Wednesday, January 9, 2008
I bet you're all wondering how well I predicted the outcomes of tonight's mock Caldecott discussion. I'll go from worst to most like Nostradamus:
1. I couldn't even predict my own voting. I voted in this order: Jabberwocky, Cowboy and Octopus, and At Gleason's Gym. First the Egg didn't even make it. But in fairness I hadn't seen At Gleason's Gym until tonight (same for At Night).
2. Peter Sis was only an Honor Book. Yo, Jo! won.
3. I totally called Cowboy and Octopus. Everyone raved about it in the discussion then didn't vote for it. I found out that Jon Scieszka has been nominated the first Ambassador for Young People's Literature by the Library of Congress. I'm not sure what that means but here's the press release:
Keep in mind I'm merely talking about a mock committee in the Twin Cities. The real Caldecott Award will be announced this coming Monday morning, and there's no way to know what books they're even considering. I'll let you know if you don't catch the announcement on NPR.
All right, Jabberwocky, by Christopher Myers. This is a book for older kids, so I had sort of blocked it out the other night. Patty was actually more excited about it than I was, because I'm only vaguely familiar with the poem. Patty remembers it very well.
The others in the group added a lot of context for me, showing that Myers does a great job of picturing the classic poem with its made-up words as a game of schoolyard one-on-one. The art is beautiful and surreal, changing perspectives on nearly every page. On one page the basketball looks normal carried under the Jabberwocky's arm. On the cover he holds it like a small stone. On another page it's merely a dot on his massive palm.
Christopher Myers is the son of Walter Dean Myers, who has written more wonderful books for kids and teens than I can count. The son has done a lot of work with his father, but is making his own name lately.
So I may not read this one to Maya, but she's really still in the board book stage anyway. When we read picture books, half the fun is trying to keep her from destroying a library book. Her goal seems to be to tear the slip jacket from every hardcover in the house. Yesterday she took a book off her little bookcase and, before I could get to her, removed two pages. I didn't think she could do that.
How about next year we do a mock Caldecott online?