#1 New York Times bestseller Lisa Gardner returns with an unpredictable thriller that puts fan favorites D. D. Warren and Flora Dane on a shocking new case that begins with a vicious murder and gets darker from there.
A man is dead, shot three times in his home office. But his computer has been shot twelve times, and when the cops arrive, his pregnant wife is holding the gun.
D. D. Warren arrives on the scene and recognizes the woman–Evie Carter–from a case many years back. Evie’s father was killed in a shooting that was ruled an accident. But for D.D., two coincidental murders is too many.
Flora Dane sees the murder of Conrad Carter on the TV news and immediately knows his face. She remembers a night when she was still a victim–a hostage–and her captor knew this man. Overcome with guilt that she never tracked him down, Flora is now determined to learn the truth of Conrad’s murder.
But D.D. and Flora are about to discover that in this case the truth is a devilishly elusive thing. As layer by layer they peel away the half-truths and outright lies, they wonder: How many secrets can one family have?
From two extraordinary authors comes a moving, exuberant, laugh-out-loud novel about friendship and family, told entirely in emails and letters.
Avery Bloom, who’s bookish, intense, and afraid of many things, particularly deep water, lives in New York City. Bett Devlin, who’s fearless, outgoing, and loves all animals as well as the ocean, lives in California. What they have in common is that they are both twelve years old, and are both being raised by single, gay dads.
When their dads fall in love, Bett and Avery are sent, against their will, to the same sleepaway camp. Their dads hope that they will find common ground and become friends–and possibly, one day, even sisters.
But things soon go off the rails for the girls (and for their dads too), and they find themselves on a summer adventure that neither of them could have predicted. Now that they can’t imagine life without each other, will the two girls (who sometimes call themselves Night Owl and Dogfish) figure out a way to be a family?
Tiffany Haddish (Girls Trip) is hysterical in Tyler Perry’s (Madea) most outrageous comedy yet. Trying to get back on her feet, wild child Tanya (Haddish) looks to her buttoned-up sister Danica (Tika Sumpter, Ride Along) to get her life together. As these polar opposites hilariously collide, Tanya discovers that Danica’s picture-perfect life – including her online romance – may not be what it seems. With the aid of her eccentric mother (comedy legend Whoopi Goldberg), Tanya will do whatever it takes to help… even if it means completely blowing up her sister’s life! Omari Hardwick (Power) and Amber Riley (Glee) also star in this side-splittingly funny hit.
Julian Schnabel’s AT ETERNITY’S GATE is a journey inside the world and mind of a person who, despite skepticism, ridicule, and illness, created some of the world’s most beloved and stunning works of art.
Artists, musicians and photographers take note: the library has a new way to connect with the latest apps for drawing, recording, editing, and more. An iPad with pencil is now available for use in the library, offering access to dozens of cutting-edge programs.
Feeling musical? No need to set up a drum kit or wheel in a grand piano. With GarageBand you can make music with your fingers (or your voice) by recording tracks, editing them, and uploading them to your favorite storage site. Don’t play any instruments? “Smart” programs play the chords and beats for you to mix and match.
Photoshop Express gives you powerful, professional-quality editing tools to enhance your photos. Use filters or add special effects, create artistic collages with a choice of backgrounds and layouts, add custom text or graphical watermarks. Photo Booth adds wild special effects like thermal mapping, x-ray, or kaleidoscope.
Visual artists can use Adobe Sketch, Adobe Draw and Procreate to sketch, paint, and color virtually any style of image, from fine line drawings to cartoons to abstract illustrations, using the iPencil, a sophisticated stylus that offers a range of line widths and effects. Galleries of other users’ work provides inspiration. Rough Animator brings those images to life.
With the iPad you can also log into your digital library accounts for books, movies, music and more. Choose from thousands of films on the streaming site Kanopy, explore new music and movies through hoopla, or enjoy books and magazines with the Libby and Flipster apps.
