Caldecott Lines of Connection

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

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

Dogs and Cats, Part 2 

Peter McCar­ty doesn’t just include his dog, but also his cat in Hon­do and Fabi­an, a 2003 Calde­cott Hon­or book. This sto­ry describes a day in the life of his pets. Hon­do goes to the beach while Fabi­an stays home, but both have a good time. The soft pen­cil illus­tra­tions of the yel­low Labrador retriev­er and the gray

A Ball for Daisy

Dogs and Cats, Part 1 

It is almost guar­an­teed that chil­dren will respond favor­ably to ani­mal sto­ries, espe­cial­ly sto­ries with dogs and cats. Two-thirds of Amer­i­can house­holds own dogs or cats. Nine­teenth cen­tu­ry British illus­tra­tor Ran­dolph Calde­cott seemed to under­stand the nat­ur­al affin­i­ty between chil­dren and ani­mals. Before sci­ence doc­u­ment­ed the impor­tance of pets in children’s lives, he includ­ed animals

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