And in that time I have gone back and forth between complete excitement and thoughts of "H...E...double-hockey-sticks, what was I thinking?" I have 2 kids, I work full time, I have myriad other responsibilities... but to have read them all and know them - what a journey to take as a reader, a librarian and a lover of picture books.
Some of my favorite books can be found in the list of Caldecott Medal and Honor Books. I look forward to the announcement of the new winners each year. I love showing students my copies of Caldecott's books and looking at his illustrations that were used for each side of the medal (yes, there is an image on the back side - I would love to see it in person!), as well as finding his face in the cat.
Last night I worked on the logistics of being ready - how will I get my hands on copies of the titles?
But this afternoon I have been thinking about my emotional readiness for this #nerdcott journey.
I like to imagine myself cozied up with beautiful treasures awaiting me behind each cover I open.
But since I am starting very soon with the oldest titles and working to the present, I need to be prepared.
There are reasons, very good ones, why some of the early Medal and Honor Books are no longer found in school libraries.
There are reasons why the Milestones collection, the reference collection of children's literature at the Minneapolis Central Library (from which I am borrowing many of the early Medal and Honor books) is described as representing "the landmarks, both high and low, in the history of Children’s Literature."
I know there will be plenty of examples of stereotypes that make me cringe and want to scream.
So knowing this... why do I still want to read these titles?
I value knowing what came before, understanding how that connects with what is happening now, and where things might be in the future. I hope to grow, gain perspective and understand more about this award that is so revered.
I also hope to enjoy some beautiful treasures on the way.
I think I am nearly ready.
Join us on the journey. Find out more about the Caldecott Medal and Honor Reading Challenge here.