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.
Last year, ML and Calvin chose winners for their 2014 Mock Caldecott in record speed. This year, they delved a little deeper. However, once again they couldn’t reach a consensus.
Today, I gave them a stack of books for their 2015 Mock Caldecott. I asked both of them to individually chose five favorites. Then, I encouraged them to reach a consensus on five books to go to the next round. They did it. Friends since the age of two, I love watching them grow and mature together. After whittling the list to five, they had a thoughtful and respectful discussion on which book should win. They weren’t in agreement. If I pushed it, they might have reached a consensus. I decided to save it for next year.
ML’s never had a specific imaginary friend, but many children do. My brother did. His name was Mr. Erp and any mischief in our house was all his fault. ML and I read The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend by Dan Santat fifteen minutes ago. Immediately after she went to bed, I sat down to write this post. I didn’t want to forgot to share this imaginative book.
Somewhere on a faraway island is a place where imaginary friends wait for a a child to choose them and give them a name. A fluffy white monster waits and waits and waits, but his friend never comes. So he decides to take a boat to the real world. It’s a very strange place until he sees something familiar. He follows this familiar thing and ends up at a playground where their are lots of children with imaginary friends. It’s a lonely place for him because everyone already has an imaginary friend. Finally when he’s at his loneliest sighing in a tree, a girl finds him and names him Beekle.
My synopsis doesn’t do the book justice. The words of the book are paced perfectly. They are also hand lettered. Dan Santat’s handwriting is much better than mine. (First and only C in my life was in 3rd grade for handwriting.) You may be wondering how I know the letters are handwritten. When you read the page with all the publication information you learn interesting things.
The mixed media illustrations using pencil, crayon, watercolor, ink and Adobe Photoshop evoke all the worlds experienced with a perfect palette for each scene. From the colorful world of the island… to the blah black and white city filled with adults rushing here and there… to the exciting playground featuring exotic imaginary friends… to the muted fall colors of the lonely time in the tree… and finally to the kaleidoscope of adventures Beekle has with his friend after she names him.
I have no memory of a specific imaginary friend. Do you?