All week long, I’m offering you a listing of The Caldecott Medal Winners and Honor Recipients through the years. While the list is jam-packed with goodies, I’m going to let you know my family’s personal favorites, from books they’ve worn thin to ones we just can’t pass up when we’re at the library. My goal? To introduce you to some new children’s books that your own kiddos will fall in love with and treasure for years to come.
You can find these books at your local library or purchase through the affiliate links provided for your convenience. All recommendations are mine.
To see which ones we love from the past decades, please visit tomorrow. I’ll be posting a new one each day this week!
I feel like kicking myself in the pants for saying I would highlight just our favorites. There are too many! But I’m forcing myself to give you our personal highlights from the list.
Interrupting Chicken: From the moment we read Interrupting Chicken, this book has been an absolute favorite in our house. We get the giggles every time we read it, and even have the audio CD for the car.
Description: It’s time for the little red chicken’s bedtime story—and a reminder from Papa to try not to interrupt. But the chicken can’t help herself! Whether the tale is Hansel and Grettel or Little Red Riding Hood or even Chicken Little, she jumps into the story to save its hapless characters from doing some dangerous or silly thing. Now it’s the little red chicken’s turn to tell a story, but will her yawning papa make it to the end without his own kind of interrupting?
Creepy Carrots!: Who says you can’t read “scary” books other than at Halloween? Creepy Carrots! has a fun twist ending. And despite countless readings, this book never gets old for my kiddos.
Description: The Twilight Zone comes to the carrot patch as a rabbit fears his favorite treats are out to get him. Celebrated artist Peter Brown’s stylish illustrations pair perfectly with Aaron Reynold’s text in this hilarious picture book that shows it’s all fun and games…until you get too greedy.
The Noisy Paint Box: The Colors and Sounds of Kandinsky’s Abstract Art: We discovered The Noisey Paint Box because we love a number of books from author Barb Rosenstock, but it has become an absolute favorite. It’s a fabulous introduction to abstract art (which we’ve seen at Chicago’s Art Institute) and a way to have your kids rethink art.
Description: In this exuberant celebration of creativity, Barb Rosenstock and Mary GrandPré tell the fascinating story of Vasily Kandinsky, one of the very first painters of abstract art. Throughout his life, Kandinsky experienced colors as sounds, and sounds as colors—and bold, groundbreaking works burst forth from his noisy paint box.
Blackout: We received this book as a gift, and it’s been a wonderful addition to our library! My kids may love all of their electronics, but there’s nothing like turning off the technology and cuddling up with this wonderful book where no one’s getting any screen time.
Description: One hot summer night in the city, all the power goes out. What’s a family to do? When they go up to the roof to escape the heat, they find the lights–in stars that can be seen for a change–and so many neighbors it’s like a block party in the sky! On the street below, people are having just as much fun–talking, rollerblading, and eating ice cream before it melts. The boy and his family enjoy being not so busy for once.
This is Not My Hat: My son brought this book home from his school’s library one day, and we all instantly fell in love with author Jon Klassen. His dry sense of humor certainly isn’t lost on my boys.
Description: When a tiny fish shoots into view wearing a round blue topper (which happens to fit him perfectly), trouble could be following close behind. So it’s a good thing that enormous fish won’t wake up. And even if he does, it’s not like he’ll ever know what happened.
One Cool Friend: If your kids like penguins at all, they’ll love the boy who decides to take one home with him in his backpack. My boys get a kick out of the kid hiding the penguin from his dad… and the twist ending.
Description: When well-mannered Elliot reluctantly visits the aquarium with his distractible father, he politely asks whether he can have a penguin–and then removes one from the penguin pool to his backpack. The fun of caring for a penguin in a New England Victorian house is followed by a surprise revelation by Elliot’s father.
Journey: If you’re looking for a book to spark your imagination (and your storytelling abilities), you’re going to fall in love with Journey, a wordless picture book that allows your children to tell the story.
Description: A lonely girl draws a magic door on her bedroom wall and through it escapes into a world where wonder, adventure, and danger abound. With supple line, luminous color, and nimble flights of fancy, author-illustrator Aaron Becker launches an ordinary child on an extraordinary journey toward her greatest and most exciting adventure of all.
For the full Caldecott award winners and honor recipients, click the following: