On Monday the children’s book awards for 2013 were announced. Congratulations to all the winners.
Today’s post is going to focus on children’s picture books that were not eligible for the Caldecott because the artist does not meet the award requirements. Usually that means they don’t live in the United States. So here are a few of my favorites that may have ‘gotten away’ in 2013.
It’s a Tiger by David LaRochelle, illustrated by Jeremy Tankard is full of surprises. It starts off easy going, just going to share a story, but wait what is that? It looks like a…. TIGER! RUN! The child in the story is having no luck getting away from that tiger. It’s full of fun and silliness. It’s a terrific book to read aloud together and act out. Outlandishness ensues when every time you have to yell TIGER! RUN! again. The illustrations were rendered in ink and digital media. They are bright, eye-catching, and inviting. Tankard scans his ink drawings and rebuilds the pictures with the computer. They are collages using drawings instead of photographs. Tankard hails from Canada.
Whose Egg? by Lynette Evans, illustrated by Guy Troughton has amazing realistic watercolor paintings. There is a short verse that gives clues to the animals that have laid each egg, then a flap to lift to reveal whose egg it is. Troughton, originally from the UK, now lives in Australia. He’s a naturalist and loves painting nature. He’s a zoologist and an award-winning artist. For parents and teachers, Whose Egg? is an informational text book; children will love to find clues in the pictures and words and guess whose egg it is.
A Book of Babies by Il Sung Na is such a lovely, sweet book about different animal babies. It contrasts and compares babies that walk, that need help, that have scales, or come from a pouch, and many more.
The illustrations were created in Photoshop by combining handmade painterly textures with digitally generated layers. The handmade painterly textures are enhanced by the thin black lines. The technique used makes the pictures look like collage. Il Sung Na lives in Korea.
A Letter For Bear by David Lucas is a heartwarming story. Bear is a letter carrier, but he never gets any mail. One day he has a little mishap and has to knock on all the animals’ doors to get them the right letter. Then bear thinks maybe he needs to send the animals a letter inviting them to his party. It’s a Christmas party, but the whole feel of story is not christmasy at all. The art is beautifully done in geometric designs that harken to Gerald McDermott, and Drummer Hoff‘s Barbara Emberley. The artist said, “I drew the pictures in dip pen and Indian ink on watercolour paper, adding tone in grey watercolour. I scanned the images in as grayscale, then added the layers of translucent colours. There are only four pure colours in the book: bright blue, violet, pink and a softer burnt orange colour. It is printed in pure pantone inks, not in the CMYK process – rather like screenprinting – so the red, for example, is orange overlaid with pink. It’s rather like an old coloured engraving.” Lucas lives in London, England.
Gobble You Up! by Gita Wolf, illustrated by Sunita and Prabhat is a brilliant book, words and art. Based on a Rajasthani folktale, this story is translated by Susheela Varadarajan and so many more hands helped make this book. You’ll have to check out the artists’ and author’s notes to read the whole process of how this book came to be.
The story reminds me of the Danish Folktale – Fat Cat or There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly. In this story a jackal ends up swallowing his friend and a bunch of other animals.
The artwork is so authentic; it’s a beautiful stylized native Indian art called Mandna. This art form is practiced by women only, and I know I can’t do it justice describing it here. You’ll have to take a look at it yourself. The artists live in India.
Did you read any books with amazing art that were not eligible for the Caldecott Award? Please comment and share. And I hope you enjoy the titles I’ve grouped here.
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