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A very meta picture book

Cover of Tomfoolery! Randolph Calde
A review of Tomfoolery! Randolph Caldecott and the Rambunctious Coming-of-Age of Children's Books by Michelle Markel
Barbara McClintock

Maybe you've heard of the Caldecott medal for illustration, one of the highest honors in children's literature, awarded annually by the American Library Association? But did you know that it is named after 19th-century illustrator, Randolph Caldecott? 

This new book from the creator of yet another book about children's literature (Balderdash! John Newbery and the Boisterous Birth of Children's Books) tells Caldecott's story, detailing his life and work in fast paced text with lively illustrations. Sprinkled throughout the pages are reproductions of some of Caldecott's own art (I told you this was a meta book!), and the end matter also includes annotations, information on illustrations from the time, a list of picture books by Caldecott, and a bibliography. 

I probably learned about Caldecott in library school - but not in such an engaging way as I did from reading this book! 

Feb 20, 2024