To check out the iPad, just stop by the Information Services desk and start creating.
New Book Tuesday is here!
Don’t forget, we will be closing early this evening (Tues. 1-29-19) at 6pm and closed all day tomorrow due to severe weather.
Stay safe and don’t forget you can always enjoy library services on our website! This type of weather is great for settling in with an ebook or audiobook on Overdrive/Libby or watching some documentaries on Kanopy!
Take off on a new adventure and find out more about what really happened on Hilo’s world with HILO–the hilarious, action-packed New York Times BESTSELLING GRAPHIC NOVEL SERIES that kids love!
MORE ACTION! MORE FUN! MORE LAUGHS! MORE ROBOTS! What REALLY happened in Hilo’s world before he came to Earth? D.J. and our favorite space boy, Hilo, take a DANGEROUS trip to Hilo’s home planet to find out! But everything Hilo thinks he knows about his past is about to be turned inside out and UPSIDE DOWN! Hilo was supposed to save everyone…but what happens if it’s Hilo that needs saving?! Is ANYONE who we think they are? Can Hilo and his friends figure out how all the pieces fit…before it’s too late?!
Join LlamaLlama at his first sleepover with friends. Learn how to share on a play date with Nelly Gnu. Discover what makes the Red Pajamas so lucky and so much more! Learn and play with LlamaLlama and pals.
Who doesn’t make New Year’s resolutions? The past year’s slate is wiped clean and another 12 months stretch in front of us, ready to be filled with new skills, deeper knowledge, and a stronger connection to the community. And the library has a great place to start: Flipster, our digital magazine portal.
Beginning this month, 11 new magazine titles have been added with Lincolnwood residents’ interests in mind.
Conde Nast Traveler, Food & Travel and Midwest Living offer a chance to venture beyond the Chicago area, either in real life or as an armchair traveler.
Knitting, Do It Yourself, Digital Photographer and Poets & Writers should appeal to anyone looking to learn a new skill or further explore their hobbies.
Parents, Eating Well and Glamour each focus on lifestyle, whether you have a young family, a desire to improve your diet or just want to spruce up your look. (Fans of the now-shuttered Cooking Light will be pleased to know that it has merged with Eating Well.)
Of course, the magazine lineup doesn’t stop there. Flipster also provides access to favorite titles like The New Yorker, Chicago magazine, Good Housekeeping, People, Rolling Stone and more. To get started, all you’ll need is your library card. You can access the Flipster website through the Lincolwood library’s own app: in the Digital Library, click on the Magazines link. Or download the Flipster app and you’ll be able to create a virtual shelf as well as keep your place on a particular page even when you log off. For more information about accessing Flipster via the app or your computer, check out our step-by-step guide.
And if print is your preferred format, current and past issues of magazines are available in our café, where you can relax in front of the fire with a warm drink while reading. (Past issues also are available for checkout.)
In New York Times bestselling author Maureen Johnson’s second novel in the Truly Devious series, there are more twists and turns than Stevie Bell can imagine. No answer is given freely, and someone will pay for the truth with their life.
The Truly Devious case—an unsolved kidnapping and triple murder that rocked Ellingham Academy in 1936—has consumed Stevie for years. It’s the very reason she came to the academy. But then her classmate was murdered, and her parents quickly pull her out of school. For her safety, they say. She must move past this obsession with crime.
Stevie’s willing to do anything to get back to Ellingham, be back with her friends, and solve the Truly Devious case. Even if it means making a deal with the despicable Senator Edward King. And when Stevie finally returns, she also returns to David: the guy she kissed, and the guy who lied about his identity—Edward King’s son.
But larger issues are at play. Where did the murderer hide? What’s the meaning of the riddle Albert Ellingham left behind? And what, exactly, is at stake in the Truly Devious affair? The Ellingham case isn’t just a piece of history—it’s a live wire into the present.
