Little Lost Lamb by Golden MacDonald (an pen name for Margaret Wise Brown) and illustrated by Leonard Weisgard received a Caldecott Honor in 1945. The storyline, easy to guess from the title, follows a young shepherd and his flock high into the mountains, where a black lamb wanders away from the flock. As night falls, the boy tries to find the lost creature, but he must also take the other sheep to safety. Unable to sleep, he sets out in the darkness to find the young lamb. Before he finds his charge, his dog chases away a crouching mountain lion. Finally, all is safe as the shepherd carries the lamb down the mountainside.
1. “Excellence of execution in the artistic technique employed.” – I find the watercolor pictures in this book to be simple, but detailed enough to be very interesting. I enjoyed the varied colors used during the daytime scenes as well as the excellent use of shading to achieve a twilight feeling for the night scenes.
2. “Excellence of pictorial interpretation of story, theme, or concept.” – The illustrations make the story very easy to follow.
3. “Appropriateness of style of illustration to the story, theme or concept.”- The style is exactly as I would imagine for a mountainous scene filled with sheep and trees.
4. “Delineation of plot, theme, characters, setting, mood or information through the pictures.” – The plot, characters, and setting are made clear through the pictures. The mood, though, could have been more obviousby the use of other facial expressions, or maybe a colorful scene at the end to portray happiness when the lamb is found.
5. “Excellence of presentation in recognition of a child audience.” – My children and I all enjoyed this feel-good book.