The Emperor and the Kite by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Ed Young. Published 1967. Caldecott Honor 1968.
As I read this, I kept thinking about Princess Hyacinth by Florence Parry Heide. Pairing it with this book would make a great kite-themed story time. I love the colors in the artwork and how they seem to bleed seamlessly into one another. I like how we’re able to see each careful stroke of the illustrator’s paintbrush.
Crow Boy by Taro Yashima. Published 1955. Caldecott Honor 1956.
This is a great story for teaching kids about accepting differences. I like this one much better than the other Yashima title I have read, Umbrella. It is much more emotionally satisfying and much more interesting to the intended audience. The illustrations remind me a little bit of Don Freeman’s pictures for Fly High, Fly Low.
The Boy of the Three Year Nap by Dianne Snyder. illustrated by Allen Say. Published 1988. Caldecott Honor 1989.
This is a story not just about laziness, but about how Mom always gets the last word. The illustrations are very expressive, and I love Taro’s ingenuity, which he has clearly inherited from his mother. I also like that things work out for Taro. He gets over his laziness, and ends up with a job, a wife, and according to the last page, a baby of his own. Parents having trouble getting their adolescent kids to leave home might enjoy this one!
Seashore Story by Taro Yashima. Published 1967. Caldecott Honor 1968.
The story within a story approach Yashima uses in this book is interesting, even though I’m not sure I understand it. The softness of the illustrations evokes the seaside very nicely and also serves to make the story seem dream-like as the children reflect upon it. I love the final spread, which shows the ocean’s waves and nothing else, but I can’t claim to understand the note on which the book ends.
Good-Luck Horse by Chih-Yi Chan, illustrated by Plato Chan. Published 1943. Caldecott Honor 1944.
I didn’t connect very much with this story. The illustrations all look really similar to one another, and though the message of the story, that there isn’t really good luck or bad luck in the world, just luck, is interesting, it took way too long to get there. I’m glad we are much more economical with text in picture books nowadays!
See other Caldecott Challenge participants' blogs on the challenge page at LibLaura5. Follow my challenge progress here.