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Reading Rockets' children's literature expert, Maria Salvadore, brings you into her world as she explores the best ways to use kids' books both inside — and outside — of the classroom.
Another Caldecott to talk about
I attended the press conference on Monday, January 14 where the winners of this year's Newbery, Caldecott, and Coretta Scott King Awards were announced. These have become the best known awards for children's books among ALA's Youth Media Awards.
There was a lot to cogitate, especially about the Caldecott.
The 2008 Caldecott Committee chose four honor books — a large but not unprecedented number.
These were: Henry's Freedom Box: A True Story from the Underground Railroad by illustrated by Kadir Nelson, written by Ellen Levine (Scholastic), First the Egg, written and illustrated by Laura Vaccaro Seeger (Roaring Brook/Neal Porter), The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain, written and illustrated by Peter Sís (Farrar/Frances Foster), and Knuffle Bunny Too: A Case of Mistaken Identity, written and illustrated Mo Willems (Hyperion).
The range of the honor books not only suggests the span of readers (defined for the Caldecott Committee as up to age 14) but also the range in the publishing year. These books represent rich and varied artistic styles and media, varied topics, and handsome productions.
...Hugo Cabret is tough to categorize. It's a movie, it's a play, it's a picture book, and it's a traditional novel. It's all of these things in part; it's none of these things all together.
But it is a really good story, told visually — but also in words. It sure doesn't look like any past winner in terms of its heft. But it is likely to be around for a long time especially now. I can't help but wonder if this somewhat redefines the Caldecott Medal...
If you haven't seen the book yet, take a look and let me know what you think about it. I look forward to hearing from you!