Sunday, January 14, 2007

Care to Share?

As time for the announcement of the winner of the Caldecott Medal will soon be upon us—I started thinking today about the illustrated children’s books that I bought last year. Here are seven of the books I added to my personal collection that I think are among the best-illustrated books of 2006.

Written and illustrated by Barbara McClintock

Written and illustrated by Peter McCarty

Written and illustrated by Laura Vaccaro Seeger

Written and illustrated by Lauren Stringer

Written by Helen Recorvits
Illustrated by Gabi Swiatkowska

Written by Dianna Aston
Illustrated by Sylvia Long

Written by Julie Larios
Illustrated by Julie Paschkis

Would you care to share the titles of the books YOU think have earned a place among the best-illustrated children's books of 2006?


Grace Lin said...

I think Meghan's Aliens Are Coming has a shot!

Elaine Magliaro said...


I agree. I was thinking of putting ALIENS ARE COMING! on my list. Then decided I wouldn't include books illustrated by any of the Blue Rose Girls lest someone think I was showing favoritism.

Libby Koponen said...

These are the picture books I bought this year:

ESTELLE & LUCY by Anna Alter

KITE FLYING by Grace Lin

ALIENS ARE COMING by Meghan McCarthy



MAGIC HOOFBEATS by Linda Wingerter

They're all orginal works of art and fun to read. And yes, they're all by Blue Rose Girls--

Elaine Magliaro said...

Libby, the illustrators among the Blue Rose Girls are talented artists indeed! I gave my daughter
Meghan's SHOW DOG for Christmas. She thought it was so funny--all she did was giggle the whole time she was reading it. I gave my youngest grandnephew ALIENS ARE COMING! for his 8th birthday. He loved it. He's hooked on astronomy and Star Trek.

Last spring, I got a copy of Linda's ONE GRAIN OF SAND when I was at the SCBWI conference. It's a beautiful and elegant book. And I got Anna's PURPLE RIBBON at the alumni holiday sale at RISD. There is a real warmth and charm to Anna's style of illustration.

Of course, I own all of Grace's books--and several of her giclee prints. I even have a gorgeous Grace Lin original from ONE IS A DRUMMER! Lucky me!

Blue Rose Girls said...

Yes. I want ME to win!

Seriously, any of those awards are like winning the lottery. I expect nothing. Less than nothing. I expect to lose every year until I quit making books.

If I win, though, I want a limo and a jumping castle to be delivered to my front door. Since there's no room in my apartment for the jumping castle I guess I'll have to throw a block party. I'd also like a lifetime of free pizzas. Hmmm... I think that award doesn't offer those things but I want them anyway.

Let me see if I can poke around and find my top 10 favs.

As I was telling Fuse last week, if I won no one would be able to contact me because I’d be asleep. That could be funny though.


Blue Rose Girls said...

the limo, by the way, must be playing Barry White or James Brown (the hot pants song in particular)

R.I.P Godfather of soul. yeah.

Grace Lin said...

don't forget you have to bring all your fellow BRG's in tow to your awards ceremony!

Anyway, Elaine, I like all your picks. Other than Meghan's book I am rooting for Julie Paschkis. I just hope it's someone new, instead of the usuals.

Anonymous said...

What about Alice Walker's THERE IS A FLOWER AT THE TIP OF MY NOSE SMELLING ME, which has amazing illustrations by Stefano Vitale?

Each of Vitale's illustrations fills a double-page spread and illuminates Walker's simple poems with equally simple art work.

But "simple" doesn't mean a lack of complexity. There's a good deal of mystery and wonder in this book, and a deep sense of love and gratitude that radiates from both the words and the art.

I suspect young readers will find Vitale's art, as well as Walker's words, both soothing and mysterious at the same time, as if hiding a secret about life that one day--if they search hard enough--they may discover for themselves.

Elaine Magliaro said...


I was struck by the illustrations in THERE'S A FLOWER AT THE TIP OF MY NOSE SMELLING ME, too. I think they are stunning. For some reason--old age maybe--I forgot all about that book. I really like Vitale's use of color in the illustrations. As in YELLOW ELEPHANT...I think the art and text in this poetry book work perfectly together. Thanks for sharing!

Courtney Pippin-Mathur said...

I'm never sure about the caldecott, (sometimes i agree, sometimes i have to brew on it and sometimes i can't believe it) but two recent books that i own and love purely for the illustrations are winter is the warmest season and chowder. i really want to get aliens, stealing back the mona lisa and lissy's friends as well as many, many others. luckily, i my daughter receives a lot of books as gifts so i don't go broke.

Elaine Magliaro said...


I think it's hard to say which is the "best" illustrated children's book of any particular year. I just named seven of the books whose illustrations struck me--and I certainly haven't seen all the picture books that were published last year.

I really like Meghan's artwork in ALIENS ARE COMING!--starting with the picture of two aliens on the front cover and the neat endpapers with rocketships and flying saucers followed by the two-page spread showing a drooling alien looking at the Earth in space.
I'm looking forward to the publication of LISSY'S FRIENDS. I fell in love with Grace's style of illustration when I got ONE IS A DRUMMER for our school library.
My daughter is twenty-six now--and I still give her picture books as presents sometimes. And I definitely spend a lot of money on children's books!