Mock Caldecott 2022 discussion

Mock Caldecott - 2015 > May Reads - 2015

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message 1: by Kristen (last edited May 01, 2014 06:05AM) (new)

Kristen Jorgensen (sunnie) | 251 comments Mod
Extraordinary Jane by Hannah E. Harrison Extraordinary Jane by Hannah E. Harrison

Maple by Lori Nichols Maple by Lori Nichols

Grandfather Gandhi by Arun Gandhi Grandfather Gandhi by Arun Gandhi

The Adventures of Beekle The Unimaginary Friend by Dan Santat The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend by Dan Santat

There are some really well done books here. Do you think any of them could be a future Caldecott award?

message 2: by Laura (new)

Laura Harrison | 338 comments Beekle has the best chance out of the four titles. I loved Maple but I don't think the artwork is unique enough for the award.

Niki (Daydream Reader) | 42 comments Beekle!!! :) I liked Maple and Extraordinary Jane. I still need to read Grandfather Gandhi. I LOVE Beekle!

message 4: by Kelly (last edited May 19, 2014 08:59AM) (new)

Kelly | 22 comments Just got hold of Maple today. Though I liked it, I can't say it really knocked my socks off. The color palette is very fitting, to mark the passage of time and set the overall mood. The texture of the leaves is quite effective at conveying that 'sun shining through the forest' kind of light at pivotal points in the story. There were several other very nice flourishes that caught my eye: Maple's 'tree pose,' blue robin's eggs appearing in the nest, and the draping of the willow leaves a few pages before we learn the new baby's name (though I think some of these little quirks require a more advanced level of background knowledge and are probably aimed more towards parents than child readers). It's nice, if perhaps a little treacly, and the illustrations are a really critical part of the storytelling, but it didn't blow me out of the water.

ETA: The Adventures of Beekle came in today from ILL! I have to say, it's right on par with Baby Bear as one of my Caldecott picks this year. Though it was the realism of Baby Bear that impressed me, Beekle really excels with themes of the fantastic. The use of color to show the disparity of the extraordinary and the mundane is just fantastic; did you see the scales on that dragon (in stark comparison to the 'grunge' of the ordinary world)! The use of different media (and Photoshop) really achieves a nice effect, with everything looking so vivid and sharp. I might have squealed with delight at the hand lettering as well.

I also read Extraordinary Jane this morning as well. Though the illustrations are attractive and the style fits well with the circus setting--an additional three early literacy cheers for the hidden text of the "elephant poop" bucket, the "grin and bear it" magazine, and so forth. However, I'm getting some of that same uncomfortableness I experienced with Sparky, bleeding through from my personal prejudice against wild animals wearing clothes and other such nonsense like shooting lapdogs out of cannons. I'm thinking it's not Jane; it's me, but I just wasn't transported the way I was with some of the other choices so far this year.

ETA: Recently had a chance to read Grandfather Ghandi as well; it's always great to see a memoir, non-fiction picture book. The mixed-media of the illustrations were eye-catching and did a wonderful job of reinforcing the theme, but I'm not certain it's eye-catching enough to have strong kid-appeal the way Beekle and even Firefly July A Year of Very Short Poems in a similar style incorporated bright and cheerful colors. The topic of self-regulating and understanding our emotions is an important component of early literacy for sharing with pre-readers. Though I certainly enjoyed it, I'm not certain I would have as a child.

message 5: by Jenni (new)

Jenni | 33 comments These are all really strong books this month! Beekle definitely appeals to me the most. There is a Shaun Tan quality to his illustrations that I really love. Because of that, I wondered if the book might be more magical with less or no text. I might picture walk it with a few kids to see if they can follow the story without words. Even still, I'd be really surprised not to see Beekle among the winners.

message 6: by Beverly (new)

Beverly (bjbixlerhotmailcom) | 367 comments Our library gets its books about a month after this group's reading them. Oh well. I just got Extraordinary Jane. The acrylic paintings are so detailed and clear and really pop out against the mostly white backgrounds. The story is sweet, but the illustrations go beyond the story line to help convey the story. Apart from Jane, the animals look like they are having fun, until, of course, they sustain minor injuries. Very nice, but I don't know if it will be a contender for a Caldecott.

message 7: by Beverly (new)