This deeply sensitive and powerful debut novel tells the story of a thirteen-year-old who must overcome internalized racism and a verbally abusive family to finally learn to love herself.
There are ninety-six things Genesis hates about herself. She knows the exact number because she keeps a list. Like #95: Because her skin is so dark, people call her charcoal and eggplant—even her own family. And #61: Because her family is always being put out of their house, belongings laid out on the sidewalk for the world to see. When your dad is a gambling addict and loses the rent money every month, eviction is a regular occurrence.
What’s not so regular is that this time they all don’t have a place to crash, so Genesis and her mom have to stay with her grandma. It’s not that Genesis doesn’t like her grandma, but she and Mom always fight—Grandma haranguing Mom to leave Dad, that she should have gone back to school, that if she’d married a lighter skinned man none of this would be happening, and on and on and on. But things aren’t all bad. Genesis actually likes her new school; she’s made a couple friends, her choir teacher says she has real talent, and she even encourages Genesis to join the talent show.
But how can Genesis believe anything her teacher says when her dad tells her the exact opposite? How can she stand up in front of all those people with her dark, dark skin knowing even her own family thinks lesser of her because of it? Why, why, why won’t the lemon or yogurt or fancy creams lighten her skin like they’re supposed to? And when Genesis reaches #100 on the list of things she hates about herself, will she continue on, or can she find the strength to begin again?
Rick Riordan Presents Yoon Ha Lee’s space opera about thirteen-year-old Min, who comes from a long line of fox spirits. But you’d never know it by looking at her. To keep the family safe, Min’s mother insists that none of them use any fox-magic, such as Charm or shape-shifting. They must appear human at all times.
Min feels hemmed in by the household rules and resents the endless chores, the cousins who crowd her, and the aunties who judge her. She would like nothing more than to escape Jinju, her neglected, dust-ridden, and impoverished planet. She’s counting the days until she can follow her older brother, Jun, into the Space Forces and see more of the Thousand Worlds.
When word arrives that Jun is suspected of leaving his post to go in search of the Dragon Pearl, Min knows that something is wrong. Jun would never desert his battle cruiser, even for a mystical object rumored to have tremendous power. She decides to run away to find him and clear his name.
Min’s quest will have her meeting gamblers, pirates, and vengeful ghosts. It will involve deception, lies, and sabotage. She will be forced to use more fox-magic than ever before, and to rely on all of her cleverness and bravery. The outcome may not be what she had hoped, but it has the potential to exceed her wildest dreams.
This sci-fi adventure with the underpinnings of Korean mythology will transport you to a world far beyond your imagination.
“I came here for the cookies and We Don’t Eat our Classmates, too” – Mo.M.
Hi! I’m Miss Eti, one of the Youth & Teen Services librarians. I hosted our fifth and final Caldecott Club session on Thursday, January 10 from 3:30-5:00 at Lincolnwood Public Library. Over the course of the past two months, we looked at 16 incredible picture books published in 2018, conducted picture walks through the books to examine the art with our artist eyes, and voted for our top 8 books that would go to our voting party. We had also developed as a community of readers, gaining new members of the Caldecott Club, who each added new insights to our discussions. It had all come down to this session where we’d choose THE best picture book of 2018. (If you’re new here and want to learn about our program, check out first blog post about Creating a Caldecott Community.)
