Caldecott Honor

Leo Lionni

Leo Lionni was born into a family that appreciated art, and, from a very young age, he knew he wanted to be an artist. He loved nature and started keeping small creatures--minnows, birds, fish, and more--in his attic room in Amsterdam. He also created terrariums, and many of these natural details found their way into his later work.  Like so many successful children’s authors, Leo Lionni was able to remember and tap into the things that were important to him when he was a child.

As his interest in drawing grew, he was mentored by his Uncle Piet, who was both an architect and an artist. Leo was very lucky to live just a few blocks from two wonderful museums. Further, as a child he had a special pass so he could go there to draw whenever he wished. He learned to draw details from great works--plaster casts of famous statues, and they made such an impression on him that many decades later he could still remember them perfectly, as he could with clarity recall so much about his tiny pets and naturescapes.

One Morning in Maine

By Robert McCloskey

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It's a big day for a little girl when she discovers her first loose tooth and makes a trip to the grocery store on the mainland.
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The Grey Lady and the Strawberry Snatcher

By Molly Bang

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"The Grey Lady loves strawberries. But so does the Strawberry Snatcher, and unfortunately for the Grey Lady he is not far away and getting closer all the time. Past flower shops and bakeries he stalks her, silently, steadily, biding his time. He pursues her by foot along haunting red-brick paths, and then by skateboard into the mysterious depths of a swamp both beautiful and terrifying.

"Closer and closer he gets, and yet the Grey Lady escapes him, in fantastic and marvelously improbable ways..."

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The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales

By Jon Scieszka

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This book is a riotous romp through fairy-tale-land that will have readers clutching their sides happily ever after. Sample title: "The Princess and the Bowling Ball."

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Olivia

By Ian Falconer

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The delightful, feisty porcine heroine Olivia is constantly on the move: building towering sand castles, imitating Jackson Pollack’s paintings on her bedroom wall, or negotiating the number of books at bedtime.
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Mr. Rabbit and the Lovely Present

By Charlotte Zolotow; pictures by Maurice Sendak

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Mr. Rabbit helps a little girl find a birthday present for her mother. Available as a book and on audio.

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Marshmallow

By Clare Turlay Newberry

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A cat who is used to being the center of attention learns to share his home with a rabbit.

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Make Way for Robert McCloskey

If you take a walk in Boston’s Public Garden, you may be greeted by a larger-than-life duck family out for a stroll: Mrs. Mallard, Jack, Kack, Lack, Mack, Nack, Ouack, Pack, and Quack. These bronze sculptures capture the frolicking illustrations of one of America’s most-beloved children’s books—Make Way for Ducklings.

Prize-winning author/illustrator Robert McCloskey grew up before there were such things as television, computers, and the Internet, but he packed a lot of fun and creativity into those years. He tried to invent all sorts of helpful things, sometimes with disastrous results such as when he worked up a cotton candy machine using molasses and a vacuum cleaner. He was also musical, but it was his artistic talent that landed him a scholarship at Vesper George Art School in Boston. If it weren’t for that scholarship, he said, he probably would never have moved away from his small town.

Henry's Freedom Box

By Ellen Levine

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A fictionalized account of how in 1849 a Virginia slave, Henry "Box" Brown, escapes to freedom by shipping himself in a wooden crate from Richmond to Philadelphia.

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Minfong Ho: Living in Three Languages

When Minfong Ho was a small girl, she listened. She listened to her parents who taught her all those necessary things that parents do. Their words were Chinese, and their words went straight into her heart, giving her wisdom and strength.

When Minfong became a little older, she played in the streets, marketplaces, and temple fairs of Bangkok. All around her, she heard life being experienced: the shouting, the playing, the prayer, the love, and the daily work. It was time to grow, a time to learn how to do the practical things. Minfong came to think of Bangkok’s Thai language as the language of doing; the language of her hands.