Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Mock Caldecott Contenders 2017, part 1

As the weather turns and the year winds down, it's time to start speculating about book awards! This year, my seventh graders and I will be conducting a multi-week Mock Caldecott. Our school librarian and I have been digging through the piles of amazing picture books published this year to narrow down our top choices.

This is the first of two posts laying out some of my top picks, and we hope to have our actual ballot finalized before winter break. You can check out part 2 here. (Click the 'Caldecott' tag to see previous ballots and winners. Our students have a great track record the last two years, having previous picked winner/honor books like Finding Winnie, Waiting, and Beekle.)

Mock Caldecott 2017 Contenders, part 1 

The Water Princess, illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds, written by Susan Verde, and based on the childhood experience of Georgie Badiel. This is a charming story about a young girl's life and the difficulties of not having ready access to water. The book also contains detailed backmatter about the issues and the actual life (and childhood) of Burkina Faso native Georgie Badiel. Reynolds uses a vibrant palette to bring this book to life, as well as his signature sense of fun and use of loose lines.

First Light, First Life: a worldwide creation story illustrated by Julie Paschkis and written by Paul Fleishman. I was so thrilled to hear about this new "sequel" to Glass Slipper, Gold Sandal: a worldwide Cinderella. The concept is so powerful - telling the common stories of the world as one, highlighting both commonalities and differences, complemented by the folk art styles of Julie Paschkis. Awe-inspiring.

The Cat from Hunger Mountain illustrated and written by Ed Young. This is another incredible picture book offering from master illustrator Ed Young. Done in (torn) paper collage, the illustrations are a fascinating experiment in layering and composition, taking what he started in Wabi Sabi and bringing a little more abstraction and interpretation to it. The story itself is in the style of a legend with a demanding ruler and his constant need to need. Definitely a potential Caldecott contender.

Ideas Are All Around written and illustrated by Philip C. Stead. I immensely enjoyed this meta-take on inspiration and picture books. A bit long and wordy for a read aloud, but I did read sections of it with my middle schoolers about finding ideas and inspiration in the little things in like that are "all around." It would also be interesting to use as part of an author study of Philip C. Stead to see if there are references to ideas/inspirations for some of his other published works ...

Last Friday, our school's librarian came bursting into the study hall I was overseeing to let me know that a package had arrived from Penguin (Candlewick) with a sticker outside identifying the content as books to be published on Oct. 11th. We ripped in hopefully and were rewarded with an advanced copy of We Found a Hat by Jon Klassen! Of course, we read it immediately.

Fans of Jon Klassen's now-classic Caldecott Honor-winning I Want My Hat Back and Caldecott-winning This is Not My Hat will be truly delighted with the conclusion of this trilogy. Every detail is as perfectly-done as its predecessors. (Truly, I think an entire dissertation could be written analyzing Klassen's use of eyes to convey emotions across these three books.) I don't want to say too much or ruin the joy of reading this one for yourself. Can he complete a Caldecott trifecta? He's got my vote! (A review copy of the book was provided by publisher. All thoughts are my own.)

School's First Day of School illustrated by Christian Robinson and written by Adam Rex. This is a must-have book for back to school - and for talking about perspective and point-of-view. School has just been built and soon discovers exactly what his new mission entails ... with both heart-warming and laugh-out-loud moments on his first day of being a school. Even my seventh graders couldn't help but enjoy this one.

They All Saw a Cat illustrated and written by Brendan Wenzel is an incredible take on the idea of perspective and multiple points of view, and I love the different styles and feelings of the artwork throughout this book. I am very curious to discuss this one with my students! (I've been holding off until our Mock Caldecott discussions.)

Ida, Always illustrated by Charles Santoso and written by Caron Levis is a powerful story about death, both impending death and the grief that follows. Having lost a close family member this summer, this book hit my hard, but it was very beautifully done. I did manage to make it through without crying while reading it aloud to my students, but you could have heard a pin drop in the room when we finished. Powerful.

Stay tuned for next week and part two of my Caldecott 2017 predictions! (Click the 'Caldecott' tag to see previous ballots and winners.) Which books are your favorites? Share in the comments below!

1 comment:

  1. I was scrolling through your list, and I would spot a picture book and say to myself "yes, that's my favourite!", and then I'd see the next book and say the same thing! So many really stellar books this time around, and quite a fascinating variety of styles and formats, which is really exciting!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...