Right now I have the Newberry Medal, Newberry Honor and Caldecott Award winners on display. The Newberry is for best story of the year and the Caldecott is for the best illustrations of the year. I haven’t read the current winners of either category yet, but I did take a few minutes today to look at some older Caldecott winners. Their illustration styles differ greatly, but each suits their story perfectly.

My Friend Rabbit by Eric Rohmann is the 2003 winner. The story is about Mouse’s friend Rabbit, who has well intentioned ideas that always lead to trouble. I liked the cartoonish style to Rohmann’s book.


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Grandfather’s Journey is the true story of Allen Say’s Grandfather and how he emigrated to America from Japan and then immigrated back to Japan. The artwork is so beautiful, it could almost be photographs. This book is the 1994 winner.


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Finders Keepers is the 1951 winner. I like the color-block style of art to this story. The dogs found a bone together, but who gets it, the one who saw it first or the one who touched it first?


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Hands down, my favorite today was Many Moons. The original edition that won the Caldecott in 1944 was republished in 1990 with new illustrations by Marc Simont. My copy is from 1990. Here is a comparison of the two editions:




The styles are different, and both have their merits. I am not sure why it was reworked. The only thing I can think of is that Simont loved the story and wanted to give it his own personal touch.

The story is about a little princess who falls ill. When asked what will make her feel better, she asks for the moon. The king’s wise men are useless but the jester figures out a way to give the princess the moon. I thought the story was sweet and funny and I loved how the princess could be both naive and wise at the same time. You really should try this book!

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