Australian illustrator Sophie Blackall received the 2016 Caldecott Medal for her expressive artwork in Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World's Most Famous Bear. It's the real-life story of the original bear that inspired A.A. Milne's Winnie-the-Pooh books, written by the great-grandaughter of the Canadian soldier who cared for the funny little bear. We emailed Blackall a few questions immediately after she heard the news.
Every book has a story to tell, but there’s also a story behind every book—one that reveals how it came to be published. In the case of Richard Blanco’s One Today, the journey from inaugural poem to children’s picture book includes an attentive aunt, an editor with a long memory and a best-selling author-illustrator with a softer side.
When Cole asks his mother for a story about a bear, she shares a true tale, one forgotten by time. It all starts with Harry Colebourn, a veterinarian from Winnipeg, Manitoba. During World War I, Harry travels by train across Canada to care for soldiers’ horses. At one of these stops, Harry gets off to stretch his legs and sees a trapper with a bear cub. Noticing something special about the bear, Harry’s “heart made up his mind,” and he buys the bear for 20 dollars.
In this irresistible story, readers fall for Clement the rabbit, Jean the elephant and Alan Alexander the bear, the three tiny friends of a girl named Maggie.
Parents of young children are obsessed with bedtime. We paint the nursery in calm pastels, pipe in white noise and read soothing stories in hopes of speeding and easing our children’s transition into sleep. From Margaret Wise Brown’s classic Goodnight Moon to Sandra Boynton’s The Going-to-Bed Book, bookstore shelves are full of soporific books. Beep! Beep! Go to Sleep!, written by Todd Tarpley and illustrated by Caldecott honoree John Rocco, offers a refreshingly hip take on the bedtime story.
Put away the swimsuits and break out the backpacks—the first day of school is right around the corner! Read on for three totally terrific classroom tales that will help students shift gears and focus on fall. Prepare to have a straight-A school season!
In the author’s note of The Night World, Caldecott Medal-winning author-illustrator Mordicai Gerstein writes, “I’ve . . . been a great watcher of sunrises; to me, they are like watching the creation of the world.”
A young boy heads to Coney Island for a birthday outing, his mother treating him to ice cream once they arrive. The word “cream” shows through a die-cut hole (“‘Ice cream,’ I say, my birthday surprise!”), and on the next spread, after the boy drops his snack, we read: “‘Oh no!’ I scream, with tears in my eyes.”
Families come in all forms. Ame Dyckman’s new picture book, illustrated by Zachariah OHora, is all about the most unlikely new family member for a bunny family of three. They arrive home one day, surprised to find a bundle on their front stoop—and it’s none other than a baby wolf.
The sweet, crowned star of Dan Santat's picture book, The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend, is a hero like no other—because he almost doesn't exist! Beekle's an imaginary friend with no child to imagine him, and so he leaves his fantastic island, full of other strange creatures like him, in search of a friend. It's so nice to be acknowledged, and there's no better nod than the 2015 Caldecott Medal! We contacted Santat in the whirlwind of his win.