Song of Robin Hood – 1948 Caldecott Honor Award

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. 
 
Caldecott Criteria:
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.
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