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 of Caldecott award books extend the art enrichment experience by introducing children to the lives and works of visual artists.
This month, Jacqueline Briggs Martin and Phyllis Root, the usual hosts of this column, have invited Kari Pearson to share her recommendations for funny picture books. Let’s play a game! It’s called Funny/Not Funny. It goes like this: Funny: Eating greasy bloaters with cabbage-and-potato sog (see: How Tom Beat Captain Najork and His Hired Sportsmen) Not Funny: Shoveling gigantic snowdrifts out of my driveway into piles almost as tall as myself.… more