Hey everyone, it’s Sarah!
Here are my selections for this month. If you are unfamiliar with the award it is given by the American Library Association to the illustrator that gave the most distinguished contribution to children’s literature.
Title: Bloom Boom!
Author/Photographer: April Pulley Sayre
It is springtime and the flowers are finally starting to popup across the land. The bugs and the animals are getting in on the action. These blooms are in many colors in many areas. These photos do pop!
I don’t really know how much of a chance this book has for winning Caldecott, simply because I don’t recall any past winners that used photographs (I could be wrong). However, this book is beautiful. The colors and the framing of the flowers are astounding. You feel like you are walking through the actual scene. While the text itself is not brought into consideration with this award, the pairing with the pictures is totally on point. Also, the vocabulary used through this work is refreshing and perfect for the little sponge-like minds it was created for.
Title: The Bell Rang
Illustrator: James E. Ransome
Every morning, the day begins before the sun rises with the ringing of a bell. A young girl and her family eat breakfast together and then go to work in the fields. This family is composed of slaves in historical America. Each day there is more work, with the only bright spot being family. On Wednesday, the young girl’s brother, Ben, decides to run. The family worries for his safety, but also hopes for his freedom. While the struggle is unending, the hope for freedom is a constant thrum underneath.
The art in this book is phenomenal. The use of color and shadow help the art spill off of the page, they also add to the story’s message and emotions. The drawings are at a level that you can almost hear the birds chirping, the children playing, and the dogs snarling. The true power of this book comes from the expressions on the character’s faces and even the expressions on the dog’s faces. This heightens the reader’s emotional connection to the story and further enhances the work overall. This book begins the discussion of slavery, in an honest way that addresses the pain in an age appropriate way.