Moses. by Carole Boston Weatherford. illustrated by Kadir Nelson. Published 2006. Caldecott Honor 2007. ISBN: 9780786851751
This book is catalogued in my library as a biography, but the author’s note clearly calls it fiction. It’s a reimagining of Harriet Tubman’s journey to freedom that likens her to Moses leading his people out of Egypt. I love how big the pages are, and how the illustrations fill every corner, with no white space. The text is very dreamlike, and I think it might be confusing for readers who don’t already know of Harriet Tubman, but for kids who are familiar with her story, it makes a nice supplemental read.
Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters. by John Steptoe. Published 1987. Caldecott Honor 1988. ISBN: 9780688040451
I thought I remembered this book being read aloud to me in 5th grade, but apparently I have been remembering the wrong story! I had it conflated somehow with Moss Gown, which isn’t by the same author or illustrator. I did still like this story, though, and I’m glad to have read it again so I could clear up my confusion. I love the way the king tests the daughters to see how they will treat him when he is not a king, but a small boy, or an old woman.
The Ugly Duckling by Jerry Pinkney. Published 1999. Caldecott Honor 2000. ISBN: 9780688159320
I appreciate Jerry Pinkney’s talent, but I’m not big on nature or animal books, so I find it hard to get excited about stories like this one. I used to like the message of the ugly duckling story when I was a kid, but as an adult, I find it irritating. I love the way Pinkney plays with perspective in some of the illustrations, showing us things from the dog’s point of view, or a duck’s, or even from underwater.
See other Caldecott Challenge participants' blogs on the challenge page at LibLaura5. Follow my challenge progress here.