Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Caldecott Challenge Post #78

Anatole and the Cat by Eve Titus, illustrated by Paul Galdone. Published 1957. Caldecott Honor 1958. 

Anatole, the mouse who works for a cheese factory without ever revealing his identity as a mouse, is such an endearing character. In this adventure, the owner of the cheese factory has a cat, who terrifies Anatole and makes it basically impossible for him to do his job. Anatole, ever crafty, finds a clever way to solve the problem, even though he comes close to losing his job. I enjoyed the story, and I'll try to keep it in mind the next time I want to do a French story time!

Dick Whittington and his Cat by Marcia Brown. Published 1950. Caldecott Honor 1951. 

I'm always impressed to know that there are people out there who can cut images like the ones in this book out of linoleum. As someone who can't cut a straight line with a pair of scissors, I am in total awe of artists whose talents require so much precision and focus. That said, aside from the interesting method of creating the pictures, this book didn't really resonate with me. I think there is something to be said for the message, that loving something and setting it free brings with it great rewards, but otherwise, I wasn't all that entertained.

The Egg Tree by Katherine Milhous. Published 1950. Caldecott Medal 1951.

My mother had an Easter tree when I was a kid, and this book brought back memories of watching her hollow out eggs so I could take them to school and decorate them, then bring them back home to hang on the tree. The dialogue in this book, and the behavior of the kids, seemed very contemporary, despite the book's age, and I think only the style of dress in the illustrations gives away that the setting is actually Pennsylvania Dutch Country. I was kind of disappointed by how dull the colors are in the images, but I did like the two-page spreads showing the kids hunting for eggs and later painting them.

Chanticleer and the Fox by Barbara Cooney. Published 1958. Caldecott Medal 1959.

I love the color scheme of the illustrations in this book, and how certain patches of color are used to draw the eye across the page in a particular way. I've never been crazy about the story itself, but I like the way the mother uses a moment of drama between animals as a way to teach her kids a lesson. I also think the cover illustration is great - the fox peeking out of the bush at Chanticleer tells us so much about the story to come.

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

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