In our first session, we talked about the Caldecott award, and about how the Caldecott committee works. We talked about layers, theme, and tone in story, and what we will look for as we hunt for the most distinguished picture books of 2016.
Here's one - Alan's Big Scary Teeth by Jarvis.
I asked the kids to tell me what kind of tone or mood they predicted it might have.
The Tree in the Courtyard by Jeff Gottesfeld, ill. by Peter McCarty
shows a different tone - historical, poignant.
The Night Gardener by the Fan Brothers
feels mysterious and intricate
Henry and Leo by Pamela Zagarienski
has a soft and ethereal mood.
We're starting with about 28 books this year because we only have so much time.
It would be lovely to absolutely roll in a roomful of books, but considering that we are working with after-school hours, 28 books is perfect.
Our wonderful librarian Martha helped as we evaluated two books with our ballots this week.
First, we examined the cover, jacket flaps, endpapers, copyright page.
We looked for interesting notes about the making of the book.
Next, we "read" the pictures all through, page by page, without words.
We searched for themes, color, mood, point of view, excellent details.
Then, I read the book aloud.
We asked ourselves what the book was about.
We asked what else it was about.
We looked for details to support our ideas,
nuances in text and art, in layout, in font.
We asked ourselves if the text and illustrations wove well together, or clashed.
We asked if the book would appeal to kids, if kids would be excited about that book.
We filled out our ballots and put them in their matching envelopes.
Here are the books we examined this week:
We All Saw a Cat by Brendan Wenzel
I'm utterly wowed by the mind-explosions They All Saw a Cat creates.
I love the details our kids' committee noticed -
like balance in layout, patterns in text that echo in the illustrations,
exuberant differences in perspective throughout this book.
The Music in George's Head : George Gershwin Creates Rhapsody in Blue
by Suzanne Slade, illustrated by Stacy Innerst
Kids pointed out that the illustrations are done in browns and blues,
which seemed fitting considering that it's about Rhapsody in Blue.
They liked the playful hand lettering,
and the way the story begins, crescendos, and ends.
We listened to Rhapsody in Blue as we tidied up.
What a jazzy bright delight!
I love my library!
Stay tuned for updates as our Caldecott Club continues.
I'll post notes on our ballot and criteria next time.
If you're a local friend, you're welcome to join us!
We're meeting Thursdays
at the Jefferson County Library in Port Hadlock
from 3:45-4:45 p.m.See more info here.
Except on Thanksgiving.
That's reserved for the turkey eating club.