Beverly (bjbixlerhotmailcom) | 367 comments Re: Maple
I thought this was such as sweet book! The pastel pencil and digitally colored illustrations matched the tone of the story perfectly, and on several pages, the illustrations depict what the text does not specify; for example, on one double-page spread, the text says "Then one day, something surprising happened" while the illustrations shows that new tree has been planted. And on the next page, the text says "Then something really surprising happened" and the illustration shows Maple looking at her pregnant mother. So the illustrations are very integral to the story. It remains to be seen whether the Caldecott committee deems it worthy, but it certainly would be great book for story time.

message 8: by Beverly (new)

Beverly (bjbixlerhotmailcom) | 367 comments Re: The Adventures of Beekle:
Santat has outdone himself with this wonderful story about imaginary friends. His illustrations, rendered in pencil, crayon, watercolor, ink and Photoshop are large and colorful. The "real" or grown up world is rather dark and drab, but the imaginary world and the children's playground are bursting with color. Beekle's and the children's faces are very expressive, while the adults are mostly expression-less. And Santat's imagination runs wild with the creation of the imaginary creatures.

message 9: by Jen (new)

Jen Ferry (librarygarden) | 79 comments Grandfather Gandhi--The illustrations in this book truly make the story come alive for me. The collage spreads allow me to be in Sevagram. However, I don't feel that students will appreciate the intricacy of the art and how it allows us to be transported to a different place and time. The story of Arun and his grandfather is a very personal one and will be useful in a collection to discuss how to manage feelings.

message 10: by Jen (new)

Jen Ferry (librarygarden) | 79 comments Maple--I accidentally returned this book to the library before adding my comments! This simple story is told through its soft illustrations, which cause you to read and look twice. I agree it is a perfect story time book that will appeal to young readers.

message 11: by Jen (new)

Jen Ferry (librarygarden) | 79 comments Extraordinary Jane--Wonderful vocabulary for young readers, little text, and vivid illustrations will lead to a hit with the kiddos. For me there is nothing pulling at me in the story.

message 12: by Laura (new)

Laura Harrison | 338 comments Librarygarden wrote: "Extraordinary Jane--Wonderful vocabulary for young readers, little text, and vivid illustrations will lead to a hit with the kiddos. For me there is nothing pulling at me in the story."

Beautiful bright illustrations. Lovely picture book. I don't feel it is unique enough to be a Caldecott contender, however.

message 13: by Jen (new)

Jen Ferry (librarygarden) | 79 comments The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend--What a wonderful book! Beekle doesn't wait around for a child to be his friend, he takes things into his own hands. Santat creates such a colorful world for Beekle, yet when he arrives in the city it's dreary and gray and the people seems so boring and glum. Making friends isn't always easy, but when you find the right one friendship seems easy and can take us anywhere we want to explore. Love the message and the illustrations.

message 14: by Rosanne (new)

Rosanne Kurstedt (kurstedt) | 1 comments I just love this book. The text and illustrations. There are so many quote worthy lines. I particularly like "so he did the unimaginable" and then how it ends with that as well. I totally believe this could be a Caldecott contender. Just wonderful.

message 15: by Becky (new)

Becky (becky_nelson) | 8 comments Librarygarden wrote: "Extraordinary Jane--Wonderful vocabulary for young readers, little text, and vivid illustrations will lead to a hit with the kiddos. For me there is nothing pulling at me in the story."

Nor at me! I read it to my 1st and 2nd graders, and I thought it flopped. The illustrations was attractive but and clever but the storyline just didn't do it for any of us.

message 16: by Laura (new)

Laura Harrison | 338 comments Becky wrote: "Librarygarden wrote: "Extraordinary Jane--Wonderful vocabulary for young readers, little text, and vivid illustrations will lead to a hit with the kiddos. For me there is nothing pulling at me in t..."

I very much agree. No excitement or strong interest for the children.

message 17: by Ranell (new)

Ranell I really enjoyed Maple. The size of the book and the daintiness of the illustrations are very appropriate. I was in love with Maple from the first page. She is so content with her tree, you can just SEE the love. It is the overall package for me.
I was disappointed in Beekle. I REALLY wanted to like him. The illustrations were darker than I thought they would be. I may have like it more if it was on glossy paper. I don't know why I say that but I was expecting it when I opened the book. I also think the story may be confusing to little ones.
Extraordinary Jane is also well done.

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