Caldecott Award Honors

A Big Mooncake for Little Star

September 13, 2020
Subheader: 

Full of “quiet joy, love, and beauty”.

In and of itself, it's a really pretty story that has gorgeous illustrations. As a bonus, it's also what those in children's literature call "Own Voices", meaning that it's written about Asian people, by an Asian person. But that's icing on the cake, and the book stands on its own as a good book, with a good message.

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Message: 

Your family loves you even if you make mistakes.

The Happy Day

July 19, 2020
Subheader: 

I can’t figure out the point.

Animals do hibernate, but they don't hang out in large groups around whatever flower they can find. And I don't think anybody would argue that it's trying to be realistic in that sense. It's not trying to teach us anything scientific. It's just trying to make a silly story about animals and a flower and it's... boring. It's really boring.

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Message: 

Spring comes after winter.

Rain Drop Splash

July 12, 2020
Subheader: 

Doesn’t make much of a splash.

The length of time over which the book's events occur is very nebulous. How much of it is literal? Metaphorical?

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Message: 

Water flows from rain and down the mountains, and eventually ends up in the ocean.

The Storm Book

July 26, 2020
Subheader: 

Don’t use it for scientific accuracy and you’ll probably be fine.

Come on. Rainbows don't have a purpose. And they don't always happen after a storm. They might even happen before a storm. You could even make one with a garden hose. And you can definitely have a storm that doesn't end with a rainbow, which raises the question of how this mother would know the storm was over.

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Message: 

Storms are pretty to look at.

The Most Wonderful Doll in the World

February 23, 2020
Subheader: 

The most wonderful doll was inside you all along.

It's a fairly preachy book, but it doesn't really explain what it is she's doing wrong or whether she's aware of it. And then it doesn't really deal with the consequences. It's kind of like "Sam, Bangs, and Moonshine" except that where SBM has kind of an over-the-top consequence, this book really doesn't have any consequence.

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Message: 

Your imagination is always better than reality. Or, reality/growing up sucks.

Little Lost Lamb

March 1, 2020
Subheader: 

The metaphor breaks down when you examine it.

The shepherd is explicitly a boy, though it's not clear exactly how old he is. The sheep is an actual sheep, and not even a particularly useful one at that (black wool was less desirable). And I've read "Where the Red Fern Grows"-- I know that in a battle of dog vs. mountain lion, mountain lion usually wins.

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Message: 

Sheep are worth risking your life over.

Mirandy and Brother Wind

January 27, 2019
Subheader: 

Not sure whether I'd rather catch the wind or inherit it.

It's just this misunderstanding between friends. She thinks Ezel is telling her she can't do something, when he's really trying to suggest that they could dance together without saying it. And it turns out she dances with him because he's her friend and she doesn't want other people being mean to him. She sticks up for him and does the right thing.

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Message: 

Stick up for your friends.

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