Week 2/Book 2 of the Caldecott Medal Unit brought us to the opposite end of the spectrum from "Trombone Shorty." Whereas the first book was throbbing to the trombone beat, "Waiting," by Kevin Henkes, was as one class put it, "calm, quiet and relaxing." We began our class by focusing our eyes on five characters placed on the windowsill of our read aloud area. Then we turned our attention to the book and noticed the connection.
Page by page passed by as we watched the characters, Pig, Bear, Dog, Owl and Rabbit, waiting. As the children allowed their minds to blend with the story and illustrations, and with the use of their "Caldecott glasses," they noticed many things actually happened in the book.The seasons passed by. The weather changed. Gifts appeared. Friends came and left. We ended our story by walking over to the library windows and for exactly 62 seconds we stood quietly waiting and noticing what we could see.
There wasn't a peep.
The official ALA Caldecott gold medal went to Locomotive, written and illustrated by Brian Floca.
"It feels like it is actually real."
"It feels like it is actually happening. I feel like the words match the pictures so well."
"It was impressive how it was very detailed. The illustrator had to work on it. The color was the exact color as it should have been."
Our Schechter Caldecott gold medal went to another book, Mr. Wuffles. Rarely do our students agree with the official Caldecott winner. This year our students almost equally divided their votes between Mr. Wuffles and Journey. It was a difficult decision.
Their comments about the Schechter winner:
"There was tons of color. Tons of movement. There's a lot of action. You can read it over and over again and find new stuff each time."
"There were a lot of details. He shakes the spaceship and a whole story starts."
"The pictures really showed how Mr. Wuffles acts. They were real but not real, like a comic book. I liked how the aliens and the bugs had their own language."
"I loved the color, the movement and the funny feeling in the book."
"I liked how he showed movement back and forth in the cat."
It was a great unit and the good news is that we will do it again next year!
This is when you know the students really get it! This is what I call "wearing your Caldecott glasses." After our whole school unit reading and discussing the illustrations in the four possible Caldecott books, our students notice color, movement, details, feelings and styles in our read alouds.
T., a girl, brought two books in from home to share with her classmates. Listen to the video below as she talks about which books deserve her vote for a Caldecott gold medal winner.
The week after voting, while I was reading the book, Boy and Bot, a Kindergarten boy raised his hand to say that the illustrations in the book reminded him of the ones in Flora and the Flamingo and in Journey. Then he went on to say that they all used a lot of white in the background. He definitely had his Caldecott glasses on.
Tomorrow I'll announce the official winner and the Schechter Caldecott winner.
What if you had the chance to do anything or go anywhere? Where would you go? What would you do?
Aaron Becker took us on an fantastic journey
in his book. Watch the book trailer here, http://vimeo.com/69113063 Then hear what he has to say about creating this book at, http://www.storybreathing.com/the-making-of-journey/
WAIT...DON'T MAKE UP YOUR MIND YET! SEE WHAT'S BELOW...
Follow a mother and her two children as they journey from Nebraska to California on an amazing trip aboard a steam locomotive. The year is 1869 and the iron horse is ready to take you on a week long journey. See the sites, hear the sounds, feel the speed and learn about the inner workings of this amazing invention. Meet the author/illustrator, Brian Floca, at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZ8Z_68VPXk
See and experience a restored locomotive at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lLFgxCEcXcM
BUT DON'T VOTE YET!!
YOU STILL HAVE ONE MORE TO SEE!!
Take one cat with a lot of attitude and 5 lost aliens and their spaceship that the cat thinks is his personal toy and watch the battle that ensues! With the help of the local insects they may have a chance against the king of the house. Listen to David Wiesner as he explains how the idea for this story has been twenty years in the making, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HjNSxn3MVaM
Next week in school all the children in grades K-3 will vote for their Caldecott gold winner. First we'll talk about the illustrators use of color, line, layout and design. We'll talk about the feelings we get from seeing certain illustrations. We'll ask ourselves the question, do the pictures and the story fit together like a glove on your hand? If so, then we're ready to vote for our winner.
Stay tuned to hear the results next Thursday!
Week 1 of Schechter's Caldecott Medal unit brought us, Flora and the Flamingo, written and illustrated by Molly Idle. Our first of three wordless picture books tells the elegantly simple story of an unlikely friendship with twists, turns and lift the flaps. The two characters learn that friendship is a beautiful dance.
If you want to have a glimpse of this lovely dance go to
If you want to see the supreme joy on the face of the author/illustrator's face upon hearing about the award, go to
Your children have seen both.
I always say to the kids at the end of class, "But please don't decide yet! We've read just one book and we have four to read this year before you vote for the best picture book this year."
My students call me "Lori the Librarian." For the past 24 years I have had the best job as School Librarian in the Aaron Kushner Library for grades K-3 at the Solomon Schechter Day School of Greater Boston.