Caldecott Challenge Update, #3

This round of Caldecott books was focused on finishing up the 1930s, and lots from the 1940s. Overall I found this pile to be full of so-so books. My complaints on most are that they were too long. A few did standout, coincidentally, all from the award year 1948, and I’ve highlighted those below.

Find all of these books reviewed over at my Goodreads Caldecott bookshelf. You can also follow along in the Newbery discussions, fondly called Nerdcott, at Twitter using the hashtag #nerdcott, or join us in the stress-free Challenge! Find out more about the challenge here in Laura’s original post or Anna’s original post.

A bookstack snapshot

Total Books Read to-date: 98/310

Stack count: 12

Thoughts and highlights from this stack:

  • Oldest book: 1939 Caldecott Honor, Barkis, by Clare Turlay Newberry
  • Newest book: 1950 Caldecott Honors, Bartholomew and the Oobleck by Dr. Suess, and The Happy Day written by Ruth Krauss and illustrated by Marc Simont
  • I’m starting to receive some of the Inter-library Loan books and some of those in this pile are the very frail, almost disintegrating copies you see in the stack.

Some memorable books from the stack . . .


White Snow, Bright Snow

written by Alvin Tresselt and illustrated by Roger Duvoisin

1948 Caldecott Medal

On the right is the poem that opens the story.

This is one of the few books where I liked the text far more than the illustrations. The book celebrates snow and opens with a lovely poem about winter. While the illustrations have a charming old-fashioned look to them, the story doesn’t seem dated despite the age. I found the coloring a bit strange on the pictures, especially the pages with people who had an Oompa Loompa orange glow to them. Overall, though, I thought it was a good book worthy of pulling out on a wintery day.


Stone Soup, by Marcia Brown, 1948 Caldecott Honor

This is a re-read of this classic story for me and I still love it. The villagers try to outsmart the visiting soldiers by hiding their food stores. In the end they get duped by the even more clever soldiers, but are probably better off for it.

"They ate and drank and ate and drank. And after that they danced. They danced and sang far into the night."


McElligot’s Pool, by Dr. Suess Caldecott Honor 1948

This stack introduced me to two Dr. Suess books that I had not yet read. I prefered McElligot’s Pool to the other Suess in my pile, Bartholomew and the Oobleck. This book had the rhyming text and delightful nonsense words and creatures that I love so much in his books. The colors and illustrations aren’t quite as bright or sharply defined as those in his later works (think Cat in the Hat), but still a very recognizable illustration style. My youngest daughter just loved the ryhming and fun-filled illustrations in this one, as did I.


2 comments on “Caldecott Challenge Update, #3

  1. Julie says:

    This is the right website for anyone who wants to understand this topic.
    You understand so much its almost tough to argue with you (not that I
    really would want to…HaHa). You certainly put a brand new
    spin on a subject that has been discussed for ages.

    Wonderful stuff, just great!

  2. Lorna says:

    Thanks, Julie, for your kind words. It’s been a fun project, though I’ve tapered off a bit over the last few months. I’ve finished with 1957 and 1958, but need to do my writeups for the blog. And for reference, debate and varying opinions on these older books is always refreshing! Thanks for visiting!

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