January 17, 2012


Hello Picture Book Fans!  This year, the field for beautiful picture books is wide open!  It was difficult for me to pick what ones I think are worthy of the Caldecott honor.  Sometimes the ones I like are not always given the recognition they deserve.  Be sure to check back on Monday, January 23, as I report this year’s winning titles.  Okay so here are my predictions of what I think will be in the top categories to win the Caldecott Medal or Caldecott Honor books:


Grandpa Green

Written and Illustrated by Lane Smith (2011)
Available in Hardcover and e-reader format

This is a beautiful timeless tale of family love and family history.  This New York Times’ Best Illustrated Book of 2011 tells the story of Grandpa Green, who had dreams as a boy.  He artistically creates a topiary garden with lively, imaginative detail.  He shares his garden with his great-grandson, who is delighted by the fanciful, magical garden.  This is sure to be a book that parents and grandparents will want to share with their children for years to come.  This would be my personal pick for the Caldecott Medal this year!

Other books by Lane Smith:
It’s a Book
John, Paul, George & Ben
Madame President
Big Elephant in the Room


I Want My Hat Back

Written and Illustrated by Jon Klassen  (2011)
Available in Hardcover

This is another chosen book to appear on the New York Times’ Best Illustrated Books of 2011 list.  Bear has lost his had and throughout the books asks several of the forest animals if they have seen his hat.  There’s just enough silliness to give children a giggle, (“What’s a hat?”).  The ink drawings are chunky and endearing.  This is a perfect book to read aloud to a group of preschoolers, as the pictures really carry the story.  I definitely think this book deserves to be a Caldecott Honor Book!


Me… Jane

Written and Illustrated by Patrick McDonnell (2011)
Available in Hardcover

Surprise!  This is another on New York Times’ Best Illustrated Books of 2011!  It definitely deserves that prestige!  This is a simple biographical tale of a young Jane Goodall and her dear chimpanzee, Jubilee.  With actual antidotes taken directly from Jane Goodall’s autobiography, this is a story that will warm the hearts of children and adults alike.  The message within the book is truly a “live your dream” kind of story.  The whimsical illustrations are the trademark of Patrick McDonnell’s books, and fans of his work will not be disappointed with Me… Jane!

Other books by Patrick McDonnell:
The Gift of Nothing
Hug Time
Just Like Heaven


Brother Sun, Sister Moon:  Saint Francis of Assisi’s Canticle of the Creatures

Interpreted by Katherine Patterson    Illustrated by Pamela Dalton  (2011)
Available in Hardcover and e-reader format

I featured Brother Sun, Sister Moon back last autumn in my second Picture Book Look edition.  I can honestly say that it is my favorite picture book of 2011!

From previous entry:

In this hymn of praise, originally written by Saint Francis of Assisi in the 1220’s, Katherine Patterson re-imagines the words beautifully, with the original prayer written at the end.  The illustrations are exquisite paper cuttings, framing each page with depth and beauty.  There are also notes from the author and illustrator at the end of the book, adding a personal touch to what Saint Francis has meant to them.  This is, truly, a beautiful testimonial to nature and would be a lovely gift to anyone of any age or faith.

HERE ARE A FEW MORE THAT MAKE MY LIST OF POSSIBILITIES…  they are all wonderful… be sure to check them out.  I may feature some of these titles in future Picture Book Look editions:


~ Written and illustrated by Brian Selznick




~ Written by Mary Lyn Ray, Illustrated by Maria Frazee



Swirl by Swirl

~ Written by Joyce Sidman, Illustrated by Beth Krommes



A Butterfly is Patient

~ Written by Dianna Hutts Aston, Illustrated by Sylvia Long



Say Hello to Zorro!

~ Written and Illustrated by Carter Goodrich



Little White Rabbit

~ Written and Illustrated by Kevin Henkes



If I Never Forever Endeavor

~ Written and Illustrated by Holly Meade



For the Love of Music:  The Remarkable Story of Maria Anna Mozart

~ Written by Elizabeth Rusch, Illustrated by Lou Fancher and Steve Johnson


The Secret Box

~ Written and Illustrated by Barbara Lehman



Mary and Her Little Lamb

~ Written and Illustrated by Will Moses




~ Written and Illustrated by John Rocco



Around the World

~ Written and Illustrated by Matt Phelan



Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site

~ Written by Sherri Duskey Rinker   Illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld



The Chronicles of Harris Burdick: Fourteen Amazing Authors Tell the Tales

~ Written by a compilation of authors including Jules Feiffer, Stephen King and Lois Lowry – Illustrated by Chris Van Allsburg


About picturebooklook

Hello picture book enthusiasts! I am the mother of 3 twenty-something children and became a grandmother for the first time in early 2012. I have had an affection for picture books for almost as long as I can remember. I have acquired a treasured collection from when my children were young. I have never lost my fondness for them! I have worked in the Children's department of my local Barnes & Noble for the last 10 years. Each month I hope to feature a new picture book review, along with a classic picture book. The fact is, these books are true works of art! The stories are simple, sweet lines, that often stay with us into our adult lives. This blog is dedicated to Danielle Catherine and all of my future grandchildren, and also to all of you who love the beauty of picture books as much as I do!
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