A Caldecott Celebration: Six Artists Share Their Paths to the Caldecott Medal

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9780802786562: A Caldecott Celebration: Six Artists Share Their Paths to the Caldecott Medal

Step into the studios of six acclaimed illustrators and see how their Caldecott Medal-winning books were created. Children's book lovers of all ages will not want to miss this unique behind-the-scenes tour spanning 60 years of picture-book illustration history.

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Review:

"Books bearing medals have the look of things that have been with us forever. But the truth, of course, is that someone, sometime, had to draw(and probably redraw) the pictures and write (and revise) the words. Certainly, none of the six Caldecott books described in the pages that follow just happened.... You are about to meet the people who made them. And you are about to see six works of art as ideas in the making: sketches and scribbles on the way to becoming books that readers prize."

Leonard S. Marcus's thoughtful recognition of the labor and serendipity that go into the making of great art illuminates every page of A Caldecott Celebration. It is also to his credit that he has chosen six of the most beloved titles in the canon of American literature as his representative sample of Caldecott-winning children's titles: Robert McCloskey's Make Way for Ducklings, Marcia Brown's version of Cinderella, Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are, William Steig's Sylvester and the Magic Pebble, and Chris Van Allsburg's Jumanji.

Marcus's subjects--both texts and creators--have amazing stories behind them. Robert McCloskey, we learn, brought 16 ducks to live with him in his small Greenwich Village apartment while he was working on Ducklings, and he drew the final versions of the tale directly onto sheets of metal to abet the printing process. When William Steig chose a donkey to be the main character of Sylvester, he spent a long time thereafter trying to decide if the creature should walk on two legs, human-style, or remain more realistically four-legged. And Maurice Sendak spent years working on a tale that wasn't going anywhere: "Where the Wild Horses Are." Not a drop of the mystery and fondness one feels toward these works is diluted by the details shared in A Caldecott Celebration, and after reading Marcus's considered tribute, you'll only love these books the better. --Jean Lenihan

About the Author:

Leonard S. Marcus is one of the children's book world's most respected and versatile writers, historians, and critics. His incisive book reviews have been featured in Parenting magazine in every issue since the monthly magazine's founding in 1987. In addition, Leonard has been a Parenting contributing editor since 1988 and has directed the magazine's annual "Reading Magic Awards" for excellence in children's literature since their inception in that year.

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