I often use the Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon as an excuse to catch up on the Caldecott Award and Honor Books, and while I borrowed several picture books from the library, I’m only now getting to them (something about them being due back to the library on Monday finally bringing them to the top of my list).
My favorite of this crop of picture books was A Different Pond by Bao Phi illustrated by Thi Bui, which was a Caldecott Medal Honor book . A young boy and his father, a Vietnamese immigrant, head out fishing long before dawn. Over the course of the gorgeously illustrated pages, you discover that they are fishing not for pleasure, but to put food on the table. With the current attention on immigrants and also on economic disparities, A Different Pond is a very timely story and a fine way to introduce young readers to multicultural protagonists. (4 stars)
Wolf in the Snow by Matthew Cordell is the winner of the 2018 Randolph Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children. This almost wordless book tells the story of a young girl and a wolf cub lost in the snow and how they eventually both made it to safety. While nicely done, Wolf in the Snow just didn’t hold much for an adult reader without children to share read-alouds with. (3 stars)
Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut by Derrick Barnes and Illustrated by Gordon C. James follows a young African American boy as he gets a haircut. I loved the concept and the prose of this Caldecott Honor book, but the accompanying paintings just didn’t speak to me. (3 stars)
There are 2 other Caldecott Honor's books this year: Big Cat, little cat,” illustrated and written by Elisha Cooper and “Grand Canyon,” illustrated and written by Jason Chin. I'm planning to give Big Cat, little cat a pass, but have Grand Canyon on reserve at the library