Thursday, February 07, 2019

The KLIC Shelf Elf -- Award-winning Children's Literature

Recently, the American Library Association awarded one of its highest honors for children’s literature, the Caldecott Medal.  In honor of that presentation, the Shelf Elf showcases some new titles with Caldecott connections and are available to check out.

World is Not a Rectangle: A Portrait of Architect Zaha Hadid by Jeanette Winter (JUV NA1469.H33 W56 2017) honors the award-winning architect Zaha Hadid, who lived in Baghdad but dreamed of designing her own cities.  In colorful, round drawings, Zaha used nature as her inspiration for her designs.  One can get a sense of her style from the architecture that intermingles with the natural scenes of waves, mountains, or jungle.  The book shows the specific buildings which Hadid designed at the end along with a nice but short list of other resources to give more detail. 
Out of Wonder:  Poems Celebrating Poets by Kwame Alexander with Chris Colderley and Marjory Wentworth; illustrations by Ekua Holmes (JUV PN1031 .O98 2017) In various sections, contemporary children’s authors pay homage to poets that have influence on their poetry.  The poems feature traditional poets such as Robert Frost and Maya Angelou as well as unique formats like haiku.  Ms. Holmes’ illustrations almost take the focus away from the poems with their vibrant colors and interesting items in the collages.  However, the artwork is uniquely suited for each poem.  The nicely-sized volume includes brief biographies of the featured, diverse poets.

Z is for Moose by Kelly Bingham; illustrations by Paul O. Zelinsky (JUV PZ7.B51181685 Zai 2012) Zebra gets the alphabet starting with an expected “A is for apple” but when “D” comes, Moose steps into the picture.  Zebra loudly informs Moose that this is not the correct place for anything about the letter “M.” Moose continues to try and enter in places where he does not belong, to the annoyance of other creatures, especially Zebra.  Moose loses his spot for “M” as Zebra tells him they are using “Mouse” instead.  Zebra’s solution to Moose’s disappointment and sadness leads to a cute and satisfying ending for Moose and Zebra.

King Alice by Matthew Cordell (JUV PZ7.C815343 Kin 2018) – As another snowy day looms for a father, his daughter, calling herself “King Alice” rules over her day.  She decides to make a book about herself and her brave knights.  With some helpful questions about her story, King Alice begins writing a book showing her and her family in various wild adventures.   Illustrations from Caldecott winner Matthew Cordell show’s her pretend story and when King Alice gets too carried away and her unicorn bonks Daddy.    As the day ends, Alice’s rule and her real life intermingle with a bath and bedtime; time may tell if a sequel comes with more adventures for King Alice.  Cordell’s illustrations show the gentle humor and excitement of Alice’s story.

Blue on Blue by Dianne White, illustrations by Beth Krommes (JUV PZ8.3.W58735 Bl 2014) Rhymed couplets throughout the gentle description of a day in the country, no specific place open this picture book.  The colors of a day and its changing moods as the family adjusts to a storm.  When the rain stops and the sun reappears, the illustrations expand as the family can resume spending time in nature.  This gentle story works well with the beautiful watercolor and scratch-ink drawings; also, the perspective gradually shifts towards a larger one which shows how things become larger when nature can play a part.

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