About the Awards : Caldecott Awards

Image Credits : alastore.ala.org
The Caldecott Medal Seal (Gold)

            Caldecott Awards are awarded every year, to the illustrator of the "most distinguished American picture book (from the preceding year) for children". Only an artist, who is a citizen or a resident of United States, is eligible to receive this award.

           The Association for Library Service for Children(ALSC), selects a best illustrated picture book every year as the Caldecott winner. Besides, one to six books are selected as runner-ups, and mentioned as "Caldecott Honor" books. (Only after the year 1971, the "Honor" was introduced, before that they were mentioned as "Runner-ups).

A Mountain of Friends - Kerstin Schoene (2014)

ISBN 10 :  15545 5313X
ISBN 13 : 978 15545 53136
        ( Note: This book was originally written and published in German language by Kerstin Schoene in 2013. It was translated into English by Natalie Hyde in 2014)

Penguin can fly

            Penguins are flightless birds. But, if a penguin is among a great group of friends, things might take a different turn, like in this story.

            A penguin wants to, but cannot fly. He wishes to soar through the clouds one day. No matter how hard he tries, he could not fly. Then comes this great group of friends, including you (Yes, you, as a reader, are part of the group).

Planet Kindergarten - Sue Ganz-Schmitt (2014)

ISBN 10 : 14521 18930
ISBN 13 : 978 14521 18932
3...2...1... To Planet Kindergarten

  The Countdown starts!

         3.... Suit up.

         2.... Gears up.

         1.... Heads up.

   Now................ launch into mission kindergarten.

           Well, yes, it is first day of kindergarten. This brave boy is all set to accomplish the great mission. Assigned to a commander (teacher), he takes a look at his space capsule (classroom). After some initial disagreement, he becomes friendly with a crewmate (classmate). But after some time, he cannot withstand this new atmosphere. But, it is time, he remembers the saying in NASA: "Failure is not an option".

Anansi the Spider - Gerald McDermott (1972)

ISBN 10 : 08050 0310X
ISBN 13 : 978 08050 03109
                     (Caldecott Honor - 1973)

    (Note : This is a West African folktale from the people of Ashanti, from Ghana. Kwaku Anansi is a clever trickster, who takes the form of a spider and characters of a human. He is a legendary character in many of the West African stores.)

Who kept the moon on sky?

         For ages, we have been looking upon moon at night times. But, who kept it there, in the first place? (Okay, we can forget astronomy for some time.) This enchanting folktale from Ghana gives the answer to that question.

        Kwaku Anansi (spider) has six sons. They each has an unique power and named after their power. (Their powers and names are binded in the story.) Once, when away from home, Anansi falls into a river and is eaten by a fish. 

Shape by Shape - Suse MacDonald (2009)

ISBN 10 :  14169 71475
ISBN 13 : 978 14169 71474
Who Am I?

      Rhombus shaped scales, oval head, triangle sharp teeth, crescent mouth - Who's that new monster in town? Or was he as old as mountains? 

      The first page of the book shows two cut-out circles (eyes) . In the next page, several cut-out triangles (teeth) join them. Then, a crescent shaped mouth fit over the triangles. 

Happy Endings - Robin Pulver (2011)

           Suffixes are meant to be in the end of a word (Absolutely rightful). But what would happen if they are at the beginning? (lyTotal ingconfus?)

Begin with the end
       Mr.Wright's students are excited, as summer vacation is nearing. When Mr.Wright is about to start teach suffixes, they are completely not in a mood for learning. So Mr.Wright announces that the endings would be tackled after the lunch. 

Nap Time - Iris De Mouy (2014)

ISBN  10 : 15549 84874
ISBN 13 : 978 15549 84879

          (Note : This book was originally written in French by the author, Iris De Mouy, in 2013. It was translated into English by Shelley Tanaka, in 2014.)

