Monday, November 19, 2012

A Kiss Means I Love You by Allen

A Kiss Means I Love You 
written by Katheryn Madeline Allen
photographs by Eric Futran

What it's about:
Kids "say" many things without words using facial expressions and gestures.

What I love:
Babies and young ones love pictures of faces, and Eric Futran has illustrated each facial expression and gesture in this book with fabulous photographs of kids. These are pictures that young ones will pour over again and again.
The variety of the kids and parents represented in the photos is wonderful allowing many families to see themselves represented in this book along with providing a window to the rich diversity of our world.

The rhyming text has a lovely rhythm for reading aloud over and over and over again (as tends to happen with books for young ones).

A kiss means I love you,
a wave means hello,
a smile means I’m happy,
a tug means let’s go!

This is a well done concept book that is destined to become a classic baby gift. I wouldn't be surprised to see it in board book format in the future.

More information about A Kiss Means I Love You at

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Caldecott Challenge 1963

1963 Medal Winner: 
The Snowy Day 
by Ezra Jack Keats

What it's about:
Young Peter spends the day playing in the snow.

What I like:
What is there to say about The Snowy Day... the committee certainly got it right for 1963.

1963 Honor Books:

Mr. Rabbit and the Lovely Present
illustrated by Maurice Sendak 
written by Charlotte Zolotow

What it's about:
Mr. Rabbit helps a young girl find a present for her mother's birthday.

What I like:
This is a subtle book about colors. The girl is looking for presents that connect to colors her mother likes: red, yellow, green and blue. Mr. Rabbit gives all sorts ideas of gifts that fit with the colors - fire engines, lakes and sapphires. Each time they settle on a fruit that fits that color resulting in a fruit basket for a present. I like that it is not a true "color book" with blocks of obvious color. The story has clever moments with some repeated lines that are nice for reading aloud.

The Sun is a Golden Earring
illustrated by Bernarda Bryson
written byNatalia M. Belting

What it's about:
Throughout history humans from around the world have had poetic explanations for why the sun, moon, stars, lightning, and thunder are the way they are.

What I like:
The page layouts are simple, with only one or two folk sayings for each double page spread.
The pencil sketch style drawings are enhanced by changing background colors for the entire page. This is the first I have seen this technique in a Caldecott book so far.
I also appreciated that Belting differentiated between American Indian tribes (Navajo & Chippewa)

Challenge total: 118

Caldecott Cat from The Sun is a Golden Earring