Caldecott Award Winning Illustator Barbara Cooney

This week’s schedule is light so I’m doing a lot of little jobs that need caught up. One is putting away the last of the Caldecott Award winning picture books. I’ve looked at The Ox-Cart Man more than once so I grabbed it.

I started looking at it and realized how similar in illustration style this book is to Roxaboxen. It’s the same illustrator, Barbara Cooney. The story wasn’t super amazing, but I like her Americana art style.

This made me wonder what else on the library shelves were her work. I found quite a few. She has had a successful career, being one of a handful of illustrators who have won the Caldecott twice.

Her other Caldecott winning title is Chanticleer and the Fox. It’s from The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer. I read some of those stories back in high school English. I loved her chickens and rooster in this story. The book looked different than other work by her and this may be my favorite art.

I’m a sucker for black and white drawings — and red is the perfect accent.

These books are nice books but they were so wordy. I feel like they are just too much for picture books. The concept of a boy growing up in a wonderful place and returning to it to raise his own family is great but it was a lot. Hattie was a nice story too but I just didn’t love it. It’s true: I don’t love everything I read.

I did like Letting Swift River Go by Jane Yolen. This book tells the story of communities along the Swift River that were lost when a dam was built to create a reservoir for Boston. 

The one I loved best today was The Story of Holly & Ivy.

I’m not going to tell you a lot about it, I’ll save that for December. What I will say is that it’s a long story, but it didn’t wander and confuse me. It was worth the read. I think I will read it next winter but I’m not sure which class and if I’ll need to split it between to class periods.


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