I talked about the setup of our Mock Caldecott Program here, so let’s get down to the books and the winner of the week!
Week Two Books and Book Club:
The Farmer and the Clown, written and illustrated by Marla Frazee. I really love this gentle story of a clown baby and the farmer who finds him. And I think it’s an excellent example of a wordless book. The illustrations are simply beautiful. The kids weren’t as into this one, though. I think adults respond better to the poignancy of the story than kids do (or at least better than the kids who came to the book club did). They enjoyed telling the story as we read it together, but they just didn’t seem to be as into it as some of the other books we read with them.
Mr. Ferris and His Wheel, written by Katherine Gibbs Davis, illustrated by Gilbert Ford. This one was a little long for a read-aloud. Although at the end I think the kids who came to the book club enjoyed listening to the story and the facts they learned from it, there was A LOT of restlessness during the story. This is one of the issues of doing this program both as a passive program and book club where we read the books together. Some of our choices are limited by what we can feasibly read out loud, which is of course not a consideration that the actual Caldecott committee has to take into account. So, while I love the illustrations here and think it’s an interesting book, the kids definitely saw it as the least exciting of the choices this week during book club.
Where’s Mommy? written by Beverly Donofrio, illustrated by Barbara McClintock. The beautiful, detailed illustrations make this better suited to poring over one-on-one, but it’s still a good read-aloud. The kids liked the story, especially the twist ending. They also really liked looking at the differences between the mouse family’s house and the human family’s house. A girl who comes with her older brothers, who is more preschool aged rather than school aged, especially seemed to connect with this. I love the sweet story, and think that the illustrations are amazing.
Sam and Dave Dig a Hole, written by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Jon Klassen. It’s probably no surprise to any librarian who has shared this book with kids that this was the hit of the week as a read-aloud. The kids loved it. All of the near misses where the boys almost find treasure made the kids exclaim out loud (“Oh, come ON!” one boy said as they narrowly missed the second jewel). It was really a fun one to read with them, and I loved how invested in the story they all were. Again, not a big shock that this was our winner of the week from the book club.
Passive Program: This part was actually a shock for me. I assumed that the voting over the week would go as it did in the book club–that Sam and Dave Dig a Hole would be the clear winner. In fact, I had assumed that it would be the winner of the entire Mock Caldecott at our library. I was wrong!
And the winner of week 2 is (drum roll please): Where’s Mommy? It joins The Adventures of Beekle as one of our finalists. I have really loved Where’s Mommy? since I first read it when it came out–I think the incredible detail in the illustrations, and the way the images mirror each other, is amazing, and it’s just a nice story that I can see parents sharing with their children for years to come. But I did not expect it to win at all in our Mock Caldecott–I’m glad to be proven wrong! On Friday I’ll post the results of weeks 3 & 4, and then post our winner next Monday when the actual Caldecott is announced. I can’t wait to see what it is!