A Sick Day for Amos McGee
by Philip C. Stead
Illustrated by Erin E. Stead
Caldecott Medal Winner 2011
This cute story is about Amos McGee, who is the zookeeper and a great friend to the animals at the zoo. Amos was a man of habit, following the same routine daily. He has a special relationship with each animal at the zoo. For example he sits quietly with the shy penguin and has races with the tortoise. Then Amos McGee wakes up with a cold one morning and stays home from the zoo. The animals miss their friend and wonder where he is. We then see the animals take the bus to Amos's house to visit him. They take care of Amos just like he always takes care of them. The animals spend the night with Amos after he is feeling better. The illustrations are great and appear to be pencil drawings with colored pencil accents. Each page only has a few colors on it, making the colored item stand out on the page. The drawings of the animals and Amos are very detailed and lifelike. Overall, I really enjoyed this book and it would make a great read aloud. The author and illustrator are a husband and wife team. This was Erin's first book that she has illustrated! Congrats to her for being so successful with her first attempt.
by David Ezra Stein
Caldecott Honor 2011
I read this book before it won the Caldecott Honor and found it to be enjoyable. It includes my type of humor! This is a funny story of a father and daughter chicken who are trying to enjoy bedtime storytime. I love that the parent chicken was a father figure. Papa Chicken tries to read several well known stories to his daughter. These include Hansel and Gretel, Little Red Riding Hood and Chicken Little. Each time the daughter interrupts the story with her own humorous ending. After Papa Chicken gives up on storytime, the daughter chicken decides to read Papa Chicken a story instead. She reads him a story she makes up called, "Bedtime for Papa". He interrupts her story with his snoring as he has fallen asleep. I enjoyed the colorful illustrations in this book. The book information states that the illustrations were created by using "watercolor, water soluble crayon, china marker, pen, opaque white ink, and tea". My favorite illustrations are of the stories that papa reads to his daughter. We see the book that he is reading with the story's illustrations and then with young chicken's new endings.
Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave
by Laban Carrick Hill
Illustrated by Bryan Collier
Caldecott Honor 2011
Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award 2011
This is the story of Dave, a real person, and the process he goes through to make a jar on a potter's wheel. We see the jar take shape through the magnificent watercolor collage illustrations and the poetry like story being told through the text. There is one fold out page when the jar is emerging on the potter's wheel, making the jar appear to spring up on the page. The end pages are a deep brown like the mud on the potter's wheel. The text on each two page spread is displayed on top of an earth tone colored background. In the end we see the finished jar and what Dave writes on the jar. The back of the book includes some interesting facts and details. First we can see photographs of some of the actual jars Dave has created and we can read about his life as a slave making pottery. We also learn more about the poems he wrote on the jars. The author also includes a note about how he came to know of and study about Dave the Potter. The reader can also read a note from the illustrator about his research and inspirations for the illustrations. Finally a bibliography is included if you want to learn more about Dave and his pottery.
Related items from bibliography:
An Educator's Guide to Dave
Online biography of Dave
Leonard Todd's Website