Archive for the ‘Mock Caldecott’ Category

From mid-December through mid-January, visitors to Children’s Services at the Main Library were offered the opportunity to vote for their favorite picture book of 2014,  The ballot consisted of titles nominated for the ACPL Mock Caldecott Election, held at the library last weekend.  (To see what was chosen during that event, see this post).

And the winning title was…..

The Farmer and the Clown

Thanks to all who voted!  Congratulations to the five lucky winners whose names were randomly chosen to receive a FREE picture book.

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One of the natural things to do at the end of a year is reminisce about favorite experiences of the past 12 months: …movies…food…family get-togethers…funny things our children have said…and of course, books!  We’ve put together a list of some of our favorite picture books published in the past 12 months.  All of these titles meet the criteria for the Caldecott Medal, an award given every year to the “most distinguished” children’s picture book published in the United States.

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Which book do you think should win?  Stop by Children’s Services between now and January 18, check out some of the titles for yourself, and cast your vote!  Each vote will be entered into a drawing to win a free picture book.  Also, please leave your comments about each title on our ACPL Mock Caldecott Pinterest Board.

In addition, on January 24th, we will be holding our annual Mock Election Programs.  Mock Caldecott will be from 9am to 1pm, Mock Newbery from 2:00-5:30pm.  Adults who are interested in children’s literature are welcome to attend either or both of these FREE events.

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We are gearing up for our annual Mock Caldecott event, looking at new picture books, double-checking the criteria, and choosing our favorites…for picture book lovers like myself, it’s one of my favorite activities of the year!  The point of all of our work is to try to predict what will win the coveted Caldecott Medal, awarded by the American Library Association in January every year to the illustrator of the “most distinguished American picture book for children“.

We are especially excited to introduce our Mock Caldecott Pinterest Board this year!  Be sure to visit and leave your comments on the posted titles.   So far, we have posted the following picture books based on the following very brief summary of the American Library Association’s Caldecott criteria:

  • Illustrators must be a citizens or residents of the United States
  • Books must have been published in 2014 (for the 2015 award)
  • Books must be intended for children up through age 14
firefly all different gravity
 dance  eye  scraps
 koo  gandhi  bad bye
 my bus  three bears  avairy
   beekle  baby bear
 brimsby's  okay andy

What do you think will win the Caldecott Medal in January?  New books are being published all the time — be sure to check this blog and our Pinterest board often!

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Every January, when the American Library Association announces the winner of the Randolph Caldecott Award, librarians wait with baited breath. Here in Allen County we like to start early in the year looking at newly published picture books and analyzing if they have what it takes to be a winner.  What about this book makes me say “WOW!”? Are these pictures truly distinguished?

Here are a few I’ve seen so far this year that show promise.

brimsby's hats Brimsby’s Hats

written & illustrated by Andrew Prahin

This is a quiet and lovely story about hats, tea, and friendship. I love the palate of colors the artist used and the variety of pages with lots of detail and pages with lots of open space.
okay andy Okay, Andy!

written and illustrated by Maxwell Eaton III

Graphic novels are making their way onto the list more and more and this one is really fun! The images and text are simple but things are spiced up with expressive characters and lots of visual gags.
bad bye Bad Bye, Good Bye

written by Deborah Underwood & illustrated by Jonathan Bean

In this basic story about the sad, bad, and glad parts of moving houses the emotion is clearly expressed in each picture. Overall the images have a blurry and chaotic feel that seems to match the main character’s mood perfectly. It’s the detail in the pictures and the confidence of the parents that helps us see everything will be all right in the end.

We also like to get together just before the official announcement with other librarians and anyone who loves kids’ books to discuss the great picture books in the running and guess the winner. Check back soon to see what date we choose for that event.

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And The Winner Is…


We had a lovely time this morning talking about picture books and debating which one was worthy of the Caldecott Medal. There are so many great books from 2013 that could be chosen by the real committee but when it came down to the voting here’s our winner:




floraFlora and the Flamingo written and illustrated by Molly Idle

Our honor books were Locomotive written and illustrated by Brian Floca, Journey written and illustrated by Aaron Becker, and If You Want to See a Whale written by Julie Fogliano and illustrated by Erin Stead.

