This is a book for thinkers and dreamers everywhere. Some work is visible; some is invisible, but each has its own value. I’m not sure I agree that being a thoughtful poet should excuse you from gathering food and preparing for the Winter, but I like that Lionni doesn’t give us the Ant and Grasshopper moral about not being lazy. Lots of kids are introverts with a strong imaginative life, and this book gives them the credit they deserve for bringing their own special skills to the table.
More, More, More Said the Baby by Vera B. Williams. Published 1990. Caldecott Honor 1991. HarperTrophy. ISBN: 9780688147365
This book is about not just one, but three babies, each with a different nickname and a very affectionate and loving relative. Little Guy’s daddy kisses his belly button, Little Pumpkin’s grandmother tastes his toes, and Little Bird’s mother kisses her eyes. The three “chapters” of the book follow the same formula, with lots of repeated phrases perfect for toddler listeners, but each child is a unique being, representing different family dynamics, races, and lifestyles. I might give this one a try at story time now that I actually know what it’s about!
Little Bear’s Visit by Else Holmelund Minarik, illustrated by Maurice Sendak. Published 1961. Caldecott Honor 1962. HarperCollins. ISBN: 9780060242664
This is one of the Little Bear books I had never really heard about until I noticed it on the list for this challenge. Interestingly, based on my memory of other books in the series, including Little Bear itself, this one is quite different. It seems much more old-fashioned than the other titles, and somewhat more disconnected. Most of the other books focus on Little Bear’s own adventures, but this one delves more into his grandparents’ stories about his mother when she was a girl, and an entirely made-up story about a goblin. Naturally, Sendak excels at depicting the world of a goblin, but in this book he is also surprisingly adept at normal, nearly human facial expressions, which so richly depict the tone and humor of each bear in the family. This isn’t my favorite of the Little Bear books, textually, but its illustrations are definitely something special.
See other Caldecott Challenge participants' blogs on the challenge page at LibLaura5. Follow my challenge progress here.