Caldecott Lines of Connection

Song of the Water Boatman

Connecting with Nature 

While expe­ri­ences in the nat­ur­al world are ben­e­fi­cial to both chil­dren and adults, they are espe­cial­ly cru­cial for young peo­ple. This selec­tion of Calde­cott Hon­or books invites read­ers to explore and appre­ci­ate the nat­ur­al world.

Owl Moon

Let It Snow! 

In the far reach­es of the north­ern hemi­sphere, snow graces the win­ter land­scape and shapes the activ­i­ties of the sea­son. Pic­ture books set in win­ter typ­i­cal­ly fea­ture snowy back­drops. This col­umn takes a look at five Calde­cott Award-win­n­ing snow stories.

Ashanti to Zulu

Abecedaria, Part 2 

Not all alpha­bet books are for the pur­pose of ear­ly lit­er­a­cy, nor do they meet the cri­te­ria for tra­di­tion­al alpha­bet books … Still oth­ers are the­mat­i­cal­ly con­nect­ed, as are the fol­low­ing Calde­cott Hon­or ABC books.

An Alphabet City

Abecedaria, Part 1 

Tra­di­tion­al­ly, alpha­bet books, or abecedaria, serve as begin­ning lit­er­a­cy instruc­tion for babies and young chil­dren to pro­mote let­ter, sound, and word devel­op­ment. But, greater poten­tial than instruc­tion exists in this form of pic­ture books.


Transportation, Part II: Riding the Rails 

In the sec­ond part of our Trans­porta­tion series, we look at Calde­cott Award books that con­sid­er trains from dif­fer­ent van­tage points, from the out­side or inside, from a real or fan­tas­ti­cal world. Climb aboard!

The Paperboy

Transportation, Part I: Hitting the Road 

From an ear­ly age, chil­dren are cap­ti­vat­ed by “things that go,” from climb­ing on trucks in a Big Rig library event to rac­ing bicy­cles along a park path. This arti­cle offers a line-up of Calde­cott Award books that fea­ture var­i­ous modes of land transportation.

Reading the Art in Caldecott Award Books

Picture Book Illustration 

In pic­ture books, the illus­tra­tions often car­ry half, or more than half, of the nar­ra­tive. Increased under­stand­ing of illus­tra­tion tech­niques can enhance your appre­ci­a­tion and plea­sure when read­ing and shar­ing pic­ture books.

Finding Winnie

Geography, Part 2 

In Part 2 of Geog­ra­phy, we take a look at Calde­cott win­ning and hon­ored books with set­tings in Europe. Rec­og­niz­able land­marks are among the illus­tra­tions in these books, giv­ing a strong con­nec­tion to location.


Geography, Part 1 

Many pic­ture books have anony­mous set­tings, but some include authen­tic land­marks iden­ti­fy­ing loca­tions that can be pin­point­ed on a map. Trav­el­ing from west coast to east coast, sev­er­al Calde­cott Award books fea­ture set­tings in the Unit­ed States, and we can become arm­chair trav­el­ers through the illustrations.

Bill Peet: An Autobiography

Visual Artists, Part 2 

When con­sid­er­ing pic­ture book biogra­phies of visu­al artists, one can­not over­look the three illus­tra­tors who have gar­nered Calde­cott Hon­ors for their auto­bi­o­graph­i­cal works: Bill Peet, Uri Shule­vitz, and Peter Sis.

Radiant Child

Visual Artists, Part 1 

With declin­ing fund­ing for arts edu­ca­tion in schools1,2 and lim­it­ed oppor­tu­ni­ties for school-spon­­­sored class vis­its to art muse­ums, Calde­cott Award-win­n­ing pic­ture books invite chil­dren to explore var­i­ous media and styles of art deemed “dis­tin­guished.”3 Indeed, as pro­fes­sor of Eng­lish and children’s lit­er­a­ture spe­cial­ist Philip Nel observes, “Good pic­ture books are portable art gal­leries.”4 A number

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Fairy Tales, Part 2 

Tri­na Schart Hyman’s retelling of “Lit­tle Red Rid­ing Hood” is a famil­iar one. This was Hyman’s favorite fairy tale, and as a child, she spent a whole year wear­ing the red cape her moth­er made for her. On the ver­so of the title page, Lit­tle Red is read­ing her own sto­ry fea­tur­ing the cov­er of Hyman’s book, suck­ing her thumb, just as Hyman did in childhood.

Puss in Boots

Fairy Tales, Part 1 

The uni­ver­sal appeal of fairy tales is doc­u­ment­ed by the sim­i­lar­i­ties of sto­ries across coun­tries, cul­tures and cen­turies. The “Cin­derel­la” sto­ry alone is over 1000 years old with over 1000 vari­ents. What makes an indi­vid­ual pic­ture book ver­sion of a fairy tale unique? The illus­tra­tions. Jane Yolen (2004) states, “Many of the pic­­­ture-book retellings of folktales

Leave Me Alone

Grandparents, Part 2 

Fic­tion­al Calde­cott grand­par­ents reveal inter­est­ing and sur­pris­ing per­son­al­i­ties. While the sto­ries are imag­i­nary, some of the char­ac­ters are inspired by admired grand­par­ents and mentors.

Grandfather's Journey

Grandparents, Part 1 

The typ­i­cal post-World War II nuclear fam­i­ly was side­lined dur­ing the polit­i­cal and soci­etal tur­moil of the 1960s. Due to divorce, remar­riage, and blend­ed fam­i­lies, the 21st cen­tu­ry has seen an increas­ing num­ber of grand­par­ents involved in their grand­chil­dren’s lives. To cel­e­brate Grand­par­ents Day in Sep­tem­ber, this arti­cle exam­ines the por­tray­al of grand­par­ents and great-grand­­­par­ents in

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