So I'm going to go ahead and put David Wiesner's Art & Max in the top spot. I don't think it's his best picture book, but it's still fantastic and he' a librarian golden boy-seriously, we librarians gush over his books.
A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip C. Steed, illustrated by Erin E. Steed
-Oh how I love and adore this book! It's an instant classic-I promise you. I've mentioned it before, but I read this and had to hug it after because I was so in love with it. It's a debut illustrator and while the illustrations are lovely, there are some minor things in the illustrations (like why do some walls in Amos' house have lined wallpaper and others on the next page do not, but it's still the same room? Or maybe I'm on the only one to notice those details) but I think those small details will keep it from top prize.
I have two dark horse picks for the Caldecott.
Oh No! (Or How My Science Project Destroyed the World) by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Dan Santat
-This one's been on my Caldecott radar since I read it. It's a fun book that's quite hilarious and the illustrations give it a Japanese horror film/manga style to it and really make the story. But will the committee think it's too odd?
-I have to admit I'm not the biggest fan of the illustrations-they seem a little creepy to me. But Caldecott often goes for the unique and this one is defiantly unique! But it's another one that might be a little too odd to actually get noticed.
-Seriously, I will cry if this one isn't called Monday morning! Oh, how I love this book! There is so much going on in the story, it's wonderfully layered, it's a powerful book of family, coming of age, and understanding and it's a book that sticks with you long after you read it. This better get top honor or I'm going to be one mad librarian!!
Newbery Dark Horse:
-Yoda surprise, will, hmm? OK, so it's a long shot, but Origami Yoda just might surprise us all. I mean it is Yoda and all!
Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly
-I'll admit, I debated between Revolution and The Cardturner for the top spot, but after a lot of thought, I'm going to put my prediction on Revolution. I think the story has a lot of depth, the parallels between the characters and the growth of Andie throughout will help this one gain top prize.
-Oh, The Cardturner, how I love this book! In some ways, this one is similar to Revolution in that both books have a sense of magic in them. The Cardturner is a quite surprise of a book and I'm really hoping it gets the award I think it's due.
-This debut book is a beautiful story about grief and healing. It's grown on me since I read it and I'd love to see a shiny sticker on this debut novel.
Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King
-This is a brilliant darkly comic book with alternating points of view and flashbacks. It needs some recognition and it just might be the type of quirky book that appeals to this year's committee.