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No photo description available. Illustrator James Ransom uses interesting mixed media (paper, graphite, paste pencils & watercolors) to create the illustrations for this book. In examining the book I felt most of the double-page spreads were "heavy" on the right-hand side helping to move the story and your eye forward. What do you think the strengths of this book are?

One question I had about this book deals with the train. It looks too modern for the setting of the story. I was wrong!! After doing a quick Google search, there were trains that looked like this in the time of the Great Migration. I still wonder though if another train style would have been a better choice. Your thoughts on this topic? Other decisions made by the illustrator (or even the author) that made you wonder?


No photo description available.Jarrett and Jerome Pumphrey, who are brothers, created over 250 individual stamps for the illustrations of "The Old Truck." The simple, clean illustrations work extremely well for the young audience of this book. Note the location of the red truck on each spread. What positive things do you notice about this book?

Although I wrote that this book is deceptively masterful in my notes, do you think it is too simple to catch the notice of the Caldecott Committee? What concerns/questions do you have about this title?


"My Best Friend" is illustrated by Jillian Tamaki who won a Caldecott honor in 2015 for the graphic novel "This One Summer." The selection sparked a lot of discussion due to the age level of the book's audience. Here Tamaki has illustrated a book appropriate for young children. However, she now lives in Canada again so it's unclear whether she is still eligible. The "Calling Caldecott" blog posted about this book though and I think it is worth discussing. One strength is the expressiveness of the characters shown through body position and facial expression. What do you think is a strength of this book?

While I'm impressed by the usage of basically 2 colors in this book, I've heard others aren't. What do you think of the limited palette? Is it effective? Do you have other concerns/questions?


Image may contain: text that says 'DERRICK BARNES GORDONC GORDONC JAME CROW FRESHC AM EVE GO ΤΗ THE BL BL YOU Rai C You matte matter written Angela Joy christian robinson'I don't think anyone would argue that 2020 has been a rough year! It's been hard on libraries, businesses, schools and adults. Has it been hard on children? At the very least, their schedules have been greatly affected.

It seems appropriate then that several authors and illustrators have created books that deal with self-esteem and the value of individual lives, especially Black lives. Five of the books on the list have this theme--"All Because You Matter," "Black Is a Rainbow Color," "A Girl Like Me," "I Am Every Good Thing," and "You Matter."

Do you have a favorite among these? Do you think that having so many with a similar theme will affect the Caldecott Committee's vote?



Image may contain: text"Pack: Strength in Numbers" is a debut by author/illustrator Hannah Salyer. The beauty of this book starts with the wraparound jacket and proceeds to interesting endpapers that differ front and back. Salyer's ability to differentiate individual animals among spreads that are virtually one color is amazing! Check out the frog spread as an example. What do you think are the strengths of this book?

One observation/question I have about "Packs: Strengths in Numbers" is what I believe is an inconsistency of art style. For example, the spread with the wolves looks stylized where the spread with penguins looks very realistic to me. What do you think? Any other observations/questions on this book?



Image may contain: text that says 'Written by Carole Lindstrom Illustrated by Michaela Goade JONAH WINTER JEANETTE WINTER Oil WE Water ARE PROTECTORS'While "Oil" by Jonah & Jeanette Winter deals directly with the Alaskan pipeline and the Exxon Valdez disaster, "We Are Water Protectors" illustrated by Michaela Goade deals with it indirectly. Yet both contain images of the pipeline. Both books also have bold, vibrant color palettes. How do they compare to you? What do you think are the strengths of these books?

Jeanette Winter places her illustrations within borders on some pages while using full-bleed spreads in others. Why do you think she made that choice? Do you think it is effective?

In "We Are Water Protectors," Michaela Goade chose to show the "snake" pipeline within a circle on the page with text that says "It will not be easy." Circles in illustrations typically show comfort and completeness. Do you have any ideas why the illustrator made this decision here? Is it effective?