It's naptime in Savannah

       Many kids hate to hear this from mom, "It's naptime". You can expect a "I'm not tired", "I am not a small baby to sleep" etc. Finally, what is your tactic to make your little protester to nap?

        Here, a little girl has the responsibility to put animals in savannah to nap. But the animals are not making things easy(just like our little protesters). The zebra looks crossed at the talk of nap. The hyena laughs as if it heard a joke. The crocodile and hippo consider nap is just for babies (tiny little babies, to say it right). 

Bears On Wheels - Stan and Jan Berenstain (1969 - First Ed.)

ISBN 10 : 03948 0967X
ISBN 13: 978 03498 09670

Count On Bears

     A lot of kids would have loved Berenstain bears at some point of time in their childhood. You can count on these bears for enriching habits, language development etc. But in this book, you can really count with the bears (Yes, it is like one, two, three, four etc.).

          A bear starts with cycling a unicycle (one wheel). Soon another one joins it. Now it is two bears on one wheel. The number of bears increase from two, three and four. Later, one bear comes in a bicycle (two wheels). The book extends the number of bears all the way to five, ten, twenty one and .... CRASH.

Give And Take - Chris Raschka (2014)

Strike the balance
ISBN 10 : 14424 16556
ISBN 13 : 978 14424 16550

       Balancing is very important to life (No, it does not refer to physical balancing).  We balance work and fun, food and diet and almost everything in life. The author-cum-illustrator Chris Raschka has enunciated another balance, 'Giving' and 'Taking', through this brilliant story.

       When a farmer (along with his dog) harvests apples from his orchard, he meets a tiny man "Take". Upon "Take's" advice, he takes lot of pumpkins from a neighbor, which he doesn't like at all. Next day, he meets another tiny man "Give". Today, he gives up all his apples and ends up with nothing.

Candle Making For Fun! - Dana Meachen Rau (2007)

ISBN 10 : 07565 32760
ISBN 13 : 978 07565 32765
       Which feeling would you get when thinking of candles? Godliness, Relaxation, Love, Celebration or Sadness? Almost every one of these feeling is expressed by lighting a candle. So it would be fitting for a kid to know about candles and candle making.

Make, Decorate & Illuminate      

       The book starts from the history of lights. It details how candles are used as a source of light and how they are made. As it progresses to the current age, it focuses on how candles are centered during festivals and celebration. In between, the book classifies the type of candles and demonstrates making of and other varieties of candles.

Zen Ties - Jon J. Muth (2008)

                       (Note: This book is a sequel of "Zen Shorts" by Jon J. Muth. But this book can be enjoyed as a stand alone book also.)

Some Haiku and a Cup of Apple Tea

        Sometimes, small acts of kindness can change stones. Michael, Addy and Karl understand this, with Stillwater's kind and tender actions (The same characters occurred in Jon J. Muth's "Zen Shorts" also.)

Hippopposites - Janik Coat (2012)

       (Note : The French Original version of this book was published in 2010. In 2012, it was translated and published in English.)

Funny Hippo Vs. Educational Hippo

         This book talks about the age old concept of opposites. But, don't think it is just another book of antonyms. It is an amazing world of hippos and opposites, conjoined. So, what is a hippo doing in a opposites book?

Corduroy Lost and Found - Don Freeman (2006)

ISBN 10 : 06700 6100X
ISBN 13 : 978 06700 61006

        (Note : This story is written by the author, B. G. Hennessy, based on the lovable character, Corduroy, created by Don Freeman.)

The Best Gift for a Best Friend

        It is Lisa's birthday, tomorrow. Her best friend, Corduroy, the adorable bear, wants to give her a wonderful gift. As he walks alone out of the house in a early morning, he considers various gifts for his friend. Whether the impressive number panel in the lift would be perfect, or the big yellow round thing in the sky would be perfect?   

The I'm not Scared Book- Todd Parr (2011)

        "Are there real monsters under my bed? What if I get lost? What to do if I make a terrible mistake?". Almost all the kids would have some kind of fear at some point of time.

