Caldecott Award Honors

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.

My Mother is the Most Beautiful Woman in the World

September 29, 2017
Subheader: 

In Soviet Ukraine, your mother is beautiful to you!

It's a really sweet message, but to get there they had to jump through so many hoops and pad the book with so many unrelated things like baking cakes and dances and accordion music. The story just meanders before it gets there. It's not a bad story; it just doesn't go anywhere.

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Message: 

We don't love people because they're beautiful; people are beautiful because we love them.

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.

In My Mother's House

October 2, 2017
Subheader: 

One little, two little, three little, poems by Native Americans...

It's kind of boring and really wordy for a little kid. It's interesting from an anthropological standpoint, but it's not gripping enough for a young child.

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Message: 

There is an interesting story behind being a Native American child.

How I Learned Geography

October 6, 2017
Subheader: 

Don't know much about geography...

It's an autobiographical story. The author says he was about 4 or 5 when the map was first bought, and eventually he became a well-respected children's illustrator and writer.

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Message: 

Even a small thing can change your life and spark your passion.

The Judge: An Untrue Tale

April 30, 2017
Subheader: 

Liar, liar, pants... er... have been devoured...

It seems to be trying to say that the world is just and that the truth will win out in the end, but its real message boils down to: Authority figures are unreasonable and won't believe you.

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Message: 

Nobody listens to you, even if you're telling the truth.

Dick Whittington and His Cat

May 2, 2017
Subheader: 

Back in the good old days, when cats actually worked for a living.

It's super wordy for young kids (actually, in general, really). It's a boring story with no real point to it, retold in a very authentic way, which means that it includes a bunch of words that nobody really cares about.

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Message: 

Hope you're really lucky, cause otherwise your life's gonna really suck!

Inch by Inch

May 20, 2017
Subheader: 

Oh, yeah? Measure this, pal!

There's a message and kind of a moral here that both break down due to presentation in an anthropomorphic universe. You start wondering why exactly the birds are eating something as intelligent as they are, and whether that wouldn't be cruel, and you get into questions that you really weren't planning to get into while reading your toddler a board book.

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Message: 

People will threaten to kill you if you don't entertain them.

Peppe the Lamplighter

March 2, 2017
Subheader: 

No son of mine will be helping people get home in the dark!

Sometimes grownups are stubborn, but sometimes they realize that they made the wrong decision and change their minds. It's a difficult thing for everybody involved, but it does happen and it's good.

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Message: 

Don't be ashamed of what you do. As long as you're helping people, you have something to be proud of.

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