Image may contain: plant, text that says 'A New Green Day Antoinette Portis'This is the last post planned before the holidays so I want to wish you a wonderful holiday season! I am also asking for a present. 😁
Please explain why "A New Green Day" by Antoinette Portis is getting Caldecott buzz. Now don't get me wrong. I don't dislike this book (and "Not My Box" by Portis is one of my favorite picture books), but I just don't get it.

No photo description available.My first impression of "Outside In" illustrated by Cindy Derby and written by Deborah Underwood...

"Meh." I'm an "inside out" person (I enjoy looking at the outside, but am happiest to be inside). The illustrations aren't a style I like. Impressionistic? But close inspection brought this book near the top of my list!

The paper cover immerses the reader in the outside world. Then check out the peek-a-boo cloth cover! Look how Derby uses light and darkness. And in my opinion the style seems very appropriate for the subject. What do you think are the strengths of "Inside Out."

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No photo description available.I've probably said this, but putting the title on a left-hand page is a pet peeve of mine. To me, it creates an unbalanced composition and doesn't encourage me to turn the page. And this is what illustrator Cindy Derby does in "Outside In." Do you think the addition of the girl in the tree balances this composition? Do you want to turn the page to find out what is going to happen?

In fairness to Derby, the second illustration proceeds the title page where the title is on the "right" side. (literally and figuratively) 😁 Do you any concerns/questions about this book?

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Image may contain: people sitting, flower and plant, text that says 'CANDACE FLEMING ERIC ROHMANN CO HONEYBEE THE BUSY LIFE OF APIS MELLIFERA HONEYBEE Neal Porter Books'Did you know that Candace Fleming and Eric Rohmann, the pair who created "Honeybee," are married? https://journals.ala.org/index.../cal/article/view/6591/8791 However, we should discuss their book. If you know me, you know I LOVE realistic illustrations! (ones you'd almost mistake for a photo) These gloriously, detailed illustrations amaze me. I also appreciate how blue starts to creep into the color palette as the bee approaches the outside. What are this book's strengths in your opinion?

I gushed about the realistic illustrations in "Honeybee" in an earlier post. Unfortunately, the Caldecott Committee doesn't seem as enamored of this style as I am. Why do you think this is? Some of my colleagues did not like the gatefold in this book. Do you think this illustration is a "waste of space"? Other concerns/observations?


Image may contain: text that says 'సాန THE CAMPING TRIP PETE #1 New York Times OSWALD PETEOSWALD Best- est-Selling Illustrator'I get these 2 books confused with each other. They have similar topics, both use a variety of page layouts, and have a "cartoon-ish" style. However, "Hike" is wordless where "The Camping Trip" mixes narrative with dialog. Do you think one tells its story better? Do you think one is more "Caldecott-worthy?"

Check out the illustration below from "The Camping Trip." Am I the only one who has a problem with the scribbles? (It's ok if you think yes😁) I realize the illustrator is trying to show it's dark, but could she have found another option?

In "Hike," do you think the main character is a boy or girl? I was in a discussion where one person thought it was a girl throughout, while another thought it was a boy. I don't think it matters and was probably a deliberate decision by illustrator Pete Oswald. I'm just curious what you think?

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Image may contain: text that says '2791 00473971 the BEAR the and M MORON ON VORDS BY maTThew Burgess PICTURES BY Cáτιa Chien'What do you think of "The Bear and the Moon" illustrated by Catia Chien and written by Matthew Burgess? I think the story can almost be "read" without the words. The bear's emotions are captured very well though facial expression and body position in my opinion. Other strengths of this book for your children?

With this book appealing mostly to young children, do you think the fact that some words in the title are in cursive is an issue? Is this so minor that it doesn't matter? How about where the bear appears multiple times on a spread? Is it obvious enough that these are multiple scenes and not multiple bears? And I must admit that I wonder why the book isn't called "The Bear and the Balloon." Thoughts?