The books we discussed were: Ocean Meets Sky by the Fan Brothers
Hello Hello by Brendan Wenzel
A Big Mooncake for Little Star by Grace Lin
Blue by Laura Vaccaro Seeger
The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by Rafael López
The Stuff of Stars by Marion Dane Bauer, illustrated by Ekua Holmes
We Don’t Eat our Classmates by Ryan T. Higgins
The Field by Baptiste Paul, illustrations by Jacqueline Alcántara
We began our session by reviewing what the Caldecott award is, which is “most distinguished American picture book for children awarded by the Association for Library Service to Children.” Our group used their own language to determine what makes a Caldecott worthy book. S. said it’s “knowing the story by the pictures.” Mo. M said, “The pictures can’t look like a blop,” to which M.A. added, “unless you’re going for that like The Dot.” I tried to provide lots of opportunities for the kids to take on leadership roles and assert their agency during this program, creating lists of jobs for the program like passing out books, collecting books, and giving out the ballots, as well as a discussion sign-up where each participant could help lead the conversation about a book they were passionate about. I’m super lucky that the kids at my library are always eager to help out, including M.A., who even came early to help me set up the program. I also told the kids to be strict with me about listening to our 5-minute timer, so we had enough time to talk about each book. We focused our discussion focused on these questions: Why should this book win (or not) our Caldecott? What did we like about the art? What does it make you feel? What stands out to you about the art?
Missing his grandfather, Finn sets out on a fantastical journey to find the place where the ocean meets sky.
N. led our discussion about this contemplative book. She started by sharing how she liked how “it’s all in one color for some of it.” Mo. M. added that the “pictures show Finn’s feelings basically.” I. added that when Finn is sad, everything is gray. Our group leaned into the emotional undertones of the story. “I felt kind of sad,” said S., “since he wanted to go on the journey with his grandfather, but he had to go alone.” My. M. added, “It’s very calming and kind of sad, but when you look at it more and and at the pictures, it makes you feel happy.” Our group noticed the differences between the muted memory pictures at the beginning and the colorful adventurous palette. They also noticed the signature Fan Brothers art style. “I mostly like the art because it’s so realistic,” C. said. “I like how detailed it is with the light. It looks like you could touch it,” added D. Only that morning did I notice The Gold Fish book in Finn’s grandfather’s study, revealing everything that is to come on his journey. Our group discovered new things every time we looked at Ocean Meets Sky. And of course, M.A. closed our discussion by treating us to a secret case cover reveal.
Vibrant, colorful and wondrous animals show how all creatures are interconnected.
M. led our discussion by revealing the marvelous patterns within the book, sharing that the last animal on each page becomes the first animal on the next page. These patterns entranced and excited our group. They shared how it had a lot of kid appeal, which is an essential part of the Caldecott criteria. “It’s really funny,” shared My. M. “I think kids will like this because it has a lot of color like the page with the turtle,” added Mo. M. The “Hello Pose” spread really is a fan favorite. “It looks like the texture is popping out,” S. shared. D. also urged us to consider the value of the book. “It’s also really important since in the back, it says the animals are endangered or mostly endangered and people will think animals are really cool, and find out they’re endangered, they’ll try to help save them.” F. added, “it makes you want to love animals even more.” This book’s call to action truly resonated with our group, using the art to reach their hearts.
When several children feel like they don’t fit in, they discover ways to share their stories and find community and friendship.
L helped lead our discussion. Our group immediately was drawn to the endpapers. S.C. noticed the differences between the special pink flower at the beginning and end. Mo. M remarked, “It looks creative because the door is like a ruler.” The themes of being new and trying to find friendship stood out for our group. S. that it was an accurate depiction of new being new at school. My. M shared that “even though it’s a little sad, they made it really colorful.” F. shared how much she liked how the kids became friends at the end. D. shared that she really liked this book because “it tells you people should accept people’s differences.”
Penelope Rex is a dinosaur who is nervous about her first day of school, but eager to meet her new classmates. Things get complicated when she eats them.
Ma.M. helped lead our discussion of this hilarious book. She said, “It’s children-worthy. It’s childish, it’s fun, it’s funny. I really like the real drawings by real kids. You can tell they’re real drawings by how they’re made. And there’s a secret cover.” She pointed out the succulent tuna sandwiches in Penelope’s lunch. Mo. M noted the monochrome backgrounds in the book, pointing out that “I think it’s all grey because they want you pay more attention to the dinosaur and the kids.” D. was impressed by the composition of the class, sharing the variety of cultures represented in the classroom. Kids notice this attention to detail; representation truly matters. The kids connected to the theme about adjusting to a new community. “It shows being different can be okay, as long as you can adapt to your surroundings,” S. shared. Our group agreed that this book shows that people will eventually make friends.