Chicken-hearted to lionhearted   
         Do you want to get your kid out of fear, while laughing all through the way? The great author, Todd Parr has a solution for that.

What's in the Coral Reef? - Charley Harper (2014)

ISBN 10 : 07649 68467
ISBN 13 : 978 07649 68464
Image Credits : pomegranate.com

         Coral reefs are fascinating, being the home of vast marine species. What it would be like to have an up close view of a coral reef, thriving with colorful and lively creatures? Oh, wait! you don't need scuba gear. It is the plain old way of grabbing Charley Harper's book and diving into sea bed.

An Underwater Wonderland

           There is a Black leather jacket, a Red band, a Yellowtail Parrotfish and some Blue Tangs. The coral reef is vibrant with all these colorful fish around. But, maybe, you are a person of pattern. Then you can enjoy the Spotted Drum, the Spotted Trunkfish and the Four-eye Butterfly fish. 

Show Way - Jacqueline Woodson (2005)

                           (Newbery Honor - 2006)

         We all have a story of our ancestral history to share with our kids. Here is the tender and inspiring story of the author, Jacqueline Woodson, about her maternal ancestors, that she shares with her daughter.

A Way to Moons and Stars

           The story starts with Soonie's great-grandma being sold as a slave (Soonie is the great-grandma of the author). Her slave life starts in another land without her parents, with her only hope being quilting stars and moons. Life remains same for her daughter, Mathis May, but she has the power to make 'Show Way', the quilt that shows the road to freedom.

If You Were a Dog - Jamie A. Swenson (2014)

ISBN 10 : 03743 35303

What animal are you?

       It is kind of hard to be humans, all the time, right? For a change, grab this book and mimic your way through the life of animals.
     If you were a dog, you could be a speedy-quick, frisbee catching, pillow-hogging kind of dog. If you were a fish, you could be a coral peeking, toe nibbling, wave-jumping fish. If you were a frog, you could be a giant-hopping, ribbety racing kind of frog. And there is so much of adventurous life, if you were a cat, bird, bug and dinosaur (Mm, Wow!). 

     But, do not worry, if you cannot do any of those. You can still read this book and 'Giggle, Giggle, Giggle' all the way.

      Illustrated By : Chris Raschka

      Publisher : Farrar Straus Giroux

     Classification : Funny (Pretend play)

     Age : Preschooler, Kindergartener, Grades 1 - 3


My Comment:

      Before starting to read this book, clear the space right around you. There is going to be some lovely actions and mimics by your kids. Teachers should clear a bigger space as this book can work great in classroom atmosphere too.

      The book is totally appealing with its so-lovely illustrations and jazzy layout. The illustrations bring out the vibration of the book in vibrant colors. The inventive vocabulary in this book is out of the world. Who could have imagined  flutter-by-er, toe-nibbler, ribbety-racer? Amazing.

      But, make sure you read this book to your kids, not around bed time. The book is so energetic and can make the kids so excited and active.(Imagine the kids stomping like a dinosaur or hopping like a frog before bedtime).
      Anyway, what animal would you change into, if you were given a grant? How would you act if you were really given a chance to be your favorite animal?

      Yet to Read, Best, Good, Okay? What is your 'book thought' for this book? Mark your option down.



The Crunching Munching Caterpillar - Sheridan Cain (2000)

ISBN 10 : 04392  98008

Eat, Sleep, Dream, Fly 

           A pair of wings and a feather-light body are needed for flying. Where on earth, a caterpillar can get those, if he wishes to fly? Simple, all he has to do is crunch and munch fresh blackberry bush leaves and sleep well.

           There is a cute caterpillar who wanted to fly. The caterpillar meets a bumble bee and tells his wish. But bumblebee says that the caterpillar don't have wings and he cannot fly. Then the caterpillar meets a sparrow, who says that the caterpillar is heavy and he cannot fly.

