When I began reading and searching through Illustrated books to decide my nomination for this year's Caldecott winner, "Should I Share My Ice Cream?" instantly made the top of the list. The good-natured lesson of the story is almost told solely through Mo Willems art. His ability to depict various ranges of emotion and capture his character's feelings from a simple change of lines is very captivating. The art in this book give the satirical pages of the tale a humurous image that completely creates the books atmosphere, in a way that makes the text almost unnecessary. Those elements, when accompanied together, had the ability to genuinely invoke the emotions of this reader.
But, to say it was a clear landslide in my decision would not be fair to the illustrator, for which, I would like to make an honorary mention. At the top of my list was also "Otis and the Tornado" by Loren Long. The artwork in the book is simply outstanding. His ability to make such a clear contrast between the different characters and such a bold scenery with no more than a few basic colors, is best put as pure original talent.
The ultimate decision to give Mo Willems the Caldecott, came down to the simple fact that he better linked the text of each page to his illustrations. Had Loren Long been completely able to capture such different degrees of emotions, that were portrayed in the text of each page, with the artwork, the winner may have been different.