The story of the start of the universe leading up to the creation of you, the reader.
D. helped lead the discussion about this cosmic tale. “A lot of people don’t really think about how the universe was made and this basically explains how it was made. Like this page where the Big Bang happened. If they really like this book, they’ll want to learn more and get more into science,” D. shared. She pointed out how detailed and colorful the hand-marbled pictures are, and how the colors blend together. N. pointed out that she loved how the letters (typography) are actually big, adding to the design of the book. Mo. M. did have some questions about the art, saying that “the art doesn’t really make sense [to me]. I’m trying to see a galaxy in purples and diamonds.” I was able to share Edi Campbell’s Calling Caldecott insights about how the “art mirrors the text”: “You can see examples of this toward the end of the book where there is order from the chaos and the printed words are arranged on a separate, blank space.” This book continued to spark curiosity. D. asked about the page with the butterflies and giraffes, contrasting with the text that said they didn’t exist yet, leading us into a conversation about all matter existing at the beginning. She added that “I like it for the art and not a lot of people think about how the universe was created,” to which one participant added, “I do.” We have some deep thinkers in our Caldecott Club.
A poignant story of a boy’s relationship with his beloved dog told through different kinds of blue they experience.
S. led our discussion of this minimalist, emotional book. “It shows the story of a dog and their owner and the love between them. The art is very cool and the holes correspond to the pictures on the page before it, like the blueberries,” S. shared. My. M., as always, shared the emotional hook of the story: “Most people think of blue as a sad color, but this book shows it can be happy color.” M.D. added, “it’s really sad how the dog dies.” We agreed that the saddest pages were Old Blue and True Blue. M.D. told us “I like how it has the shapes and holes [die-cuts].” S. was curious about the origins of this story if it actually happened. I was able to share Laura’s story of loss with them, working on painting the True Blue spread while her own dog Copper became ill and passed away. According to her interview with Julie Danielson on the Seven Important Things Before Breakfast blog, “The timing was remarkable, and the last few spreads were painted while my own tears dripped upon the canvas. Writing Blue, as it turns out, explored my own loyalty and sadness — in real time.” Thinking about kid appeal, Mo. M. said, “I think kids will like it because of the color and because they probably like animals.” S. concluded our ruminations by thinking about the medium of the art: “It was really impressive that she could paint every page of this book and it’s also impressive how she can express her feelings and let it go into the world.”
Little Star cannot resist the mooncake that her mama has made, and so with each little nibble, the phases of the moon appear in this beautiful book about family traditions and love.
My. M. led our discussion about this delectable book, saying, “it’s really nice. I like what it represents. While [Little Star] is eating the mooncake, it shows the different phases of the moon.” S. was impressed with the art style in depicting the characters. “It’s cool how she can make the shape of the bodies using stars because the black background matches together, so it’s hard to do that,” she said. My.M agreed that “it’s really nice how at first, it looks really easy – but you know it’s not easy to make those little dots.” Our group contemplated how beautiful art (like dancing, I’d say) can look effortless while revealing the incredible hard work and challenges that go into making it look that way. Our group could feel the delight and joy on each page. “I love how she makes little stars and her name is Little Star,” D. gushed. Mo. M. shared the wonderful case cover secret, revealing the hidden phases of the moon. My. M. was amused by the humor within the book: “It’s really humorous. They made it and now she ate it and they’re making it again and she’s going to eat it again.” S. got to the heart of this beautiful tale, saying, “it’s the bond between a mother and child doing something together.”
The Field by Baptiste Paul, illustrations by Jacqueline Alcántara
Set on an Caribbean island and told with a mixture of English and Creole, children gather together to play futbol with effervescent energy that is undeterred by livestock, pouring rain, or mothers calling them in from the game.
