Song of Robin Hood, selected and edited by Anne Malcolmson, with music arranged by Grace Castagnetta, and designed and illustrated by Virginia Lee Burton, received a Caldecott Honor award in 1948. The fifteen original ballads of Robin Hood are presented in this book with modern musical notation and detailed drawings.
1. “Excellence of execution in the artistic technique employed.” – These black ink drawings are amazingly detailed. Each 4-lined stanza has its own small descriptive picture. If you look down through each of these illustrations it is almost like a slow-moving cartoon.
2. “Excellence of pictorial interpretation of story, theme, or concept.” – The story is easily understood with the tiny pictures to the side of each stanza, but readers should come armed with a magnifying glass.
3. “Appropriateness of style of illustration to the story, theme or concept.”- The drawings do have a very medieval look.
4. “Delineation of plot, theme, characters, setting, mood or information through the pictures.” – The illustrations closely adhere to the plot and information given in the story. The overall theme,however, seems to get lost. The characters, though present, lack a sense of personhood and, thus, are not easy to identify with.
5. “Excellence of presentation in recognition of a child audience.” – Although the stories are good and the illustrations are incredible, I found this book difficult to read to my children. Such tiny pictures made reading this book to a group of children, even just my two big girls, nearly impossible.