Caldecott Lines of Connection
According to multiple sources, being scared and overcoming our fear is good for us, and this is especially true when reading or listening to scary stories.
This month, we look at Bible stories which have been awarded recognition by the Caldecott committees, beginning in 1938.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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