Monday, December 24, 2012

Caldecott Challenge Post #61

Little Red Riding Hood. illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman. Published 1983. Caldecott Honor 1984.

I really am not a fan of fairy tales, but there is some interesting character development in this version of the story. I loved that Red Riding Hood’s mother warns her against “staring ‘round about you” and “sucking your finger.” I also noticed that she is friendly to the wolf after her mother warns her to mind her manners. Maybe her mother should have told her not to talk to strangers instead! My childhood mind didn’t like the scene where the woodcutter cuts the grandmother and Red Riding Hood out of the wolf’s body, and my adult mind still doesn’t get how that would ever be possible. I think I’m too hung up on reality to truly appreciate fairy tales.

The Stinky Cheese Man by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith. Published 1992. Caldecott Honor 1993.

This book is really funny, and I love how it plays with the actual format of the book in the telling of the story. I really enjoyed the Little Red Hen’s obnoxious questions placed at various points in the book. She is such a demanding character, and her demise at the end of the book is very satisfying. My favorite of all the tales was probably either “Jack’s Bean Problem” or “The Really Ugly Duckling” but all of them were very good. I kind of want to make the Stinky Cheese Man into a flannel board for a “yucky things” preschool story time.


Snow-White and the Seven Dwarfs: A Tale from the Brothers Grimm. illustrated by Nancy Ekholm Burkert. Published 1972. Caldecott Honor 1973.

I love the illustrations in this one. I don’t especially like the fact that we alternate between words and images - I like it better when they work together on the same page - but this is an even better retelling of this fairy tale than the one by Wanda Gag!

Cinderella by Marcia Brown. Published 1954. Caldecott Medal 1955. 

Of all the fairy tales I have read and re-read in this challenge, I’m finding that I have a renewed love for Cinderella. I think Disney has actually ruined my impression of the story somewhat; this translation of the original tale seems much less frivolous. I love that Cinderella’s happy ending is extended to her stepsisters. Some people might say it’s fair for them to receive their comeuppance, but I like the thought of teaching kids to be forgiving and generous with the wealth they receive. Cinderella’s much more than a princess in this version. I like her a lot more this way.

See other Caldecott Challenge participants' blogs on the challenge page at LibLaura5. Follow my challenge progress here.

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