          But finally he meets a butterfly. The butterfly asks him to sleep well and says that his dreams might come true. After eating, sleeping and Voila!, the caterpillar is now a ...........

       Illustrated By : Jack Tickle

       Publisher : Tiger Tales

       Classification : Moral (Never Let Negative Words Drown You)

                                 Emotional(Dreams & Wishes), Science(Butterfly Life cycle, Flying)

       Age : Preschooler, Kindergartener, Grades 1- 3

My Comment:

       No kid is ever going to get bored with caterpillars and butterflies. This book would be another successful example for this theory. Apart from a cute story, that any kid would love, this book has adorable layout designs and lovely pleasant illustrations:

  • The bitemark at the corner of the book, similar to the marks on leaves bit by the caterpillar (I think this is only in paperback format).
  • The font changes with the moods of the story, in some places: The dream version has a different font. The font of the phrase 'stretched and stretched' really stretches and stretches.
  • I can see that adorable caterpillar with his lovely smile, again and again.
  • The Background colors are vibrant and the exquisite illustrations can hold the attention of even impatient kids.

       In the background of this story, I can see two science lessons: 1. Life Cycle of Butterfly 2. Science of Flying. If you want, you can extend the lesson by asking what are the basic necessities for a thing to fly.

       For the love of butterflies and caterpillars, travel along with this caterpillar's life.

        What is your 'book thoughts' about this book? Best, Good, Okay or Yet to Read. Mark your options down.


Recycled Crafts Box - Laura C. Martin (2003)

ISBN 10: 15801 75236
(2004 Edition)
           Every year nearly 13000 pieces of paper (most of them packaging and junk mail) are thrown away, by each household, as trash. Do you think you cannot do anything about that? Maybe, you cannot start a revolution, but you can give this book to your kids.

Go Green; Go Clean
        There are cottages made from milk and juice cartons, castle made from cardboard boxes, a cute bug made from plastic beverage bottle and so many other crafts, that would have otherwise ended as trash. 

The Red Balloon - Albert Lamorisse (1956)

ISBN 10: 03850 03439
(1967 Edition)

       This is a tie-in book for the short movie "The Red Balloon" directed by Albert Lamorisse, enacted by Pascal Lamorisse. The black-and-white and color photographs in this book are taken at the time of the filming of the movie.

A Friend Indeed    

          There are no counts of the broken or fly-away balloons in our life. But Pascal is lucky to have a balloon, that follows him literally wherever he goes. It looks like his balloon friend has a mind of its own.

About the Author : Sandra Boynton (1953 - )

           A children's book can be entertaining, educational or moralistic. But how could it be 'Seriously Silly'? Well, that's Sandra Boynton's way. The conceptual silliness fits not only to kids, but also to fun looking adults.

          Sandra Boynton's books are often characterized by less text, rollicking simple illustrations and a silly( but one, which makes the readers smile) theme.


       The career graph of this author is versatile. She is multi talented and established her niche in more than one field. She is a 
  •  Children's book author and illustrator 
  •  Cartoonist
  •  Music producer
  •  Song writer
  •  Director
  •  Greeting card designer
  •  Designer of various other things 
  •  Author of books for grown-ups


       Her first children's book "Hippos Go Berserk!", published in 1977, was originally a project she did in Yale school for drama. From that time, she had written nearly fifty books. Most of her books are board books, intended for small children. Concepts (opposites, animal sounds, moods) and literary themes (alphabets, numbers) have been the center theme of many of her books.

      Her 'Little Pookie' book series features a adorable little pig and explores some emotional tidbits from a toddler's point of view. There are four 'Little Pookie' books and a prequel to them, make it a total of five.


      It is no wonder, this ingenious author has bagged several awards. 
  •     Irma Simonton Black Award (1985) - For "Chloe and Maude"
  •     National Cartoonists Society Award (1993)
  •     National Parenting Publications Gold Medal (1994) - For "The Barnyard Dance" 
  •     Milton Caniff LifeTime Achievement Award (2007)    

Apart from this, she has also won awards and acclaims for her creative work  in the field of greeting card designs, music and short films. 

