Posted tagged ‘Caldecott Medal’

Art Worth Millions

May 25, 2017

On May 4th, I posted a blog about the 2017 Caldecott Medal Award winner, Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. You can see it here.

As a follow-up, I thought readers of this blog might be interested in hearing a bit more about Jean-Michel Basquiat. If you read my previous post, you know Basquiat’s art focused on social and political issues and resonated with a variety of people. He achieved artistic success at an early age. Unfortunately, he died of a drug overdose when he was twenty-seven, leaving behind his artistic legacy. Last Thursday, twenty-nine years after his death, Basquiat’s work, Untitledsold at Sotheby’s auction for an unprecedented amount of $110.5 million. That puts Basquiat’s work among the greatest of the great artists in the world.

“Every single line means something.” ~Jean-Michel Basquiat

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Untitled

Jean-Michel Basquiat – 1982

“I don’t think about art when I’m working. I think about life.” ~Jean Michel Basquiat

Caldecott Hopefuls

January 15, 2015

Each year, there are many fabulous picture books written and illustrated by some very talented people. Choosing the best illustrated book among all those that qualify must be next to impossible. On February second, the Association for Library Service to Children will award the Caldecott Medal to one very lucky illustrator and Honor Medals to several others.

There are certain picture books that have created a buzz in blogs and articles I’ve read in recent months. Below is a list of books that have popped up in many different places as contenders for the Caldecott Medal.

The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend by Dan Santat

Baby Bear by Kadir Nelson

The Baby Tree by Sophie Blackall

Bad Bye, Good Bye written by Deborah Underwood and illustrated by Johnathan Bean

Blizzard by John Rocco

Draw! by Raúl Colón

Emily’s Blue Period written by Cathleen Daly and illustrated by Lisa Brown

The Farmer and the Clown by Marla Frazee

Firefly July: A Year of Very Short Poems written by Paul B. Janeczko and illustrated by Melissa Sweet

Flashlight by Lizi Boyd

Flora and the Penguin by Molly Idle

Following Papa’s Song by Gianna Marino

Gaston written by Kelly DiPucchio and illustrated by Christian Robinson

Grandfather Gandhi written by Arun Gandhi and Bethany Hegedus and illustrated by Evan Turk

Gravity by Jason Chin

Have You Heard the Nesting Bird? written by Rita Gray and illustrated by Kenard Pak

Have You Seen My Dragon? by Steve Light

Hi, Koo!: A Year of Seasons by Jon J. Muth

The Iridescence of Birds: A Book About Henri Matisse written by Patricia MacLaclan and illustrated by Hadley Hooper

Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker written by Patricia Hruby Powell and illustrated by Christian Robinson

Kid Sheriff and the Terrible Toads written by Bob Shea and illustrated by Lane Smith

My Teacher Is a Monster! (No, I Am Not.) by Peter Brown

Nana in the City by Lauren Castillo

Quest by Aaron Becker

The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus written by Jen Bryant and illustrated by Melissa Sweet

Sam and Dave Dig a Hole written by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Jon Klassen

Separate Is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation by Duncan Tonatiuh

Sparky! written by Jenny Offill and illustrated by Chris Appelhans

Three Bears in a Boat by David Soman

The Troublemaker by Lauren Castillo

Viva Frida written by Yuyi Morales and illustrated/photographed by Tim O’Meara

Where’s Mommy? written by Beverly Donofrio and illustrated by Barbara McClintock

This is quite a list of books. Who do you think will win?

 

 

 

Love A Tree

May 16, 2013

Today is LOVE A TREE DAY!  Every tree offers something magical – fragrant blossoms, cool shade, perfect climbing branches, colorful autumn leaves, oxygen, fruits, nuts, homes for animals, hiding places. I can’t imagine a landscape without a tree. Trees are a gift to us.

When I was in grade school, we had to memorize Joyce Kilmer’s poem, “Trees.” There were giggles and shades of embarrassment as the words, breast and bosom, stumbled out of our mouths. But the poem has stuck with me. I can still recite it, and I no longer get embarrassed when I do. Kilmer’s poem reads like a thank you prayer. The words in the last line —“But only God can make a tree”— are  powerful words and food for thought.

Here are some tree books that offer some food for thought.

A Tree Is Nice written by Janice May Udry and illustrated by Marc Simont

This book is a Caldecott Award Winner. In simple text, Udry tells how a tree can bring enjoyment to all.

Someday a Tree written by Eve Bunting and illustrated by Ronald Himler

Careless dumping of toxic materials destroys a beloved tree, but a little girl discovers something she can do to make others hope for a new beginning.

The Giving Tree written and illustrated by Shel Silvertein

A relationship between a boy and tree demonstrates unconditional love.

The Grandad Tree written by Trish Cooke and illustrated by Sharon Wilson

An apple tree grows and changes through the seasons just like the children’s grandad changes through the season of his life. Watching nature, the children realize special memories will never die.

Give a tree a hug today!

Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!

January 17, 2013

As the announcements of the Caldecott and Newbery Awards approach, I came across the 1948 Caldecott winner. White Snow Bright Snow was written by Alvin Tresselt and illustrated by Roger Duvoisin.

The eighteen inches of snow we had dumped on us days before Christmas has all but disappeared, and I find myself yearning for more of the fluffy white stuff. White Snow Bright Snow is the perfect answer for the winter season. It’s an ideal book to cuddle up with someone special in front of a nice warm fire and read together.

