A Ball For Daisy

I've waited over six months to get over the bad taste A Sick Day for Amos McGee left in my mouth.  Now, here we are, the day after the 2012 winner was announced and I am just as ALA-award-queasy. 

*Chris Raschka's greatest accomplishment was the ability to convey a range of emotions without writing a single word  
*Takes you on a thorough spin around the color wheel with his brush
*It looks like the dedication is to his dog, which is cool -- of course, if someone he knows is named Artemis, then I apologize on behalf of myself and that person's parents

*So basically we're teaching our kids that it's not good to share, and that it's OK to suffer long-term depression if something breaks, and, finally, that the only way to feel better is to buy (or receive) a replacement 
*The last picture before the ball hops over the fence has some serious perspective issues (not to mention the lucky bounce it would have needed to take to stop flush against the metal on the opposite side of Daisy) 
*Right before the ball bursts, does Daisy bite the brown dog or is she just trying to catch up -- that image is nebulous

According to the search function on my website, I have previously reviewed six books that were either Caldecott honorees themselves or were illustrated by people who had won them in the past (plus one by an author who tried to take credit for her illustrating partner's efforts).  Here's the tally of ratings on those items:  three Donates, two Destroys, and one (weak) Borrow.  Now, add another Donate to that data set in the form of ABFD.  Holy dog balls!!  This is more than a trend. In my mind, it's verifiable proof that the Caldecott is not a reliable standard bearer for the best in young children's books.  From this point on, I am going to turn my focus elsewhere, while still hoping against hope that the ALA has our best interest at heart.  Perhaps, Geisel Award (aka the "Mo Willems is a shoe-in to be mentioned almost every year award") winners are the way to go?

Buy / Borrow / DONATE / Destroy


Jessica Leader said...

Now I want to read it even more! I will add that the Caldecott honors illustration (innovation and interpretation therein, I'm guessing.) It doesn't honor writing, although I don't think I'm the only one who wonders how the committee parses this. How do you feel about Hugo Cabret a few years back? I though that was an innovative choice!

Kelly Robinson said...

The Caldecott Award is only for the illustrations, so it's perhaps unsurprising that you haven't felt the story has held up in all cases.

Ali B said...

I like you, Erik. I like your blog. You are a different sort of blogger, and I appreciate your irreverence. I don't always agree with you, but I'll be checking in to read your thoughts and to chuckle at your observations.


mysteryguy said...

You guys are right in saying that it's for illustrations, but I just feel like the #1 picture book each year should be a slam dunk Buy for everyone. From what I've seen this is not the case.

[Also, I looked at the award criteria and I found it interesting that it says the following: "Each book is to be considered as a picture book. The committee is to make its decision primarily on the illustration, but other components of a book are to be considered especially when they make a book less effective as a children’s picture book. Such other components might include the written text, the overall design of the book, etc." Just food for thought...]

Ali B said...

Erik, I too would be honored to exchange blog roll links if only I knew what that was or how to do it. Please advise.


Teasha Seitz said...

I checked with the children's librarian that I had the right book and it was the Caldecott winner because I was so unimpressed with it. Our library didn't even have a copy in it's stacks until it won, then they had to acquire it. "Me...Jane" should have been the winner instead of the runner up. It's much better.
Speaking of better, I'm self-pubbing a picture book that I would love for you to review. Please contact me at teasha@woh.rr.com. Thanks.