Friday, January 10, 2014

Mock Caldecott: The Dark and That Is Not a Good Idea

My library is hosting our second annual Mock Caldecott this month, so I'm sharing my thoughts on the list I put together (we have ten titles we're discussing). Do you think any of these books have a chance at winning a Caldecott in 2014?

The Dark by Lemony Snicket, illustrated by Jon Klassen

-Jon Klassen won the Caldecott Medal and a Caldecott Honor last year, so of course this book is on everyone's award radar. I think it's another fantastic outing from Klassen and his use of light and dark really reflect the story well. One of my favorite comments about this book comes from Mr. Hankins, who said the last time he felt this scared reading a book was with There's a Monster at the End of This Book. And that's some high praise! I have to agree with Mr. Hankins' assessment of the tone of this book and the illustrations do a wonderful job of expressing that tone and making the reader have a sense of fear. I like the use of shadows as well. My only downside is that I'm not sure it holds up with each re-read and I keep comparing it to another book with black and white elements, Mo Willems' That Is Not a Good Idea.

That Is Not a Good Idea! by Mo Willems 

-I pegged this one last January as one of my favorites of the year and it still remains so! I love and adore Willems nod to old fashioned silent pictures. This one has great use of light and dark, from the dark pages with the text to imitate the text from the movies, to the pictures that allow you to infer more than one possible storyline, and the use of color on the full color pages work well to give the reader a sense of a silent film. I also love the expressions on the little chicks who scream the refrain, "that is not a good idea". With each impending suggestion, the chicks get more and more expressive which is a great addition. I also think the fact that the twist at the end allows for re-reads to be even more rich as you can start over and see the book from a new perspective. It's another great from Willems!

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