Other Titles in Blog

Titles about Sandra Boynton and her works, in this blog:

            (In alphabetical Order. Click the titles to see more details).                                                                                        


Color Zoo - Lois Ehlert (1989)

                    (Caldecott Honor - 1990)

         We might have seen a zoo. And, we know what is a kaleidoscope. What if, we see the images of animals in a zoo, through a kaleidoscope? This is my thought, when I read this amazing book.

A Kaleidoscopic view of Zoo

        There are totally nine animals, but they are not just ordinary animals. They are formed by mixing up various shapes and colors. The cut-out of each shape is stacked over in the pages of the book. Each page forms an animal's face and turns into another animal's face, either by placing or by taking out (flipping page, actually) a cut-out shape.

Ten, Nine, Eight - Molly Bang (1983)

ISBN 10 : 08620 31397

                           (Caldecott Honor - 1984) 

Countdown to Fall Asleep

     What could be more inviting than a cozy sleep on a winter night? Counting down, with Molly Bang's soothing narration, may make your little one's eyes to fall asleep in a breeze.

     There are ten little warm toes, nine soft cuddly friends, eight snow clad  window panes, seven tucked-in-a-row empty shoes and all the way up to one big girl who is ready to ............ZZZzzzzzzzz.

        Publisher : Greenwillow Books

        Classification : Emotional (Soothing), Numbers (Counting Down)

         Age : Preschooler, Kindergartener, Grades 1 - 3

My Comment:

        This is a very simple, soothing book, that fits perfect for the calm night time reading. Though this book involves numbers and backward counting, I consider this book effective at home, than at classrooms.

            As a Caldecott Honor book, this book exhibits cute, delightful illustrations, which shows details for careful eyes. The details may not be that important, but I wondered the illustrator's visual clarity. I awed the illustrations for this following reasons.

  • All the illustrations show the same room in multiple angles and from multiple distances. (The first page shows ten toes and the second page shows nine stuffed animals from the viewpoint of ten toes)
  • Whatever angle, the illustrations are, there is not even a single detail, missed out. Each detailing in the pictures are precise, regarding the angles and distances. (There are seven shoes in a page, three pairs and one shoe is alone, without a pair. In another page, the cat is chewing on the other shoe.)
  • The illustrations are rich and colorful, to catch the eyes of a little kid, who is not going to worry about the details(like me).
      All being said, a cozy bedtime reading is in due, with this pacifying countdown book.

What is your 'book thoughts' about this book? Best, Good or Okay? Check your options down.



The Mixed-Up Chameleon - Eric Carle (1975)

       We all know chameleons change colors. But, what happens when a chameleon wants to change its very identity? 

An Identity Crisis

       Here is a chameleon, who has a perfectly normal life, changing colors with the surroundings and catching flies. One day, he sees a zoo and many beautiful animals. He wishes to be like the colorful animals in the zoo and in a magical way, his wishes come true.

Chanticleer and the Fox - Barbara Cooney (1958 - First Ed.)

ISBN 10 : 06900 4318X
1982 Ed. - Crowell
           Caldecott Winner - 1959

        Why would a fox praise the song of a rooster? Well, anyone can see the fox is trying to flatter the rooster. But, Chanticleer, the proud, boasting rooster believes the fox and puts himself in trouble.

Don't fall flat for flattery
         Chanticleer is a proud rooster, living in the yard of a poor widow, with his seven hens. One night, he has a nightmare about a beast. But, with the advice of his favorite hen(!) Madam Partlet, he neglects the dream. The same day, he meets a fox in the yard, who praises him for his singing. The fox also gives a tip to Chanticleer, to sing with his eyes closed, stretching his long neck and standing on tip-toes.

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