My Caldecott Awards & Where I Plan to Be In 2017



I wanted to make it to Chicago this year to attend the awards ceremony for the Caldecott Medal; but my budget didn’t allow it.  Next year, the Caldecott award will be announced in Boston.  Closer. . . but probably not in my budget.  Barring any unforeseen circumstances, I will be there in 2017.  Where?  Atlanta. . .a six hour drive, a free place to stay and the chance to visit my family.

It wasn’t easy for me to choose a winner this year.  Many worthy books were published in 2014.

My Choice – Caldecott 2015 Medal 
Flashlight by Lizi Boyd

My Choices – Caldecott Honor Books
Telephone by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Jen Corace
The Farmer and The Clown by Marla Frazee
The Adventures of Beekle:  An UnImaginary Friend by Dan Santat



ML wants a phone. I brought home the new picture book Telephone instead.


Last week, ML informed me “When I get a phone.  I don’t want it to be like your phone. I want an iPhone.”  I laughed responding, “Who knows what phones will look Iike by the time you get a phone?”  I turned it into a financial education lesson explaining not only do you buy a phone, you pay over $100 per month to use the phone.  It resulted in the desired effect.  “Wow!  That’s a lot of money.”

Telephone by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Jen Corace recently arrived at the library.  I didn’t bring it home because I wasn’t sure if ML had played the game Telephone.  A basic understanding of the game makes the book funnier.  After our iPhone conversation, I decided to take a chance ML knew the game.  While we read the book, she laughed many times.  At the end, I asked “Have you ever played Telephone?”  She said, “Yes.”  I didn’t have a chance to ask where because she wanted to look back through the book.

Birds perched along telephone wires pass along Mama Bird’s request, “Tell Peter:  Fly Home for Dinner.”  As the message moves along, it changes drastically.  Resulting with a bird, who looks a lot like Chicken Little, spewing a long list of warnings to Owl to share with Peter.  Wise Owl discerns the real message… “Your mom says fly home for dinner.”

One reason we explored the book again… an illustrated story line in the houses and yards under the telephone wire.  The other reason… the birds possess distinctive personalities wearing props to emphasize their interests.  You can’t appreciate all the details in the first reading.

Peas Are Finally Planted


One of ML’s nickname is sweet pea.  When she was a baby somebody gave her a onesie with a picture of a pea and the word sweat-pea embroidered.  Her granddad stated calling her “Sweetpea.”  It stuck and is the term of affection I use with her.

ML devours sweet peas.  It’s one of her favorite snacks.  Last year we grew them.  ML ate them straight from the vine.  In this area the planting season for snow peas is recommended as Feb. 1 – Mar. 1.  I held off because of the crazy weather we’ve had this winter. Even with the evil words “wintry mix”  forcasted for our area a few days later, we planted the peas on March 20.  I hope we will enjoy a few homegrown snow peas before it gets too hot.  I’m a little concerned.  None of the seeds have sprouted yet.

Our favorite pea books include

The Very Smart Pea and the Princess-to-Be by Mini Grey – The classic Princess and the Pea story told from the pea’s perspective.  A pea is picked from the garden, shelled, almost cooked, and plucked from the bowl at the last minute by the Queen’s decree to help find a princess for her son to marry.  After months of being stuck under 20 mattresses, the pea took matters in his own hands.  The result… a delightful life for the royal gardener and the prince.  Our favorite page in this book includes comical illustrations of polaroid pictures of various princesses.  A caption is under each picture.  Too loud, too quiet, too funny, too grumpy, too sleepy, too pink…

Little Pea by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and illustrated by Jen Corace – Little pea is forced to eat candy everyday before he can have dessert.  A funny spin on the story of a picky child.  Guess what pea wants to eat instead?  It’s a special treat he’s only allowed to eat for dessert.  It’s green, starts with an S and ends with an H.  The illustrations are fun.  Our favorite… Papa Pea flying Little Pea off the spoon.

The Pea Blossom retold by and illustrated by Amy Lowry Poole – Based on a Hans Christian Anderson fairytale, I didn’t know.  This book tells the story of five peas.  The smallest pea in the pod is patient; a trait his siblings do not possess.  This even temper results in the ability to make a young girl well again.  His siblings’ lives are cut short due to their ambition.  The soft palette used in the illustrations enhance the graceful story of the fifth pea.

One of my favorite pictures of ML is of her at age two; sitting on the porch swing with a roasting pan filled with purple hull crowder peas.  She’s learning to shell them just like I was taught by her great-grandmother many years ago.