D. helped lead the discussion of this joyful, playful tale, immediately sharing the author’s note and pointing out Baptiste Paul’s reasons for making this book. Our group connected to the theme of resilience and resourcefulness. “You just need friends and a ball to play,” S. shared. During the playing in the rain scene, Mo. M. made connections to his own knowledge of international soccer teams. D. tapped into the message of the book, saying, “it shows they keep on playing no matter what because they have each other.” Mo. M. added. “I like how in some places they’re puddles, but not everywhere. There’s different people everywhere.” My. M. also commented on the metaphors of the book, pointing to the next page when the sun returns, telling us, “Once you’re through the hard times, you go and then the sun comes out.” I. pointed out that the book “wasn’t really about a main character; it’s about everybody.” M.S. shared her insights about the title: “I think the title corresponds with the story because the story talks about the field is where they play no matter what, with the cows, whether it’s raining or their mom is calling. It doesn’t matter where they’re playing; they’re playing and having a good time.”
Having reviewed our 8 books, our group was ready to choose their winner. Our ballot helpers handed out our ballots, as well as a survey to get the kids’ feedback about this program. Mo. M. and My. M. kindly helped me with the math, which always overwhelms me. They both got to discover our winners before everyone else, but kept the secret. Once we determined our winner and honors, the kids glued the book covers to our Caldecott Club poster we had been using and put our official Caldecott Club stickers on the book covers. We raffled off posters including a Hello, Hello poster, a print from The Day You Begin, and two of our Caldecott Club posters. Everyone received a free 2018 Caldecott Award poster donated by Baker & Taylor. We have lots leftover so feel free to stop by if you want a poster or ten. Finally, our group received their well-deserved CaldeCookies as a delicious treat for their hard work!
Our group created this video to “make the call” to let Ryan T. Higgins to let him know that they had chosen his book as our Mock Caldecott winner.
Dare I say, our Caldecott Club helped create new bonds of friendship during our program. I think Penelope would be proud – and Walter the fish would be jealous.
But wait, there’s more!
Please join us for a live viewing party at the library during the webcast of the American Library Association’s Youth Media Awards on Monday, January 28 at 10am, including the Newbery and Caldecott awards. We’ll provide predictions, refreshments, and giveaways! This year the ALA will also highlight titles selected by the American Indian Library Association (AILA), Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA), and the Association of Jewish Libraries (AJL). The Coretta Scott King Book Awards is celebrating their 50th anniversary in 2019! This event is basically the “Oscars of Children’s Literature,” so you won’t want to miss it. RSVP at our Facebook event here!
If you’re still here at the end of this post, feel free to go back to where it all started. Check out our complete 2019 Caldecott Club series!
Hi! I’m Miss Eti, one of the Youth & Teen Services librarians. I hosted our fourth Caldecott Club session on Thursday, December 20 from 3:30-4:30 at Lincolnwood Public Library. A wonderful thing about Caldecott Club is that it can grow in unexpected, delightful ways, starting with a core group who bring their friends – and sometimes even siblings – to the subsequent sessions. Together, our discussions become more nuanced and thoughtful with more voices to share their perspectives.
During the Caldecott Club we look at amazing picture books and try to determine what makes them special and worthy of going to our Voting Party in January to win our Mock Caldecott. (If you’re new here and want to learn about our program, check out first blog post about Creating a Caldecott Community.)
Rather than doing a formal read aloud of each book, we did picture walks. I had a volunteer help hold open the book for us at each table, so we could all look at the pictures together – and make it easier for us to point out things they noticed. For the picture walk, we discussed each book’s visual features to examine the techniques the artists used and how they worked. Often I would prompt the group by asking them: What did you notice? How does this page make you feel? What makes this art distinguished? I incorporated a timer again thanks to our Head of Youth & Teen Services, Emily, to help me keep on track and one of our dedicated participants was in charge of the timer. I often struggled with giving each book equal time, so adding a timer helped us focus and made it fun for the kids to see if we could beat the clock. (And we did – but not for the next book… I wonder if the Caldecott Committee struggles with their timers. I bet they do.)
