Oh, man. This is going to be tough. And here I thought last year was wide open. The 2012 Caldecott race puts it to shame. While I went 1 for 4 last time around, I did manage to include big winner A Sick Day for Amos McGee. Time to give it another try. These aren’t necessarily the books I think should win, but what I predict will get some shiny medals come January.
Here are my picks for 2012 Caldecott glory.
Caldecott Medal Prediction: Me…Jane by Patrick McDonnell
Expertly combining ink, print techniques, and one killer photograph, Me…Jane is as artistically ambitious as it is heartfelt. This variety of techniques (and the fact that McDonnell comes from a cartooning background) makes Me…Jane a subtly rebellious pick. And who doesn’t love to engage in a little subtle rebellion? This is the sort of book that can build a consensus.
Caldecott Honor Prediction: I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen
At first read, I didn’t consider this a contender for Caldecott. Too divisive, artwork to spare. But as weeks have passed and the legend of Jon Klassen’s book continues to grow, I’m prepared to eat my hat. The distinctive, starkly beautiful illustrations are up to the challenge of carrying this deadpan masterpiece. While it may not make the cut on account of its love-it-or-hate-it conclusion, here’s guessing the Caldecott committee will be hip to what Klassen is selling.
Caldecott Honor Prediction: Grandpa Green by Lane Smith
While I’m not as gung-ho about the story as some, I am absolutely floored by the artwork. Few books released in 2011 are more pleasing to look at. The unique method of visual storytelling used is also likely to earn votes. Grandpa Green uses his art (topiary) to preserve his memories. Readers learn about his life through the visuals as much (or more) than the text. A title that’s bound to gather strong supporters.
Caldecott Honor Prediction: Stars by Mary Lyn Ray, illustrated by Marla Frazee
When a book contains not one, but two of the most awe-inspiring spreads found in any picture book published in the calendar year, it becomes impossible to ignore.
Treading on familiar ground with her 2010 Caldecott honor All The World, Marla Frazee has produced another stunner.
Caldecott Honor Prediction: Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick
In my review of Wonderstruck, I noted that if we were to apply science, Brian Selznick’s remarkable text/illustration mashup would win the Caldecott medal hands down. Well, a science this is not. While I won’t be surprised to see Wonderstruck take the top spot, I’m predicting an honor.
Not that I look at the list, it seems to be a group of rather safe picks. Plenty of previous Caldecott honor and medal winners in the bunch. Agree? Disagree? Strongly disagree? Let’s hear your picks in the comments.