Saturday, January 9, 2016

Caldecott Predictions!

My third graders have been voraciously reading, analyzing, and debating the merits of a collection of picture books that are possible contenders for this year's Caldecott Award. One of my classes has held their final voting (the other class votes Monday, shh .... ), and we are eagerly awaiting the official announcement next week. Did your favorites make our list?

Caldecott Predictions, 2016 ...

Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World's Most Famous Bear (2015) by Lindsay Mallick and illustrated by Sophie Blackall.

Finding Winnie was the runaway favorite, receiving the top vote from nearly half the class! The kids were enthralled by the story, especially the fact that it is true, and the reveal at the end about the author's personal connection blew them away. Plus, who can resist illustrations of an adorable bear cub?

Waiting (2015) by Kevin Henkes. Read my previous review here.

The students also really enjoyed local author Kevin Henkes' quiet Waiting (though the moment of levity with the elephant left the class in hysterics). This charming book and the power of its illustrations moved this book up to the top of many lists.

Lenny & Lucy (2015) by Philip C. Stead and illustrated by Erin E. Stead.

The kids really enjoyed the messages behind this story, and we had an interesting discussion about the illustration style and the selective use of color. We used the official Caldecott criteria to discuss the books, and many kids pointed out how essential the illustrations are to supporting and extending the meaning of the text.

The Whisper (2015) by Pamela Zagarenski.

This intriguing and mysterious book grabbed a lot of student interest as well. Kids liked the stories within the stories of The Whisper, and there were many protesting cries when each story stopped abruptly. The incredible details and lavishness of the illustrations also was a selling point.

Who are your favorites for this year's Caldecott? Click here to see the whole Mock Caldecott Ballot and book choices.

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