mean check out to me for the next three months, for September's Mock Caldecott session. I endeavor to find books not only new to our collection and possibly the participating students, but also visually appealing and meeting Caldecott medal standards. Picking from new books is slim right now with one fiscal year ending and another yet to begin, although luckily there are a few titles filtering into the library that were ordered in late April and May. At this point I have seven contenders, almost half way to the fifteen plus necessary; five have been in captivity for several weeks and two I took from the new book cart this afternoon.
The first five and their illustrators (in no particular order) are:

Today's jewels are:

My America is a beautiful piece of artistic poetry. Bryan and Gilchrist's illustrations perfectly compliment the book's poetry and each other in a way that should not be possible given the distinctly different style of each artist; case in point, bright colored water creatures flow into two youngsters enjoying a swim in the ocean and a stunning watercolor rendering of American children is enhanced by people dressed in traditional garb on the next page. This book begs to be read and enjoyed a second and third time.

When I Met the Wolf Girls, illustrated by August Hall, is a fictional account of two young girls discovered by missionaries in the 1920's who had been raised by wolves. Hall's art is a perfect accompaniment to this story as it ranges from lushly drawn forest and animals (the double page jungle spread towards the end is a visual treat) to the townspeople missionaries having a more somber amber toned palette. This book has an intriguing textural feel; it reminded me in some ways of a plastic placemat that the technical services assistant did not cover so as not to inhibit student's enjoyment of holding the book as well as reading it.

Time will tell if the students enjoy any of these selections, or the other eight or ten I have yet to select. They always find something unique in each of the books we discuss when making their choices.

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Joe Kulka said...

From your lips to God's ears! I'm honored and flattered and will undoubtedly be an endless source of grief for my wife as I will be requesting to have our bedroom wallpapered with your list of Caldecott contenders. Although I must admit that E.B. Lewis would probably be my choice just about every year. Thanks for making my night.
Joe Kulka

Lynn said...


You are very welcome. I never know what the students will decide should win the "mock" award and it is always interesting to hear their comments regarding picture book illustrations.

Too bad I'm not on the "real" committee, eh?