Saturday, July 27, 2013

Caldecott Challenge Post #81 (The Last Five Books!)

Back in February, I had read all but five of the Caldecott Medal and Honor books, and I declared the Caldecott Challenge completed. Months later, in early June, I was able to visit the School of Information and Library Science Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where all five books were available! So this is the true final post of the Caldecott Challenge, featuring the five hardest-to-find titles on the list. (EDIT: I went back through my records, and to my surprise,  there are still two books I haven't read after all! The challenge continues!)


The Christmas Anna Angel by Ruth Sawyer, illustrated by Kate Seredy. Published 1944. Caldecott Honor 1945.

Though there is no wheat available for making Christmas cakes, Anna believes they will be supplied by an angel to be enjoyed by her family on Christmas morning. This is quite a lengthy book, and some pages consist entirely of text. The illustrations are colorful and ornate, but it was a difficult book to plow through. It's the kind of miraculous story people like to read around  the holidays, though. I could see sharing it with a school-age group, especially if the group has been studying folktales.


The Golem. by Beverly Brodsky McDermott. Published 1976. Caldecott Honor 1977.

I had trouble connecting with this Jewish folktale, but I appreciated the way the light and shadow in the abstract illustrations evoked the darkness and violence that occurs throughout much of the story. This story doesn't tend to resonate with me, but I prefer the 1996 version by David Wisniewski.



Pop Corn and Ma Goodness
. by Edna Mitchell Preston. Published 1969.  Caldecott Honor 1970. 

This book was such a treat, and I wish it were more widely available. I love the clever wordplay of  the text. I think the idea of the parents meeting by collision is such a great, practical metaphor for falling in love, and I enjoyed the fun phrases like "whuppity whoppety" and "prippity propetty." What a shame that I didn't get to read the book aloud - those would have been so much fun to say out loud! The illustrations evoke all the warmth and busyness of summer on the farm, and they perfectly matched the overall mood of the book.


One Wide River to Cross. by Barbara Emberley, illustrated by Ed Emberley. Published 1966. Caldecott Honor 1967.

This song is a lot of fun to sing, and the illustrations in this book are a great first introduction to the Noah's Ark story. The black woodcut figures against solid bright color backgrounds make this book very eye-catching, and some silly elements, such as rollerskates, are sure to please preschool readers.


Four and Twenty Blackbirds by Helen Dean Fish, illustrated by Robert Lawson. Published 1937. Caldecott Honor 1938.

This book is a collection of some really great old nursery rhymes, some of which are very obvious cousins of songs we know and sing with kids today (such as Old MacDonald). One of the rhymes, "We Are All Nodding," I actually took down to possibly use at story time because it seemed like it would be fun to act out. I also loved the poem toward the end of the book that laughs at domestic disputes. Though I liked the Robert Lawson illustrations, it was the text of the rhymes that made this book a favorite for me.

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

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