Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Mock Caldecott: Stardines and Unicorn Thinks He's Pretty Great

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?

Stardines Swim High Across The Sky and Other Poems by Jack Prelutsky, illustrated by Carin Berger

-I love unique books that have a possibility of a Caldecott run. And Carin Berger's diorama's in Stardines are very unique! I love how each page is filled with a random collection of items-it's fun as a reader to look through each one and see what was used to create each illustration. I do think each page looks a bit flat though-I think this is a problem with the way they were photographed. I would expect more of a 3D feel and texture to them and they don't really have that. I also thought the diorama's themselves lacked a bit of texture to them. It's an interesting book with fun illustrations and I'm interested in what others think of this one.

Unicorn Thinks He's Pretty Great by Bob Shea 

-This one wasn't on my radar until Betsy Bird at Fuse #8 mentioned it as a possible Caldecott pick and I loved the idea. I love the idea of unique books getting a Caldecott nod, and this one is one that would surprise everyone and I would love that! I love the use of color in this one, especially the way Shea differentiates between goats sad, melancholy gray/blue and unicorn's spark of color (and the surrounding colorful animals). I love that it's computer designed but doesn't feel overly designed (like Bluebird) and feels a bit hand drawn and childlike which adds to the whimsy. What really sells this book for me though is the great use of emotion. Looking at the pages you can see and feel goat's emotion and jealousy over unicorn. You get a great sense of unicorn's happiness and sometimes obliviousness. It's very well done and makes the book one to consider in my mind. 

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