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The book starts with a snow poem, which sets the stage for what is to follow. As the story begins, the postman, the farmer, the policeman and his wife, the children, and even the rabbits are anticipating what is to come. Suddenly, snowflakes appear. The adults deal with the snow in very practical ways, but the children laugh and dance while trying to catch snowflakes on their tongues. During the day and into the night, the snow falls to create a beautiful white landscape as can be seen by Duvoisin’s double-page spread. The next day the children and the rabbits take advantage of the snow, enjoying their time outside. The adults go about their daily chores despite the snow. The snow slowly melts as the story comes to a close. “…the smell of wet brown earth filled the warm air.” When the children see the first robin, they know spring has arrived.

Tresselt’s lyrical language found throughout the story adds to the beauty of the book. And Roger Duvoisin’s use of bright red and yellow make the pages sparkle against the more subdued background colors. The team of Tresselt and Duvoisin make this book a classic.

I eagerly anticipate the new Caldecott Award winner and Caldecott Honor books.

Enjoy these snowy picture books:

Snow written by Cynthia Rylant and illustrated by Lauren Stringer

The Snowy Day written and illustrated by Ezra Jack Keats

Snow written and illustrated by Uri Shulevitz

Over and Under the Snow written by Kate Messner and illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal

Snowballs written and illustrated by Lois Ehlert

Oh! written and illustrated by Kevin Henkes

A Perfect Day written and illustrated by Carin Berger

Katy and the Big Snow written and illustrated by Virginia Lee Burton

Picture Book Month: Classic and Contemporary

November 8, 2012

In honor of Picture Book Month, I thought it would be fun to compare a classic picture book to a more recent one. I happened to be shelving Goodnight, Goodnight,  written and illustrated by Eve Rice, when it occurred to me the cover was very similar to the 2009 Caldecott Award-winning book, The House in the Night, written by Susan Marie Swanson and illustrated by Beth Krommes.

Goodnight, Goodnight, which was first published in 1980 by Greenwillow Books, takes place in an urban setting. The reader sees members of the neighborhood community wishing each other goodnight as they go about their evening routines. There’s the chestnut vendor, the baker, the fireman, the policeman, ordinary people, and a little cat that isn’t quite ready to go to bed.

This is an excellent bedtime story. It’s calming, and the text is simple. The book allows youngsters to become an active part of the story as they repeat the word, goodnight.

The illustrations are done with a minimal use of color – black, white, and yellow. A lithographic crayon, black pencil, and pen and ink were used by Rice. She added yellow to each page, which gives the windows, the lights, and the moon a glow that evokes a feeling of warmth. She has included a multitude of details that children can point out at each page turn.

The House in the Night, published in 2008 by Houghton Mifflin Company, is another bedtime story with simple text that is also calming. In comparison to the previous book, this book takes place in a suburban setting. It’s a cumulative story that begins with a simple object – a key – that is given to a child.  The story continues with the inclusion of other simple objects – light, bed, book, bird. When the bird takes flight with the child, an entire world of whimsy opens up and then circles back to the simplicity of the beginning.

Once again, the use of color is minimal – black, white, and yellow. Beth Krommes used a scratchboard technique with the addition of yellow to effectively create a feeling of coziness and warmth on each page.

Both of these books are delightful. The simplicity of the texts encourages children to read along, and the illustrations beg for children to point out details found on each page. Goodnight, Goodnight and The House in the Night make perfect lap books or bedtime books. Make it a good night and read one!

Teaching with A BALL FOR DAISY

August 28, 2012

The Caldecott Medal winner, A Ball for Daisy, by Chris Raschka is a wordless book about a dog and her special ball. There are underlying themes of loss and friendship which Raschka expertly conveys with his bright and charming illustrations.

This book presents teachable moments and lends itself to preschool through first grade curriculum in numerous ways. If you’re using it in your classroom or library, here are a few suggestions for extended activities.

For preschoolers:

While sharing the book, have students name the colors used by the illustrator. Discuss the expressions on Daisy’s face as the story progresses. Is she happy? Is she sad? Why? What happened? Engage students in conversations about what makes them happy or what makes them sad.

For kindergarten and first grade:

To aid in language development, have students retell the story in their own words as you page through the book.

It’s never too early to talk about the different parts of the book – character, setting, problem, solution, beginning, middle, and end.

Promote imagination. Have students make up a new story about Daisy and her friend and draw illustrations for the story. This can be done as a whole group activity or in smaller groups.

However you choose to use this delightful picture book, make sure to enjoy the story from beginning to end!

If you’d like to watch and hear Chris Raschka talk about his books and illustrations, click here.

A Bevy of Winners

January 24, 2012

The wait is over. The American Library Association announced the 2012 Youth Media Award winners yesterday. Wow! Wow! Wow! Such wonderful books! Such surprises!

It’s always exciting to see who the winners are. In my “Anticipation” post, I blogged about my choices for the Caldecott and Newbery. Although none of my choices won the top prize, I was happy to see Inside Out and Back Again written by Thanhha Lai was a Newbery Honor Book, and Blackout written and illustrated by John Rocco and Me … Jane written and illustrated by Patrick McDonnell were Caldecott Honor Books. Me … Jane also won the Charlotte Zolotow Award.

Another impressive book I was pleased to see win an award was Balloons over Broadway:  The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy’s Parade written by Melissa Sweet. It won the Sibert Award for the most distinguished informational book for children.

Browsing through the list of winners tells me I have a lot of great books to read. There’s no time to lose. I’m off to the library to see which books I can pick up. Ta, ta for now!


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