I love picture books! I’ll read aloud to anyone! Just ask my fellow co-workers.
I also enjoy trying to predict the Caldecott Award every year along with librarians, students and teachers all over the country. I’m having a hard time narrowing down to one, so here are several of my favorites this year (in no particular order):
What good can a splash of color do in a community of gray? As Mira and her neighbors discover, more than you might ever imagine! Based on the true story of the Urban Art Trail in San Diego, California, Maybe Something Beautiful reveals how art can inspire transformation—and how even the smallest artists can accomplish something big. Pick up a paintbrush and join the celebration!
Make way for another perfect preschool picture book by Caldecott Honor recipient Denise Fleming!
Featuring a flock of oh-so-adorable fuzzy ducklings, this delightfully fresh take on the classic Five Little Ducks nursery rhyme emphasizes numbers and the days of the week—and these lucky ducklings are doted on by a loving Papa Duck as well as the traditional Mama. Young readers won’t be able to resist counting—and quacking—along!
As slaves relentlessly toiled in an unjust system in 19th century Louisiana, they all counted down the days until Sunday, when at least for half a day they were briefly able to congregate in Congo Square in New Orleans. Here they were free to set up an open market, sing, dance, and play music. They were free to forget their cares, their struggles, and their oppression. This story chronicles slaves’ duties each day, from chopping logs on Mondays to baking bread on Wednesdays to plucking hens on Saturday, and builds to the freedom of Sundays and the special experience of an afternoon spent in Congo Square.
Lucy is a small dog without a home. She had one once, but she remembers it only in her dreams. Eleanor is a little girl who looks forward to feeding the stray dog that appears faithfully beneath her window each day. Eleanor’s father is a juggler with stage fright. The overlapping stories of three delightful characters, offering a slightly different perspective each time, come together in a truly original, beautifully illustrated book for dog (and underdog) lovers of all ages.
A tongue-in-cheek introduction to Antarctica features a plucky little penguin who argues that the region, far from being free from worries and responsibilities, is freezing, filled with natural predators and all but overrun by identical penguins that make it rather hard to find one’s mom. Illustrated by the Caldecott Honor-winning artist of Grandpa Green.
In 1847 St. Louis, Missouri, when a new law against educating African Americans forces Reverend John to close his school, he finds an ingenious solution to the new state law by moving his school to a steamboat in the Mississippi River. Includes author’s note on Reverend John Berry Meachum, a minister, entrepreneur, and educator who fought tirelessly for the rights of African Americans.
A wordless picture book by the award-winning illustrator of And Tango Makes Three follows the journey of a cat who makes his way through busy city streets, a farmers’ market and a park filled with kite-flyers while his beloved boy diligently searches for him.
The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles, who lives alone atop a hill, has a job of the utmost importance. It is his task to open any bottles found at sea and make sure that the messages are delivered. He loves his job, though he has always wished that, someday, one of the letters would be addressed to him. One day he opens a party invitation—but there’s no name attached. As he devotes himself to the mystery of the intended recipient, he ends up finding something even more special: the possibility of new friends.
The darling, dancing Flora is back, and this time she’s found two new friends: a pair of peacocks! But amidst the fanning feathers and mirrored movements, Flora realizes that the push and pull between three friends can be a delicate dance. Will this trio find a way to get back in step? In the third book featuring Flora and her feathered friends, Molly Idle’s gorgeous art combines with clever flaps to reveal that no matter the challenges, true friends will always find a way to dance, leap, and soar—together.
Want to participate in TLCPL’s annual Caldecott Read-In? Come to Main Library on Saturday, January 21, 2017 from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. to take a look at the best picture books and try to determine which one will win the prize.