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January is such an exciting month!  It’s a new year … we have plenty of snow and cold temps here in northeast Indiana to keep things interesting … children return to school after a winter break…and your library holds it’s annual Mock Elections, in anticipation of the REAL American Library Association book awards for children that will be presented later in the month.  On January 27, to be precise.

The library’s Mock Caldecott program will be held this coming Saturday, January 11, from 9am to 1pm.  All adults interested in children’s books are invited to attend this FREE event.  Refreshments will be provided, as well as some wonderful information about picture books, picture book art, and the history of the Caldecott Medal.  We’ll discuss some of the books we think might win the Caldecott this year, and then we’ll hold a vote to choose our own “Mock Caldecott” winner.  Will we choose the same book as the official Caldecott Committee?  Find out on Monday morning, January 27 at 8am EST, when the American Library Association makes its official announcement of the Caldecott winner and other youth media awards from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania!

We have two more book titles to add to our reading list — these were suggested to us last minute, and we believe they absolutely do fit the criteria.  They are:

 The Mighty Lalouche by Matthew Olshan will make you laugh and the illustrations will make you want to look at this book again and again and again.  Sophie Blackall’s art was created using Chinese ink and watercolors, then cut out, arranged and photographed.  The effect is amazing!
  Another book with 3-D style illustrations is Stardines by Jack Prelutsky.  This is a collection of poems, each about an original “animal” — like Stardines — or Swapitis — or Tattlesnakes.  Each poem is accompanied by detailed and very original shadowbox illustrations, created by Carin Berger, that just need to be seen.

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As the end of the year draws nearer and nearer, more and more FANTASTIC picture books keep coming to our attention.  Here are a few more that we think may have a chance at winning the coveted Caldecott Medal in January 2014.  They will be added to our long list of Mock Caldecott nominees — and it’s getting very l-o-n-g at this point.

We’ll be narrowing down our long list  in the next couple of weeks – if there are books you think should stay on the short list, let your voice be heard!  Leave a note in the comments on this post or send us an email.

Beautifully detailed and life-like illustrations help bring to life the story of an Italian-American immigrant, as he shares with his great-granddaughter a lifetime of memorabilia he’s saved in matchboxes, all contained within an old cigar box.  Bagram Ibatoulline’s illustrations add so much to the story of The Matchbox Diary by Paul Fleischman..the warmth evoked by the golden-colored tones of the present contrast perfectly with the sepia of the past.
   Another picture book that also uses color very effectively is Peter Brown’s Mr. Tiger Goes Wild.  Mr. Tiger is a bright orange creature in a drab and dreary world, and he’s very unhappy.  So he leaves, runs away to the green wilderness, but then he misses his friends!  What will Mr. Tiger do?  Read the book…and find out!  You won’t be disappointed.
   I cannot imagine anyone reading Battle Bunny without at least cracking a grin and snickering.  Me?  Belly laugh.  Absolutely.  Jon Scieszka, Mac Barnett, Matthew Myers (and Alex) have teamed up to create a picture book unlike anything I’ve seen — at least in its brand new state.  Many a child (including yours truly) have taken pencil to book, however, and made it their own.  Read this one, share it with your children, and let us know what you think!
  Suzy, the youngest in her family, tries to make sense of her dad leaving to fight in Vietnam in Year of the Jungle by Suzanne Collins.  James Proimos’ illustrations contrast cartoon-style scenes of Suzy and her family through out the year of her father’s deployment with double-page spreads depicting her changing understanding of “the jungle”.  Poignant and not at all patronizing, this book takes the complicated feelings of a child and puts them in a format that’s accessible.
 A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin is a picture book biography, written by Jen Bryant and illustrated by Melissa Sweet.  Great picture book bios bring real people to life at a child’s level of understanding, and the art in this book does that superbly.  Children will learn that Pippin loved to draw and paint as a child and young man, but injuries sustained in WWI made it impossible for him to continue his art…..or did it?  Read find out!
Travel back in time to early-20th-century Muskegon and a nearby lakeside neighborhood called Bluffton where a young Buster Keaton and his family spend several summers. Matt Phelan tells this fictionalized story through the eyes of Henry, a Muskegon local, who befriends Buster and gets to know the world of vaudeville….and at the same time learns quite a bit about himself.  Most of this story is told via Phelan’s delicate but striking art; the framing and the pacing of the story are near-perfect, and the emotions conveyed via color and expression are very real.

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