I've been trucking right along with my Newbery contenders, but my Caldecott shortlist was lacking. No longer! I recently read three strong contenders:
And Then It's Spring
Seasonal books are always extremely popular, so it's a good day when we can add something that's a cut above the rest. This is a lovely ode to the fresh new beginnings that greet us every spring.
Baby Bear Sees Blue
If I had to pick my #1 favorite for the Caldecott so far, Baby Bear Sees Blue would be it. This will knock your socks off. It 1) has a bear cub and his/her mama as the stars (baby bear/mama bear stories will never go out of style) 2) teaches colors with bold and gorgeous illustrations and 3) is a wonderful read aloud for young children. Now, being a good read aloud is not a requirement for the Caldecott, but it's always super exciting when it is. This week's toddler story time will feature "concept" books (colors, numbers, letters, etc), and I can't wait to read this to my group. This received phenomenal reviews, and rightly so. I adore it.
Z is for Moose
There is no shortage of alphabet books--or "wacky" alphabet books. I'm a bit jaded about alphabet books; there are so many exceptional ones that new ones really need to bring something new and interesting to the table (I'm the same way about holiday books). Z is for Moose fits the bill. Zebra is putting together an alphabet book. All the letters are cooperating--except for Moose, standing in for M. I won't spill the details, but there's a lot of mischief and laugh out loud humor.
I'm waiting as patiently as I can for Laura Vaccaro Seeger's Green, which is already getting a ton of Caldecott buzz. This is reportedly quite the stunner.