I nearly missed my favorite awards this year. No, not the Oscars or the Grammys – who really cares what an industry thinks of itself? Nope, I mean the Caldecott Award results. Somehow between changing diapers, taking photos, and trying to get over my never-ending cold, I neglected to check out this year’s results. From the looks of this year’s winners, I’m glad I didn’t forget.
According to the American Library Association website, The Caldecott Medal was named in honor of nineteenth-century English illustrator Randolph Caldecott and is awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children.
Since 1938, the Association has been selecting the cream of the crop of books by American illustrators and making it easy for parents to make sure they get at least a few great looking books for their kids each year. Essentially, Caldecott winners are the books that you can judge by their covers and they are almost always a treat for their storylines too.
The winner for 2014 is Locomotive, illustrated and written by Brian Floca. The New York Times said “Older children will appreciate the wealth of detail and history, while younger ones will be entranced by the appropriately chugga-chugga rhythm of Floca’s free verse and his abundant use of sound effects (playfully emphasized with well-muscled, 19th-century-style typefaces)…. He’s a brilliant, exacting draftsman; he also knows how to give his pictures a cinematic energy, especially in the way he “cuts” from page to page.” The illustrations look stunning and it is easy to see why Locomotive was this year’s winner.
The Association also selected three honors books. Flora the Flamingo, written and illustrated by Molly Idle, is a wordless picture book with interactive flaps in which Flora and her graceful flamingo friend explore the trials and joys of friendship through an elaborate synchronized dance. Journey, written and illustrated by Aaron Becker, is a story about a lonely girl who draws a magic door on her bedroom wall and escapes into a world where wonder, adventure, and danger abound. And the final honor title Mr. Wuffles!, written and illustrated by David Wiesner, is a nearly wordless tale about a cat who doesn’t care about toy mice or toy goldfish and is much more interested in playing with a little spaceship full of actual aliens.
You can find all of these winners on Amazon.cn or search for them in the brick and mortar bookstores around town. We are awaiting delivery of ours and are looking forward to some great reads.
Photo courtesy of Brainfloca.com