Tag Archives: Caldecott Medal

Chanticleer and the Fox – 1959 Caldecott Medal Book

Chanticleer-and-the-fox“Chanticleer and the Fox”, an adaptation from The Canterbury Tales, and illustrated by Barbara Cooney, received the 1959 Caldecott Medal.  This charming book reminded my children of some of the many Aesop’s Fables that they have heard.  I particularly enjoyed that the wit and wisdom of the story’s rooster triumphed over the sly fox.

Caldecott Criteria:

  1. “Excellence of execution in the artistic technique employed.” – Pictures in primarily black and white with occasional accents in red, green, blue, yellow, and brown allow for eye-catching illustrations.  Extensive details are evident, my favorite of which are the thatching on the roof and the bee hives in one scene.
  1. Excellence of pictorial interpretation of story, theme, or concept.” – The story can be followed easily through the pictures.
  1. “Appropriateness of style of illustration to the story, theme or concept.”– The illustrative style used in this book elicits the “Old World” setting of  Chaucer and the prototypical Aesop-like fable.
  1. “Delineation of plot, theme, characters, setting, mood or information through the pictures.” – The plot, characters, setting, and information are very clear throughout the book.
  1. “Excellence of presentation in recognition of a child audience.”– My children enjoyed this book, but I believe it was more for the charm of the story than for the pictures.  Details in the illustrations, however, could be used to discuss many aspects of farm life.
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When I Was Young in the Mountains – Part 2

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.

 

Caldecott Criteria:

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.

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Caldecott Medal Book Award – 1943 – The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton

Caldecott Medal Book 1943 –  I consider The Little House written and illustrated by Virginia Lee Burton to be a true classic book for its story as well as the pictures.  The Little House, built on a hill far from any town before cars were invented, enjoys the surroundings of trees and flowers, seasons changing, and the night sky.  As the city grows closer and eventually surrounds the little house, all of these pleasures are blocked from view.  The house, once beautiful, becomes run down and tired.  Finally, a relative of the house’s builder recognizes the house and has it moved to a new hill amongst trees and flowers, changing seasons, and the night sky.  The little house is very happy to be lived in and taken care of once again.  The illustrations superbly depict the storyline as the reader is shown, with each page, more and more growing up around the house and the house beginning to get lost among the other things.  The house starts out colorful, slowly looses its color, and then is returned to its original vibrance.  I especially enjoy the pictures depicting the house in each season.

Caldecott Criteria:

1. “Excellence of execution in the artistic technique employed.” – The folk art-type pictures remind me of a Grandma Moses picture.
2. “Excellence of pictorial interpretation of story, theme, or concept.” – Wonderful!  Even without the words in this book, the story could be understood well.
3. “Appropriateness of style of illustration to the story, theme or concept.” – Yes – a somewhat country feel pervades the pictures.
4. “Delineation of plot, theme, characters, setting, mood or information through the pictures.” – Yes, easily understood through the pictures themselves.
5. “Excellence of presentation in recognition of a child audience.” – These pictures are colorful and very interesting to look at, but certainly simple enough for children to understand.

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