Our group instantly noticed the little details on the cover of Drawn Together. M.M. spotted the “Caldecott Medalist” above Dan Santat’s name, which prompted her to ask where the Caldecott Medal sticker was. (Hint, hint, 2019 Caldecott committee…) We then discussed that Dan Santat had won the Caldecott award for The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend, which conjured up all sorts of positive feelings and love for Beekle. Our group was instantly drawn to the book cover, noticing so many colorful details and making predictions about the story. I used the dedication page with photographs of Minh’s Vietnamese grandfather and Dan’s Thai grandmother to share more about the origins of this book in their relationships with their grandparents. The boy and his grandfather’s facial expressions and body language stood out to the group as they used visual cues to understand emotions in each scene. Thanks to Dan Santat’s parents, we have the translation of the grandfather’s words in each scene, so I had a participant turn back to the copyright page to read the grandfather’s dialogue. M.A. noticed something startling: “They say the same thing at the same time.” F. added, “they don’t know how to communicate with each other.” We noticed that there is no narration in the text this whole time, amplifying the tension between them. M.M. reflected on the boy’s experience, saying, “If he understood, he’d be so much happier.” Once the narration began, we took turns reading the text. Once the boy and grandfather started drawing, everything changed. With a dramatic page turn, our group gasped in wonder at the vibrant colors and intricate painting that demonstrated the boy’s modern art style and his grandfather’s traditional methods. “This is a nice book. I like this,” M.A. declared. They noticed Dan Santat’s details like the wand/staff on opposite sides of the distance between and marveled when they are impacted by using each other’s magical devices. They noticed that the bridge was made of the dragon they faced – and it made us think about the dragon from the movie they were watching.
D. wondered if Dan Santat told Minh Lê what to write, so I was able to share they did not talk throughout the creation process. We talked about how Minh Lê had written the text, purposefully leaving lots of room for Dan Santat, as he said in a Publisher’s Weekly interview with Dan Santat, “My approach as a picture book author is to tell a story as streamlined as possible, to basically just create space for you illustrators to work your magic.” I shared the quote that Minh often shares in interviews from Antoine de St. Exupéry, “Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.“ M.A. shared the beautiful case cover secret, showing the grandfather’s sketch book underneath the jacket. They really appreciated the artistry and details within this book to the point where we had to stop discussing it or we’d never get to our other books. Such is the challenge of a beautiful work of art. Later, while we were waiting for our ballot team to figure out the winner, I played the video below from Dan Santat where he explains how he made the art for Drawn Together. Dan said in the Publisher’s Weekly interview, “You have no idea how much this book changed me as an artist. I used to work mostly digitally. Beekle was probably a good 80% digital and 20% traditional. Drawn Together was completely opposite. It was more of a 75% traditional and 25% digital. The computer was mainly just for collaging all the elements together and I moved parts around like a puzzle. Now I work more in the manner of Drawn Together in my current projects. I’ve embraced the impulsiveness of creating and I’ve reverted back to using more traditional media over digital.”
We then turned our attention to another book about a relationship with a grandfather. I shared with the group that Ocean Meets Sky by the Fan Brothers was made with graphite and illustrated digitally. According to an interview with Alyson Beecher of KidLit Frenzy, the Fan Brothers explained that “We scan the monochrome drawing and then colour it in Photoshop. Again, it’s a collaborative process and we can always count on the great feedback from our editor and art director to help steer us in the right direction if we’re unsure about something.” The kids shared that they had learned about monochrome in art, which is fantastic and helped them understand this text better. (Imagine doing a Mock Caldecott in an art class! How phenomenal would that be?) Our group noticed the muted colors when Finn makes his ship and the colorful changes when he embarks on his magical journey. With a dramatic page turn, he wakes up on the ocean and meets the great golden fish. Our group gasped with wows and whohs and statements of approval. Ever the pragmatist, D. asked, “Where are his parents?” This book definitely asked us to suspend our disbelief and expect the unexpected. My favorite spread was the Library Islands, obviously. (It was fun to point out the intertextuality in this scene, especially the book spine with The Night Gardener written on it.)
