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?
Mr. Tiger Goes Wild by Peter Brown
-Mr. Tiger Goes Wild is my other top choice for Caldecott this year. (See my review of Journey by Aaron Becker) It's graphic design that has an old fashioned feel. It doesn't feel overly designed and has a nice nod to classic illustrations which gives it a great blend of old and new. The illustrations feel crisp and clean and the lines are so symmetrical it's a treat to look at. The illustrations might fall into the gutter (the middle section of the book) but they never look misplaced or disjointed. Instead, the gutter placements work well with the illustrations and they continue to feel very sharp, even when they are full page with a gutter break. The full page illustrations-where we get a full city skyline, to the first time we see Mr. Tiger get down on his paws, to the time he lets go and is a wild tiger, to the full lush wilderness-are all stunning and have a great epic feel to them. This is a story that you can look at just the illustrations and know exactly what is going on. You know the story just from the pictures and that makes in really stand out. Of course, the text adds a lot to the story and the illustrations add a lot to the text, making it a great marriage of text and illustration-each one can stand on its own, but you gain so much more by pairing the two. The addition of the contrasting end papers-brick to start, jungle at the end-is a nice touch and brings together a great whole package. Along with Journey, Mr. Tiger Goes Wild is my book to beat.
The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywelt, illustrated by Oliver Jeffers
-A book illustrated all in crayon for the Caldecott? Why not? This is a hilarious tale of a crayon box who has had too much and all have something to say. Each page is illustrated by one crayon, telling their tale of woe and illustrating why they are so sad. Can a book that only uses on color per page really be exciting? Jeffers proves that it can-and it can be unique and interesting! The way he manages to give each crayon a personality in each drawing and makes each illustration stand out with just one color makes this book a serious contender for me.