Recently I reviewed When I Was Young in the Mountains, written by Cynthia Rylant and illustrated by Diane Goode as a recommended read. (See that post at https://littlebooksontheprairie.wordpress.com/2013/01/30/when-i-was-young-in-the-mountains-by-cynthia-rylant/) This book was nominated as a Caldecott Honor Book in 1983, so I would like to now review it from the aspect of the illustrations.
1. “Excellence of execution in the artistic technique employed.” – This book has lovely watercolor illustrations. The details, especially in the faces of the grandparents, are remarkable.
2. “Excellence of pictorial interpretation of story, theme, or concept.” – The family scenes are poignant, but it lacks the majestic mountainous scenes I would expect from the title.
3. “Appropriateness of style of illustration to the story, theme or concept.”- Other than the missing mountains, these pictures easily remind me of times spent in the Appalachian Mountains. The love that the grandparents and children have for each other is very evident.
4. “Delineation of plot, theme, characters, setting, mood or information through the pictures.” – The overall plot could be missed by just looking at the pictures, but the theme, characters, and setting are well-detailed. The mood, however, is a bit confusing as it seems that the children are frequently pictured as sad, but the text only refers to happiness.
5. “Excellence of presentation in recognition of a child audience.” – While my children enjoyed this book, I do not think it was due to the illustrations.