Sunday, February 5, 2012

Caldecott Challenge Post #4

Zen Shorts by Jon J. Muth. Published 2005. Caldecott Honor 2006. Scholastic Inc. ISBN: 9780439339117  

I'm not sure I get the concept of a zen book for kids, but I can still appreciate some of Muth's style. The illustrations are definitely distinguished, and I think switching styles when the narration changes from the children's own story to one of Stillwater's zen tales is a really effective technique. The book didn't really do much for me emotionally, but these books are reasonably popular at my library, so I might just be missing something.

When Clay Sings by Byrd Baylor, illustrated by Tom Bahti. Published 1972. Caldecott Honor 1973. Aladdin. ISBN: 9780689711060

This book was somewhat better than In My Mother's House, but it deals with very similar ideas. The art in When Clay Sings is based on the art of four Native American groups: the Anasazi, the Hohokam, the Mimbres, and the Mogollon, and the poetic text describes what pottery from prehistoric times teaches us about those people. I think it's definitely more accessible than In My Mother's House, which seemed to repeat itself so much, and with such boring details, but it's still not among my favorites. I do appreciate, though, how careful the artist was to remain true to the original artwork, and I think that fact alone distinguishes from many other picture books.

Martin's Big Words by Doreen Rappaport, illustrated by Brian Collier. Published 2001. Caldecott Honor 2002. Hyperion Books for Children. 9780786807147 

This book tells the story of Martin Luther King, Jr's entire life, from childhood in the Jim Crow South, through his work as a civil rights leader, until his death. In addition to the gorgeous, practically life-like paintings of King and his family members and colleagues, what I like about this book is how simply the facts are laid out, so that even small kids learning of Dr. King for the first time can understand and appreciate them. The size of this book is also just perfect for sharing with larger groups, and also suits the "big words" King used to make his important arguments for equality and justice.

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

No comments :

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...