Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Caldecott Medal 2013

The 2013 Caldecott Medal winner is This Is Not My Hat, written and illustrated by Jon Klassen, published by Candlewick Press.  In this darkly humorous tale, a tiny fish knows it’s wrong to steal a hat. It fits him just right. But the big fish wants his hat back. Klassen’s controlled palette, opposing narratives and subtle cues compel readers to follow the fish and imagine the consequence.
“With minute changes in eyes and the slightest displacement of seagrass, Klassen’s masterful illustrations tell the story the narrator doesn’t know,” Caldecott Chair Sandra Imdieke said.

The Caldecott Medal is 75 years old this year and librarians are celebrating the rich history of these award-winning books and the honor books chosen each year.  Styles, publishing, how color is reproduced now versus 75 years ago, and digital files have all brought changes to the art.  Yet, the medal means more than all of that to me.  It means incorporating storytelling with art.  It means delight upon opening the pages, sharing a book, and wide readership because of a medal.  Even my young grandson knows that having a medal on a book lends importance to it.

Looking at this year's winner, I am struck by the page turn.  A child wants and needs to turn the page to continue the story.  That makes the book a part of the story, and in this case, part of the joke.


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