Quote of the Month

When love and skill work together, expect a miracle. John Ruskin

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Caldecott Challenge 2012 #2

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.

1941 Medal Winner--They Were Strong and Good written and illustrated by Robert Lawson

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
Using watercolor, charcoal and ink Newberry creates delightful, charming kittens and that's not easy for a dog person to admit.  There is an interesting use of red in an otherwise black and white illustrated story.  While the parents play an important role in the plot they are never pictured.  There is only one picture of the young girl, April.  All of the other illustrations are of the kittens which I dearly wished I could cuddle. 
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

Mr. and Mrs. Mallard settle on a spot for a nest, an island in the Charles River,  but its not where they want to live, the Public Garden of Boston,  so a city halts as Mrs. Mallard seeks her husband as all Make Way for Ducklings.  McCloskey's illustrations done in lithographic crayon on stone are just as appealing as they were 70 years ago.  In an article at the 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.
Herrera was born in Zia Pueblo, New Mexico, educated at Santa Fe Indian Boarding School and was an educator at the Albuquerque Indian School in painting.  He was commissioned to paint 2,200 feet of murals at the U. S. Department of the Interior Building in Washington, D. C. in 1939.

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. 

Holling used full color oil paintings to illustrate the journey, from the mountains of Nipigon above the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean, of a hand-carved Native American figure in a one foot long canoe .  Framing the informative story-like text are black and white drawings that provide additional facts. 

More information about Holling by his numerous fans can be found at this link.   I had forgotten he was born in Jackson County, Michigan.

No comments:

Post a Comment