The Caldecott Challenge (Part I)
The Plan: Read every Caldecott-winning book in one day. Just the medal winners – honors need not apply (because your application will be denied). The idea popped into my head over a year ago, and seems like a good way to fill in the gaps in my Caldecott reading and/or drive me insane. An enticing mix.
This is my public library. I quite like it. This is where I’ll try to do something that has never been accomplished before (you may want to fact-check that statement).
I mad-dogged the Caldecott section as I arrived. No messing around. The is the first of many times I would curse The Invention of Hugo Cabret â€“ this monster of a book is the most likely title to throw a wrench into my plans.
I found this chair in a quiet corner of the library. I need an out-of-the-way spot, because I want to document my reading with photos (see below) and video (see above).
By my count, there are 73 books here in total. My plan is to be fairly systematic about it. Bring a big bunch of books back to my seat, take each one off the pile, photo, video, read, repeat. Letâ€™s see how this goes.
1938: Animals of the Bible, A Picture Book , illustrated by Dorothy P. Lathrop; text: selected by Helen Dean Fish (Lippincott)
1939: Mei Li by Thomas Handforth (Doubleday)
1940: Abraham Lincoln by Ingri & Edgar Parin d’Aulaire (Doubleday)
1941: They Were Strong and Good , by Robert Lawson (Viking)
1942: Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey (Viking)
1943: The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton (Houghton)
1944: Many Moons , illustrated by Louis Slobodkin; text: James Thurber (Harcourt)
1945: Prayer for a Child , illustrated by Elizabeth Orton Jones; text: Rachel Field (Macmillan)
1946: The Rooster Crows by Maud & Miska Petersham (Macmillan)
1947: The Little Island , illustrated by Leonard Weisgard; text: Golden MacDonald, pseud. [Margaret Wise Brown] (Doubleday)
1948: White Snow, Bright Snow , illustrated by Roger Duvoisin; text: Alvin Tresselt (Lothrop)
1949: The Big Snow by Berta & Elmer Hader (Macmillan)
1950: Song of the Swallows by Leo Politi (Scribner)
1951: The Egg Tree by Katherine Milhous (Scribner)
Reflections: Itâ€™s pretty refreshing to read some of these early winners. Nature and the changing of the seasons are the dominant subjects. Many of them hold up remarkably well.
Progress: The going isâ€¦not as quick as I’d like. A number of the early winners are far from brief (are you listening Abraham Lincoln?) Needless to say, Iâ€™m concerned.
Tune in tomorrow for The Caldecott Challenge (Part II).
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About Travis Jonker
Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at email@example.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.
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