Caldecott Award Honors

Umbrella

February 25, 2018
Subheader: 

The umbrella is the last component of the ghastly ritual.

Every time you can see her face, pretty much all you can see is these solid black eyes, with a little bit of eyelash at the edge. Like this girl has been possessed by demons. I just do not care for the art style of this artist, and the story uses far too many words to tell this completely trivial story.

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Message: 

Umbrellas can only be used on rainy days. Or, umbrellas are awesome.

Extra Yarn

December 26, 2017
Subheader: 

Maybe she should learn to crochet or something.

It's pretty. It's fairly innocuous. It's just a weird book. It doesn't go anywhere. There's no reason for her to be making these things. There's no impetus for it, and the only conflict resolves itself. I guess the message is, "Don't steal things." I don't think most people nowadays need to be taught that.

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Message: 

Don't steal things. Or, trucks need sweaters, too.

Cock-a-Doodle Doo

December 20, 2017
Subheader: 

Cock-a-doodle-whoop-dee-doo.

This is one of those like super old books (1939) that just tells this meandering story with incredibly detailed pictures, alternating between black and white and full color. It just goes on and on. The story just meanders. It doesn't go anywhere. It's not terribly interesting. At least there's some conflict in there for a slight bit of interest, but there's no point to it.

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Message: 

The world is dangerous for baby chicks.

Houses from the Sea

November 20, 2017
Subheader: 

My shells, let me show you them.

Shells are cool, but these kids are basically obsessed with them. One of the last pages says, "When friends come in/to play on rainy days/we show them all our shells./We tell their names,/just where we found them,/and all about the day/the waves ran up to meet us." These children must be the most boring people to hang out with! "You want to look at my shells again??" No, no I don't want to look at your dang shells! Don't they like, play? Like normal children? "Shells... shells... would you like to look at my shells?"

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Message: 

Shells are the most amazing things ever.

Henry-Fisherman

November 18, 2017
Subheader: 

Meesa not understand purpose of dialect.

The text is super boring. Despite the massive amount of text, there's no character development. The characters don't show emotion. There's nothing for the reader to identify with. "This happened." "Sometimes Henry does this." "On these other days, Henry does this." Just not interesting.

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Message: 

Responsibility comes with age.

Barkis

November 14, 2017
Subheader: 

Not to be confused with Challah bread.

The massive amount of text is rather overwhelming, though. In a spread, the right side might be a puppy, and nothing else. A fairly good picture of a puppy, a spaniel of some kind. Not photorealistic or anything, but definitely identifiable as a puppy. Cute. And the left side is just this wall of text. Given that it was published in 1938, we've come a long way as far as children's literature is concerned.

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Message: 

Take care of animals when they're young because the world is a dangerous place.

What Do You Say, Dear?

November 3, 2017
Subheader: 

I have changed my mind on this.

I remembered really liking this book when I read it almost a year ago. But now that I look at it again, I'm frankly disappointed by the gender breakdown of the situations. The boy character gets to receive a pet baby elephant, rescue a princess from a dragon, portray a cowboy, be bitten by a dinosaur, be the groom at a wedding, attend the princess's ball, visit London to dine with the Queen, fly an airplane to visit the Duchess, and invite all his friends over for a party. The girl character gets to pick flowers, be rescued, be a nurse, go shopping, be the bride in a wedding, be a Princess, be a Queen, be a Duchess, and be captured.

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Message: 

Be polite.

Play With Me

September 28, 2017
Subheader: 

Don't touch that chipmunk. You don't know where it's been.

On the last page, she is sitting on the edge of a pond, surrounded by animals that are just chilling with her. It's kind of weird and looks disturbing, because she's maybe 6 or 8 years old, without supervision, next to a snake... Who knows what other creatures could be lurking in the bushes other than that fawn? Bears? Foxes? Something dangerous could be out there.

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Message: 

Sit still and be quiet, and forest creatures will approach you.

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