Monday, February 4, 2008

A Caldecott Celebration: Six Artists and Their Paths to the Caldecott Medal

1. Bibliography:
Marcus, Leonard. 1998. A Caldecott Celebration: Six Artists and Their Paths to the Caldecott Medal. New York: Walker & Company. ISBN 0802786561

2. Summary:
This collection covers six decades of the Caldecott Medal, profiling one artist for each year since the medal's conception in 1938. The book highlights the work of six outstanding artists, giving insight to the artist's method of art, style, and personal background. The following artists are included in the selection: Robert McCloskey, Marcia Brown, Maurice Sendak, William Steig, Chris Van Allsburg, and David Wisener. While each artist's style is different, their pictures all captured the attention of children and adults alike.

3. Analysis:
I must admit that I was unaware and uneducated on the Caldecott award, which is why I picked this book to read. I enjoyed reading the introduction, which gives background information about the award. I found the book overall to be a wonderful collection of examples of the Caldecott award and its importance in children's literature. Today's children are mostly visual learners, making the illustrations in children's book more important than ever. Good illustrators can capture a child's attention and add so much to the storyline. The author's depicted in the book are examples of this, and it is not a coincidence that the books they illustrated, such as Maurice Sendak's Where The Wild Things Are, are still popular with kids today.

4. Reviews:
"A lively, informative introduction to each book and its maker. A beautifully made book, this will serve as a fine resource for children interested in illustration and for teachers researching author/ illustrator studies."Booklist

5. Connections:
This book is a great introduction to the Caldecott Medal, especially to new library science students who may be unaware. It would also be a great tool to use in art classes, where students should be exposed to possible jobs in the field of art. In a classroom, the book could help give background information about the illustrator of a book being used in the class. Too often teachers, myself included, focus on the author and not the illustrator when both should be considered and analyzed.

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