I had originally planned on sharing Joyce Sidman's new poetry book Swirl by Swirl illustrated by Beth Krommes. After reading it with two classes, I realized I just wasn't connecting to it as beautiful as the book was. We have spent the last several months talking about technique, color, line and perspective by looking at Grandpa Green by Lane Smith, Me...Jane by Patrick McDonnell, All the Water in the World by George Ella Lyon and Katherine Tillotson, and Emma Dilemma by Kristine O'Connell George and Nancy Carpenter. We visited the Society of Illustrators to see the Original Art exhibit they present every November. My students were primed to talk about art and picture books and they could tell I wasn't feeling it.
Back to the drawing board. Sifting through lists and blog posts I found 2 promising titles.
Standing in the bookstore, I realized I couldn't make a decision between Salley Mavor's A Pocketful of Posies and Giles Laroche's If You Lived Here.
I would have to use both.
Maybe it's my enthusiasm for the amazing art in these two books, but the children have embraced them. They notice all the details: seashells and wooden beads, shadows on the snow, and never fail to amaze me with their thoughtful comments and their excited promises to vote for one
of these books. Will one of these two late entries win our Caldecott? We'll find out next week.