Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Caldecott Challenge Post #25

A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever by Marla Frazee. Published 2008. Caldecott Honor 2009. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. ISBN: 9780152060206

I am a huge Marla Frazee fan, so naturally I enjoy this book. As in all of her books, I like the attention to detail and all the small moments depicted in the illustrations that are based on only tiny hints in the text. I also love that it’s based on real events. That makes all of the characters come to life much more strongly, and points out the talent Frazee has for finding the humor in the simplest everyday moments. My favorite illustration without a doubt is the two-page spread where the boys lounge side by side on a mattress surrounded by all manner of toys and stuffed animals. It’s such a cozy image and took me right back to the days when my sister and I had “sleepovers” in her bedroom on Friday nights.

Journeycake, Ho! by Ruth Sawyer, illustrated by Robert McCloskey.Published 1953. Caldecott Honor 1954. Puffin Books. ISBN: 9780140502756

I feel like I have heard a version of this story before, but can’t place where. I do know that I have never read this book because I’m quite sure I would have remembered Robert McCloskey as the illustrator. The story is slow to start, with lots of background information, but it picks up when the journeycake begins to gather the animals. I really like the simple palette McCloskey uses to illustrate the story, and his portrayal of each characters’ facial expressions is spot-on. Not my favorite book of the challenge by any means, but I liked it.

McElligot’s Pool by Dr. Seuss.Published 1947. Caldecott Honor 1948. Random House. ISBN: 9780394800837 

I think this Seuss book is one of the easiest ones for me to connect with because all of the nonsense words and ideas come from a boy’s imagination as he sits by the pool trying to convince an adult that fishing there isn’t foolish. Other Seuss books seem to take place within fantasy worlds where things like sneetches and wockets just roam free and should be taken for granted. But in this book, it’s a child who comes up with the strange ideas, which really speaks to the power and importance of imagination. I also like its similarities to stories like The Carrot Seed, where naysaying adults are proven wrong by the beliefs and perseverance of a child.

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