Top critical review
106 people found this helpful
Attention Caldecott Committee:
on February 1, 2012
Okay, I need a place to vent.
To all those on the Caldecott Selection Committee, you have GOT to GET OVER your OBSESSION with wordless picture books. Just because a book utilizes pictures alone to tell the story, that does not automatically make it worthy of the Medal. Seriously, it is getting out of hand. In the past 10 years, you have given it to wordless picture books 4 TIMES. It is starting to become a cheap gimmick, but you continue to suffer knee-jerk reactions to validate them.
Don't get me wrong. Tuesday is brilliant. Flotsam is also very good. The Three Pigs first showed your googly lovestruck eyes for this genre, even when the book wasn't that great. The Lion and the Mouse, I could forgive that one since Jerry Pinkney was long overdue. But now, A Ball for Daisy, and Chris Raschka receives his SECOND Medal!!?!?! No, no, no, no.
A Ball for Daisy does not deserve the Caldecott. I know that Raschka's style is unconventional, but I enjoyed Hello Goodbye Window, so it is not as if I am completely opposed to his art. The problem is that in A Ball for Daisy, the art is not clear enough to stand alone without words. Worse, the LAYOUT of the pictures does not provide a clear path for children to follow the story. The only way this story will make sense to a young child is for an adult to ADD words. I have read this book to third grade and kindergarten, and neither class was impressed or even engaged by this story.
For all the rest of you that don't follow the history of the Caldecott, and are checking out this book because it won the Medal, I have a recommendation for you. If you really want the best picture book of the year with the most outstanding illustrations, I recommend Grandpa Green by Lane Smith. It is gorgeous and children are enthralled by it. It puts tears in my eyes. Somehow, the same committee that picked A Ball for Daisy for the Medal had enough good taste to also give Grandpa Green an Honor.