November 11, 2008

Children's Classics: Caldecott Medal Winners

I've been meaning to do it for a while, but this is my first time to link up to 5 Minutes for Books. The 2nd Tuesday of each month is Children's Classics, and this month it has a Caldecott Medal Winner theme. My son, Timothy, just started kindergarten this year. Every 2-3 weeks the class focuses on a different author. I've learned so much! Since Timothy 's class is reading several books by each author, we go to the public library as well and check out every book on the shelf. Through this process, I was introduced to an author by the name of Kevin Henkes...
  • Winner of the 2005 Caldecott Medal for Kitten's First Full Moon (Timothy's favorite Henkes book). Kitten sees the full moon and, believing it is a bowl of milk, tries unsuccessfully to obtain it! It's a sweet book, but I don't know that I would have picked it out as "best of year" if I didn't know beforehand. I actually prefer the story of Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale, which is one of the Honors books from the same year. Since Caldecott winners are determined by illustrations, though, I'm sure the charcoal black & white drawings in Kitten's First Full Moon tipped the scales.
  • And winner of the 1994 Caldecott Honor for Owen, which is one of the books in Henkes' darling Mouse Books Collection. Each book presents a different issue that preschoolers deal with. I'll give a synopsis of the ones I've read:

Owen-he has a blanket that he can not live without, and his parents receive all kinds of neighborly advice about how they need to handle it
Wemberly Worried-fantastic book for a child who has fears-addresses starting school
Lilly's Big Day-assumes she'll be her teacher's flower girl (Lilly has huge pride issues!)
Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse-takes purse to school
Julius, the Baby of the World-Lilly has to learn to accept her new baby brother
Chrysanthemum-deals with being made fun of by others

I got this excerpt of an interview with Henkes from his website:

If you had to sum up in one word the characteristic you most admire in each of your mice—Chester, Chrysanthemum, Lilly, Owen, Sheila Rae, Wendell, Sophie, and Wemberly—what words would you choose?

Chester: reliable
Chrysanthemum: sensitive
Lilly: exuberant
Owen: centered
Sheila Rae: brave, of course
Wendell: clever
Sophie: tenacious
Wemberly: thoughtful

I do think Owen deserved the Caldecott honor, but I just don't know how they plucked it out of the whole series. I think if you're going to read it, you'll want to enjoy all the Mouse Books.

Henkes has many Picture Books that you and your kids would enjoy thoroughly!

What is your favorite Caldecott winner?

Which book do you wish was a Caldecott winner?


Stephanie's Mommy Brain said...

Glad to see you participating in this carnival!! I knew you'd like it. = )

Alyce said...

I haven't heard of the mice books before - they sound cute!

haylee jalyn said...

I adore Henkes' books! It looks as if Kitten's First Full Moon is one of his few that I never read. The others, though, stole my heart with the first read.

Krista said...

Owen looks cute! We haven't really ventured to the library yet... but will soon! My son has a blankie (Bi-bi) that he can't live without!

Made To Organize said...

What a great post! Thank you for the great list. My children and I love a great book!

Kipi said...

I tried to find this book at our local library, but they were all checked out. My girls and I loved all of Kevin Henke's books (especially Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse and Julius, Baby of the World). Great review!