The Children’s Corner is a new feature here at A Librarian’s Library where I showcase the cute, clever, beautiful, and fun picture books I stumble upon while shelving at the library! For all of you parents, babysitters, and future librarians out there, these books are bound to provide at least 10 minutes of glorious entertainment!
Well, as of January 27th, 2014, the Caldecott Medal and Honor Medals have been awarded! Here is a survey of the books that were honored this year, with a little Snippet Review by me! Enjoy!
“All aboard! From the creator of the “stunning” (Booklist) Moonshot, a rich and detailed sensory exploration of America’s early railroads.
It is the summer of 1869, and trains, crews, and family are traveling together, riding America’s brand-new transcontinental railroad. These pages come alive with the details of the trip and the sounds, speed, and strength of the mighty locomotives; the work that keeps them moving; and the thrill of travel from plains to mountain to ocean.
Come hear the hiss of the steam, feel the heat of the engine, watch the landscape race by. Come ride the rails, come cross the young country!”
My Snippet Review: With vivid illustrations, Brian Floca tells the story of a journey along the first transcontinental railroad. Along the way, he teaches readers about how the train functions, how the railroad was built, the places it would stop, the people who would run it. It was such an enlightening book–I really learned a lot! And the illustrations are just beautiful. It definitely is worthy of the Caldecott Medal.
My Bookshelf Rating: A Top Shelf Book! (5 out of 5 Stars!)
“A lonely girl draws a magic door on her bedroom wall and through it escapes into a world where wonder, adventure, and danger abound. Red marker in hand, she creates a boat, a balloon, and a flying carpet that carry her on a spectacular journey toward an uncertain destiny. When she is captured by a sinister emperor, only an act of tremendous courage and kindness can set her free. Can it also lead her home and to her heart’s desire? With supple line, luminous color, and nimble flights of fancy, author-illustrator Aaron Becker launches an ordinary child on an extraordinary journey toward her greatest and most exciting adventure of all.”
My Snippet Review: A wordless picture book, Becker’s illustrations plunge readers on a magical and imaginative journey through many lands. This is a story about the power of imagination and how that imagination can lead you to worlds unknown. The illustrations are BEAUTIFUL! This was my front-runner for the Caldecott this year, as the illustrations entrance and tell a magnificent story!
My Bookshelf Rating: A Top Shelf Book! (5 out of 5 Stars)
“In this innovative wordless picture book with interactive flaps, Flora and her graceful flamingo friend explore the trials and joys of friendship through an elaborate synchronized dance. With a twist, a turn, and even a flop, these unlikely friends learn at last how to dance together in perfect harmony. Full of humor and heart, this stunning performance (and splashy ending!) will have readers clapping for more!”
My Snippet Review: A wordless story about not giving up on your dreams. Flora wants to be a graceful ballerina, yet she struggles. But her Flamingo will teach her a heart-felt lesson. I loved the integration of the flaps–I thought that was a very unique story-telling technique! Though I wouldn’t have necessarily put this book in my top choices for Caldecott, I can definitely see why it was chosen for the honor. The illustrations are just as graceful as the story being told!
My Bookshelf Rating: A Fourth Shelf Book! (4 out of 5 stars!)
“In a near wordless masterpiece that could only have been devised by David Wiesner, a cat named Mr. Wuffles doesn’t care about toy mice or toy goldfish. He’s much more interested in playing with a little spaceship full of actual aliens—but the ship wasn’t designed for this kind of rough treatment. Between motion sickness and damaged equipment, the aliens are in deep trouble. When the space visitors dodge the cat and take shelter behind the radiator to repair the damage, they make a host of insect friends. The result? A humorous exploration of cooperation between aliens and insects, and of the universal nature of communication involving symbols, “cave” paintings, and gestures of friendship.”
My Snippet Review: Honestly, I really don’t get it. This was a story that I wasn’t expecting at all, and I just don’t think I liked it all that much. Maybe if I had read more of Wiesner’s other works, I would appreciate his style of storytelling more. But it was a little strange and a little off-putting to me anyway. But, every reader is different, and I am sure that many people on the committee laughed as they read this one. Not my cup of tea, but obviously a lot of other readers love it.
My Bookshelf Rating: A Second Shelf Book (2.5 out of 5 Stars)
My Replacement Choices: If it was me choosing the Caldecott Awards, I would have considered these books to be worthy of receiving an honor!
The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt, Illustrated by Oliver Jeffers
Bluebird by Bob Staake
Have you read any of these award winners? Did one stand out to you as a favorite? Let me know!
Love and Alien Ants?,