Tag Archives: Opal Wheeler

Sing in Praise – 1947 Caldecott Honor Book

Sing in PraiseSing in Praise, a collection of 25 hymns and accompanying stories written by Opal Wheeler and illustrated by Marjorie Torrey, received a Caldecott Honor award in 1947.  This lesser-known book was difficult to find, even with interlibrary loan services.  Each story is in some way related to the writing of the hymn, its author, or the meaning of the words.

Caldecott Criteria:

1. “Excellence of execution in the artistic technique employed.” – These lovely, old-fashioned pictures, some in watercolors and some pencil sketches, have clear lines and a relaxing quality.

2. “Excellence of pictorial interpretation of story, theme, or concept.” – Each hymn has its own illustration relating in some way to the theme of the song.

3. “Appropriateness of style of illustration to the story, theme or concept.”–  These old-fashioned illustrations this seem appropriate, as all of these beloved Christian songs have been sung by congregations for over a century.

4. “Delineation of plot, theme, characters, setting, mood or information through the pictures.” – There is no ongoing plot, but the theme of each hymn does relate in some way to each picture.

5. “Excellence of presentation in recognition of a child audience.” – While these are lovely pictures, I believe that modern-day children may find many of them difficult to relate to in the world with which they are familiar.

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Sing Mother Goose – 1946 Caldecott Honor Book

Sing Mother GooseSing Mother Goose, with music by Opal Wheeler and illustrations by Marjorie Torrey, takes the reader, or musician, through 52 common nursery rhymes.  I was pleasantly surprised that I was familiar with most of these poems, but the tunes were not those that I grew up singing along with the rhymes.  The darling illustrations in this 1946 Caldecott Honor book make this a worth-while book to check out.

 

Caldecott Criteria:

1. “Excellence of execution in the artistic technique employed.” – The incredible detail and use of rich, varied colors in each illustration are remarkable.

2. “Excellence of pictorial interpretation of story, theme, or concept.” – Each rhyme comes to life with the help of beautiful illustrations.

3. “Appropriateness of style of illustration to the story, theme or concept.”-  I loved the colors chosen for each specific poem.  The sandy whites and browns for a rhyme about the seaside in comparison with pastel pinks, blues, and greens for “Curly Locks” helps the reader to remember the storylines even more.

4. “Delineation of plot, theme, characters, setting, mood or information through the pictures.” – The illustrations in this book easily communicated each of these literary components. 

5. “Excellence of presentation in recognition of a child audience.” – While the musical scores were lost on my children, they did enjoy the amazing illustrations.

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