I love reading everyone's predictions this time of year for Caldecott and Newbery winners (mostly Caldecott since I never seem to have time to read many chapter books...). I'm still fairly new in the library world, so it's difficult for me to just pick titles off the shelf as winners, but I do have opinions on some of the books other people have chosen!
Draw! by Raúl Colón
In general I'm not a fan of wordless books. I hated it when my daughters wanted me to "read" Goodnight Gorilla every night. And when this one came in at our library I wasn't expecting big things. But once I opened it up and paged through, and now the more I see it the more I like it. The sketching reminds me of last year's Locomotive winner, with realistic pencil drawings. And if the Caldecott is meant to honor "the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children", what is more distinguished than a beautifully illustrated book that doesn't even need words to tell the story?
Gaston by Kelly DiPucchio
My own kids LOVE this book. I honestly had no idea it was even a possibility for the Caldecott until I saw it popping up on others' lists. It just seemed too simple to win the award, but I suppose it's the simplicity that is so appealing. There is great use of white space on some pages and full spreads of color on others. And illustrations that get across the idea of fitting in to a family no matter how you look gives it bonus points.
Three Bears in a Boat by David Soman
I've only seen this book sporadically on mock Caldecott lists, but I'm hoping it will sneak in for at least an Honor this year. The way Soman creates the look of beautiful moving water is absolutely stunning.
Two books I haven't seen myself yet but are on order and I'm excited to look at are Blizzard by John Rocco and Sam & Dave Dig a Hole by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Jon Klassen.
What are your favorite Caldecott contenders this year?