It’s that time of year again, when the American Library Association’s Caldecott Committee bestows a Medal and Honor prizes on the years’ most distinguished picture books.
Here are some strong contenders that are worth checking out before the announcements on January 25th.
We Are Water Protectors by Carole Lindstrom, ill by Michaela Goade
If there were a way to experience the original paintings of these extraordinary illustrations, I would travel to see them. Goade has used watercolors and a pallet of ocean blues and greens to illustrate this book about protecting water. With each page turn Goade gives us images within images depicting life, growth, community and inter-connectedness.
All Because You Matter by Tami Charles, ill by Bryan Collier
I have loved Bryan Collier’s work for many years, and his illustrations in All Because You Matter are particularly stunning. Collier provides a story told through the art. Full of meaning, the quilt-like collage images contain a combination of photographs and Collier’s stylized paintings. The child in the foreground is both surrounded and backed by faces, showing the community of support for him. The use of light, and images are simultaneously universal and intimate.
The Old Truck by Jarrett and Jerome Pumphrey
The Old Truck is a book with the look of a classic. Using homemade stamps, the brothers have created flat images with a pastel pallet, which have moments of frenetic motion, and moments of stillness. The old truck works hard, and the farmers work hard. And if you’d like to make your own stamp, Jarrett and Jerome Pumphrey show you how.
My Best Friend by Julie Fogliani, ill by Jillian Tamaki
Two little girls meet and become fast friends. Tamaki uses rounded forms to add a warmth and friendly familiarity to the illustrations. And her limited color-scheme unifies the girls and the park even further, with greens in the tree leaves, trunk, grasses and the girls’ hair, clothes and shoes. A pleasure to read and share, don’t miss the opening illustration underneath the book jacket, which shows the two girls at opposite ends of the park.
Honeybee: The Busy Life of Apis Mellifera by Candace Fleming, ill by Eric Rohman
We follow one honeybee on her life path from the time she pushes through the waxy covering of her cell, to all of the work she completes before she makes her first flight to collect nectar and begin the honey-making process, to her final day. Rohman’s realistic illustrations are remarkable for their detail, beauty and for bringing us a bees-eye view of life.
Can't wait to see if any of these show up on the list.