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Guest Post: JoAnn Jonas/ Caldecott Wishlist

By January 29, 2018May 13th, 2021The Kerlan Blog

JoAnn Jonas and her Caldecott Wishlist

In the olden days, people would call each other just to converse. My friend JoAnn and I can range from Instant Pot recipes? What are you packing for ALA? What are you reading right now? and suddenly 30 minutes would be gone.

So there she was telling me what  titles that she would like to see honored with a Caldecott. I said hey, would you do a guest post on the Blue Ox Review?

At the Children’s Literature Research Collections, we are grateful for JoAnn’s work as co-project manager of Children’s Book Art:  Techniques and Media.

JoAnn Jonas is an MLIS Librarian with a Children’s Librarian specialization. She has worked at The New York Public Library-Central Children’s Room, and as the director of the Early Childhood Resource and Information Center (ECRIC) for NYPL, Youth Services Librarian/Manager at Carlsbad and Chula Vista Public Libraries, and selector of youth books & materials for San Diego County Library System. She also reviews children’s books, writes Teacher and Discussion guides and has served on the Newbery, Caldecott & Wilder Award committees. She is also a volunteer and Friend of the Kerlan Collection and the Children’s Literature Research Collections.  

After the Fall: How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again
By Dan Santat, Roaring Brook (an imprint of Macmillan)

What a Wonderful Story!! The dialog matches so wonderfully with the detailed illustrations in this one…I loved the color palette, and especially the visual details to pour over. This is a magical message (told through the illustrations in many spreads), with so much humor and bravery and beauty. Many spreads have wonderful perspective, action, and movement.  Love It. I think its my favorite Dan Santat book!!  (so far)

The Wolf, The Duck, And the Mouse, By Jon Klassen and Mac Barnett, Candlewick.

Will I ever get tired of these guys? This one really works for me, on so many levels, a delicious story arc and that incredible color palette of Jon’s that speaks to me. As always, humor (both verbal and visual) and a deeper story about searching/hunting and finding our safe place in unexpected places. It got me. Another perfect read aloud.

Charming video of Jon and Mac talking about there book here.

This Beautiful Day by Richard Jackson ; illustrated by Suzy Lee, Simon and Schuster.

This playful rhyming language pairs beautifully with illustrations full of movement and rhythm. It is wonderful to see this story grow, with a rainy gray day gradually add bits of color, with each page and turning into a colorful, sunny day. Imaginative, creative, charming…Dick Jackson, a master at his craft, paired with imaginative and playful art. I could read this every day for months. LOVE the language. Love the art.

Fun Fact: Richard AKA Dick Jackson had a career as an award winning editor. Ten years after he retired, he made is debut as picture book writer with Have a Look, Says Book, illustrated by Kevin Hawkes. (Corbett, Sue, Children’s Editor Dick Jackson Turns Author, Publisher’s Weekly, Apr 26, 2016)

The Only Fish in the Sea by Matthew Cordell & Philip Stead, Roaring Brook (MacMillan)   

This has the Best lead in to a title page I have ever read….had me from the title page!!  And the visual humor…the monkeys, the team of Sherman and Sadie..really full of artistic choices that worked for me, subtle and funny.  Each part of their journey filled with gems.    A delightful read aloud.

All The Way to Havana by Margarita Engle, illustrated by Mike Curato, Godwin (MacMillan)  

This is a visually stunning book with a page-turning story arc. It’s language SINGS with joyful sounds and word play. The story’s accessible diversity will cross cultures creating windows as well as mirrors for young listeners and their families. I anticipate many engaging story times with this one. The vibrant art is in bold Cuban hues that radiate  Latin beauty.  

In which Mike Curato talks about the process of illustrating this book.

Welcome: A Mo Willems Guide For New Arrivals by Mo Willems,

A board book that is not for babies, but for parents and grandparents who are welcoming and introducing babies to their new lives….I laughed out loud so many times, I had to stop and start again to see if it was really THAT good.  My only quibble, the mirrored end papers, while a nice idea, don’t work well, you are supposed to be able to see yourself and instead it looks like a carnival distortion mirror.  This is not like most Mo books nor like most board books. Do I think it is a Caldecott contender? No, but I enjoyed it so much I had to mention it.  A great gift book for grandparents or godparents. 

Each one of these is a BEAUTIFUL book to share…each a “special one”  


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