Caldecott Award Honors

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.

Hawk, I'm Your Brother

February 18, 2017
Subheader: 

Yeah, because we all keep our siblings in cages.

It really doesn't need to be a Native American story. It kind of makes me think a little bit of "My Side of the Mountain", except apparently this kid fails at raising a hawk. Baylor's text just goes on and on, using far more words than necessary to tell this story.

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Message: 

Don't kidnap wild animals, I guess?

Sleep Like a Tiger

February 20, 2017
Subheader: 

That's a pretty big catnap.

Of course, she falls asleep, but it's very nice how the parents give her the option as long as she stays in bed. Which is a reasonable thing to do for kids, and matches well with my parenting style. It's very well written and doesn't have a strong message but the message it has is good.

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Message: 

Everything in the world sleeps.

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