The 1947 Caldecott Medal Book, The Little Island by Golden MacDonald and Leonard Weisgard, is a well-known children’s classic. This book tells what this small island experiences through each season, each time of day, and in different types of weather. Animals and plants that inhabit the island play large roles in the story. In the middle of the book, though, a boat visits the island, leaving a kitten behind. Although I have not had much experience with pleasure-boating, I do not think I would take my cat along on such a trip. Also, then, the cat and the island have a conversation discussing if the island is really a part of the world. While I really enjoy the beginning and end of this book, the middle does seem very peculiar and out of place in the overall story.
1. “Excellence of execution in the artistic technique employed.” – The water color illustrations depict life on a beach beautifully. Since the author was from the coast of Maine, that is the locale she and the illustrator had in mind when this book was written, and that is exactly where these seaside scenes look like.
2. “Excellence of pictorial interpretation of story, theme, or concept.” – The pictures do a great job of following the storyline.
3. “Appropriateness of style of illustration to the story, theme or concept.”- The greens, blues, and browns make these illustrations perfect for this ocean-themed book.
4. “Delineation of plot, theme, characters, setting, mood or information through the pictures.” – The setting and theme are very clear, but the plot and characters seem less evident.
5. “Excellence of presentation in recognition of a child audience.” – My children like this book and particularly enjoy learning more about sea life that we do not get opportunities to see in western Kansas.