Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Caldecott Medal winners

The nice thing about working in a library is you can have new journals routed to you to read first.  Even though I don't really choose books for the kids anymore, I still like to read Horn Book.  It's a magazine for those who collect Children's literature but it's more than just book reviews.  There are wonderful articles to read.  The last issue had an article about the book Mei Li by Thomas Handforth.  This book won the Caldecott Medal in 1939 and the article goes on to explain how it was the first book that featured illustrations on their own - not just incidental to the text.  (The 1938 winner was Animals of the Bible by Dorothy P Lathrop).  My library owned the book so I took a look and then decided I wanted to see all the Caldecott medal winners.   (I need to ask Alex, the overlord of the children's collection if we own all the medal books - if so, how convenient for me).

In 1940, Abraham Lincoln by Ingri & Edgar Parin d'Aulaire won the medal.  I am horrible with remembering authors and book titles but when I saw these authors, something clicked in my head.

The illustrations were familiar and then it hit me.  Greek Myths!  Norse Mythology!

My kids devoured D'Aulaire's Book of Greek Myths

This was back when Rick Riordan's series about Percy Jackson was first coming out.  Emma and Brian read those series and then wanted more.  They are experts on Greek Mythology.

Next up was D'Aulaire's Book of Norse Mythology

These are wonderful books.  I need to pull them out of the shelves and re-read them.

Turns out, there is a Facebook page called d'Aulaire's Children's Books.  I don't know who maintains this page but it's full of illustrations of books and pictures of the couple in their studio.  Wonderful.

The next Caldecott Medal book (1941)  is They Were Strong and Good by Robert Lawson, who also illustrated  Ferdinand the Bull.  It's a story about Lawson's parents and grandparents - being used to the colorful picture books of today, this is a bit of a let down but I am no judge.  I am certainly having fun looking at these book.

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