Caldecott Classics

I always appreciate it when Roger Sutton writes about Maurice Sendak. His appreciation, respect and friendship always shines through. In a recent Horn Book post, Roger writes about what winning the Caldecott Medal for Where the Wild Things Are meant to Maurice.

In the course of his ruminations, he mentions that in his opinion, though many Caldecotts have been awarded, only three books are ones he would truly consider "classic": Make Way for Ducklings, The Snowy Day and Where the Wild Things Are.  At first I was like, "Wait! What about the winner the year I served on the committee; or the year this colleague served or that colleague...?"  But then I stopped and thought.

The three books mentioned are truly touchstones.  When I served on the Caldecott, I used Make Way for Ducklings to train kids and adults on how to help your eye see excellence.  The warm brown lines on creamy paper were the only color, yet those illustrations were so powerful and told the story so well, the text was barely needed to convey the plot, emotions and story. This book is the quintessential Caldecott winner for me.

Re-thinking and re-reading Roger's post and going over the list of seventy-five Caldecotts draws me to the much the same conclusion as Roger. I might quibble here and there. But he has named true touchstones of children's literature.  What do YOU think?

1 comment:

  1. They're certainly the best-known and I think it's too soon to tell about some of the newer winners. Lots of the Caldecotts - especially the older ones - never circulate. But there are some that are still beloved and that we use in storytime. But Roger is probably right about those being touchstones. Maybe Weisner will join them in a few years.