Ever since working at the children’s department in South Carolina, I selected titles that I hoped would be honored by the various committees…but never shared them outside of conversations with other kidlit fiends & friends. This year, I’m sharing my choices with all of you. And similar to the official (secret) voting in the ALA committees, I’ll select three titles for each award: a 1st, 2nd and 3rd choice for the award.
My 2016 Mock Caldecott Awards
We often remember images of books – a red cover, a blue spine, a dog and a ball on the cover. This is not happenstance. The illustration and design of a story are integral parts of the overall reading experience of a picture book – and why the Caldecott Award, given “to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children” exists. In the three stories below, the illustrations are truly, phenomenally breathtaking.
First Choice: Last Stop on Market Street, illustrated by Christian Robinson, written by Matt de la Peña
Released in January, this timeless story of a boy and his grandmother’s bus ride to the soup kitchen has remained on the top of my Caldecott list. With bold, Keats-like illustrations, CJ’s city is vibrant and joyfully alive. Illustrator Robinson brings much-needed diversity to children’s books in a humble, story-for-the-ages, package.
Second Choice: Float, illustrated and written by Daniel Miyares
Wordless books rarely have the simple wonder that Float encompasses. A rainstorm, an origami boat, and a bold yellow slicker showcase the joys of the natural world – if only we embraced them like the featured young child. Of note is Miyares’s unique blurring technique – it is simple and breathtaking.
Third Choice: The Impossibly True Story of Tricky Vic, illustrated and written by Greg Pizzoli
Combining photography, thumbprints, and digital art, Pizzoli details the memorable escapades of con man Robert Miller, aka Tricky Vic. The cover alone is award-worthy: the eye is tricked into seeing the full Eiffel Tower using a photography, white space, and Vic’s ubiquitous thumbprint head (never a face – he’s a con man, after all). The layering of the French flag in the background is icing on the swoon-worthy design. Bravo!