It most certainly is a very good thing that this Caldecott Challenge: 1938 to present is a stress-free challenge. I have been trying to read as many as I can during the evenings but apparently the writers and illustrators of the world are unaware; they keep creating new books that are so enticing that I am continually juggling between several books at one time. Oh, the joy of it all!
I am also going to try to shorten my notes about each only because of time constraints; I truly do like researching background information about the illustrators.
According to my sources Lawson used brush and ink to fashion his illustrations. There is no denying the fine detail and caricature quality of his characters. There appears to be more definition in some of his drawings than in others. I wonder about this inconsistency. An example would be the picture of the sailor in the storm with fewer lines compared to the illustration of the woman with the nun working with the bees exhibiting the most intricate of details. There is a charming pictorial of his family tree on the endpapers. This book is a genealogy of his parents and grandparents told with pride; the statements within are a reflection of his beliefs.
1941 Honor Winner--April's Kittens by Claire Turlay Newberry
The message has stood the test of time; parents trying to make a decision involving the child's love of pets. At one point I felt that the parents were disengaged but all ends well.
1942 Medal Winner--Make Way for Ducklings illustrated and written by Robert McCloskey, edited by May Massee
Society of Illustrators web site, it states that McCloskey purchased some ducks following them around his apartment to get the most lifelike quality for these creatures in his book.
1942 Honor Winner--In My Mother's House illustrating by Velino Herrera, written by Ann Nolan Clark
The medium used in these illustrations is not known but they clearly depict the life of the Pueblo Indians and are a true enhancement to the poetic text of Nolan. The publication of this title influenced government education policies for the next twenty years.
1942 Honor Winner--Paddle-To-The-Sea by Holling C. Holling
On the one hand it is amazing that many of these titles have stood the test of time (I had a student request this title last week) but considering the award bestowed up them maybe it's not so surprising.
More information about Holling by his numerous fans can be found at this link. I had forgotten he was born in Jackson County, Michigan.