Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Mock Caldecott: Allotment #1

Each year my children's literature class participates in a Mock Caldecott. Usually my class starts in February so the real Caldecott winner and honor books have already been chosen. However, I would ask my students to not let the real award (if they even know the winners) play as a bias to there mock award. This year my class has been moved to the fall so I have saved this event as our culminating activity for the course. It also serves as our final exam (activity).

I have approximately 70 picture books that have been published in 2008 available for my students. However, they are permitted and encouraged to add to the list if the wish. The students have one week to share information in class and on our electronic discussion board. Then at our scheduled two hour final they deliberate over those books they feel are most worthy for our mock award. Our goal is not to pick the book that the ALA chooses, rather we want to examine these books carefully and honor those books we feel are distinctive.

For this blog, I hope to add comments or thoughts from all the books I have available for the students. I will not give elaborate summaries for this activity, but later I hope to revisit some of the books I personally enjoyed as well as the books my students choose for the mock award. On the other hand, I will be rating each book that I add to the post. It is my goal to have all these posted by next week...big goal I know.

Allotment #1

Wabi Sabi by
Mark Reibstein & Ill. by Ed Young


· Fantastic artwork: collage
· Absolutely love the collage of leaves
· Orientation of the book is vertical rather than horizontal
· “A way of seeing the world…Simple things are beautiful”
· Narrative enhanced by Haiku

I am a huge fan of this book. Both Reibstein and Young hit a home run with this one. This book would be on my shortlist for our Caldecott.

Sourpuss and Sweetie Pie
by Norton Juster and Ill. By Chris Raschka


· Sequel to The Hello, Goodbye Window
· A story in which every child can relate,
· Raschka’s illustrations are fantastic. Mix of watercolor and crayon
· I love the full page spread of Sourpuss transforming into Sweetie Pie.
· Appropriate ending

I’m Bad
by Kate and Jim McMullan


· T-Rex narrates this energetic picture book
· I love how he asks the reader questions
· “Are you BAD? I’m REALLY bad….Bad Breath"
· Big bad dinosaur brags about his badness, hunts for food, surprises s with the ending
· Colorful and fun use of text/fonts

This book will make a great read aloud. I can't wait to share it with my wife's first grade class!

Never Take a Shark to the Dentist (and other things not to do)
by Judi Barrett & Ill. By John Nickle


· I actually laughed out loud.
· Kids would enjoy this book
· Good for a writing prompt
· Acrylic paintings extend the simple text.
· Be sure to look beyond the initial concept of the picture...other humorous details are included

Another great book to share with students. Barrett also did Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.

Bear’s Picture
by Daniel Pinkwater & Ill. by D.B. Johnson


· Originally printed in 1972 now newly illustrated by D.B. Johnson
· A nice mix of color and black & white
· Mix media was used for the illustrations.
· Bear paints a picture and two fine gentlemen challenge him
· They don’t see what bear sees
· Bear states, “It doesn’t have to be. It’s my picture.”
· Keep an eye on bear's tie throughout the story

Dog and Bear: Two’s Company
by Laura Vaccaro Seeger


· Three stories of Dog and Bear in one book.
· Colorful childlike paintings with strong black outlines
· 2nd book first Dog and Bear was published in 2007
· Reminds me of Frog & Toad, but with very simple text

Wonder Bear
by Tao Nyeu


· Wordless picture book
· Unique Artwork is silkscreened with water-based ink
· Artwork has a matte finish with a touch of 60s or early 70s appeal
· Creative story…two children take a fantastical journey with Wonder Bear and his friends.
· The whole trip might just be a dream or is it?

1,2, Buckle My Shoe
by Anna Grossnickle Hines


· Colorful end pages
· Photos of fantastic quilt panels make-up each page
· Visually appealing, but overall the book doesn’t do too much for me
· Retelling of the classic nursery rhyme

Boogie Knights
by Lisa Wheeler & Ill. by Mark Siegel


· Charcoal, pencil and photoshop
· Good use of alliteration and overall language…this is its strong point
· Fun cartoon-styled illustration

If it weren't for the language usage, I would rate this as a 2-Star.

Jumpy Jack & Googily
by Meg Rosoff & Ill. by Sophie Blackwell


· Chinese Ink and watercolor
· Starts okay, but gets redundant
· Personally not a fan

Friday My Radio Flyer Flew
by Zachary Pullen


· Unique perspective is what makes this book
· paintings (oil)
· Caricature style pictures with big heads
· Overall I'm not a fan

Happy Reading,
Dr. Quinn

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