Monday, November 24

Mock Caldecott 2015

The Caldecott, my friends. Awarded to the best illustrated book of the year. How to choose?? So many great ones this year, but I went ahead and made a list of my favorites.

Written and illustrated by Dan Santat

ISBN: 978-0316199988; Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

All alone on the island of imaginary friends with no child claiming him, one dares to journey to the real world and earn a name: Beekle. I've totally raved about this one before, and I will rave again: I don't think this book is getting enough Caldecott attention. The illustrations are beautiful. Santat makes a clear differentiation between the island and the real world, designs all kinds of awesome imaginary friends, and gives a plain white blob an amazing range of emotions. I love this one and cross my fingers that it will get noticed. Check out my favorite page from the book:

Written by Bob Shea, illustrated by Lane Smith

ISBN: 978-1596439757; Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

The Terrible Toads are the worst group of hootin' and hollerin' miscreants the town of Drywater Gulch has ever seen. Luckily, help comes riding (slowly) into town, and he's an expert on dinosaurs (yes, dinosaurs). While Shea may have come up with a pretty random storyline, Smith expertly illustrates it. The texture and washed-out earthy colors definitely set the mood for a nitty-gritty, old-west story. The characters are awesome, too. I mean, just look at those Toad Bros! They're totally trouble. And of course help rides in on a tortoise. What did you think a seven-year-old would ride?

Written by Deborah Underwood, illustrated by Jonathan Bean

ISBN: 978-0547928524; Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers

Moving away is hard for kids. But sometimes, there's something good to be found in change. Underwood definitely addresses the difficulty kids face with simple text. But Bean? Wow. He conveyed the difficulty of moving by illustrating movement. Yes, movement! It is apparent on the cover (the car, as it moves across the page) and he carries that theme throughout. He also uses color to help convey mood—the sadness of moving with the joy of finding a new friend. I'm downright impressed with the style. Check out the (1) mover in this illustration, as he goes up the ramp and (2) the insubstantial quality of the friend coming to say goodbye. Amazing.

Written and illustrated by Steve Light

ISBN: 978-0763666484; Publisher: Candlewick

A little boy has lost his dragon, and is going all over the city to find him. Perhaps he went downtown on a bus (there's three of them) or went to the zoo (to see six monkeys). What makes this book so fun for kids is, of course, the illustrations. Light has drawn it all in black and white—except for what is being counted. This highlighting effect makes it easy for kids to count along. But also, the kids can have fun searching for the dragon amid the black and white. It's interactive, unique, and perfect for the story.

Illustrated by Lizi Boyd

ISBN: 978-1452118949; Publisher: Chronicle

A boy out camping takes the chance to explore his surroundings with his trusty flashlight. And there's even more fun to be had once the animals get a hold of it! The first wordless book I've listed, I am really enamored with the idea of and art in this book. The stark contrast between light and dark is striking, and immediately draws the eye; it highlights all kinds of animals. Basically, it's a really brilliant, yet simple representation of real life: in the dark, everything seems black and white, but with just a little bit of light, a world of color is revealed.

Written and illustrate by Jason Chin

ISBN: 978-1596437173; Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

What would happen if there was no gravity? Everything would float away—including this book. Yep, this is the inception of books! Chin illustrates this the book. The book is in the book. It's trippy. But besides that fascinating idea, the art itself is really well done; a lot of detail went into every page (like, painting individual grains of sand floating away). It's informative, giving image to the unfathomable concept of living without gravity. Check it out:

Written and illustrated by David Soman

ISBN: 978-0803739932; Publisher: Dial

Three bears have broken their mother's prize blue shell. They are determined to find her a new one, instead of telling her the truth. Let the journey begin! Really, all I have to say is: look at the water. LOOK AT IT. Do you know how hard it is to accurately paint waves??! There's so much realism in this book—and it's about bears! Don't you see? Art that well done, that definitely deserves notice.

Written by Barb Rosenstock, illustrated by Mary GrandPré

ISBN: 978-0307978486; Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers

Vasya Kadinsky was a proper boy, studying history and math—as he should. But upon receiving his first paint set, he didn't just see the colors, he heard an entire symphony. Here is another one that hasn't been getting the Caldecott buzz it deserves. Because, holy cow, it deserves some buzz. It's a biography of Kadinsky, who really did hear sound while painting, and shocked the world with his abstract art. And GrandPr√© manages to represent that process by illustrating sound. And it's impressive.

I have no idea if these books are even close to being in the running, but I think their illustrations are worth noting. Feel free to add some of your own ideas!

1 comment:

  1. Popped up in my Pinterest feed! Great list ... I am very, very partial to the Noisy Paint Box. It's an excellent book on so many levels.