Our group made a connection between finding the picture of a jellyfish in the grandfather’s room and the spectacular bird’s eye view scene of the floating jellyfish. D. mused again, “Did the water fall away or did the boat lift from the water?” which shows just how this book sparks wonder. As F. said, “[this book has] things that can’t happen but when you imagine it, they do.” R. was blown away by the double-page spread when Finn is heralded home by the moon (a symbol for his grandfather) and a wave of fish birds, declaring, “the picture is really pretty and glowing – and the birds.” The art was just overwhelming. MA.M. disagreed: “I like the one with the whale better.” There’s definitely something for everyone in this imaginative book. When Finn heard the voice calling him home, the group predicted that it was the grandfather. We talked about how you can feel like you hear their voice when you miss people. Using metaphor, this book helped us have a deeper understanding of the process of grief and loss of a loved one. D. still mused “I wish it was real.” We concluded by sharing the secret case cover, which left our group speechless.
With time counting down, we had to zoom through Hello Hello. We began by exploring the case cover secret and endpapers. This book has so much kid-appeal to engage kids of all ages – because animals. I shared the theme of our interconnected relationship with animals and challenged the group to find these connections. I tried to remember everything I had learned from him during his visit last spring to Evanston Public Library, where he said, “I want you to feel how interconnected everything on earth is; Wildlife conservationists are superheroes for animals.”
R. loved the panda on the second spread. I pointed out those Wenzelian eyes that Brian Wilson mentioned in his Calling Caldecott post. R. noticed that the black cat on the previous page was on this page and the fish on this page continues on the next one. Suddenly, everyone started making these connections and seeing how the pages flow together, sharing their realizations and insights. As F. said, “the fish from the other page is saying hello to them.” They loved the colorful rainbow of animals and were curious to know more about the real life animals. I. just wanted to touch the “Hello Pattern, Hello Pose” page with its lush textures and vibrant colors.
R. admitted being a bit disappointed that it wasn’t textured, but agreed that the illustration was effective since it made her want to touch it, especially the pangolin. (Brendan, If you ever want to remake this book into a touch & feel book, these kids would definitely be your first takers.) D. wanted to know if there was really a turtle like the one on this page, which again could lead us into all sorts of research and inquiry. And thanks to the fantastic back-matter that lists the animals in order of appearance, D. and I could go do research about the green sea turtle (endangered). Some kids wanted to know if these animals are really endangered. I pointed out the note from the author at the end that indicated that “many of these creatures are in trouble- considered to be Near Threatened, Vulnerable, Endangered, or Critically Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.” With the chart of animals and their innate sense of curiosity, they can learn more about these animals and seek out ways to help them. As Brendan Wenzel wrote, “The more that people know about these creatures, the better the chance they will share this planet with us for many years to come. It starts with saying hello.” R.’s response: “I am so voting for this book.”
We finished our picture walk by exploring pictures that walk… Immediately M.D. made a connection between Imagine! and Journey by Aaron Becker, a 2014 Caldecott Honor book, as both imaginative wordless picture books. M.A. declared that “no words make it really cool.” I shared with them that Raúl Colón made this book with watercolor, prismacolor pencils and lithograph pencils on Arches paper. R. noted that “It would take a lot of time to make this book.” D. shared that the texture of the paper “looks like thumb prints.” When the boy checked his helmet and and skateboard, our group was curious to know if he had to pay. I hope that they waived the fee to make the museum more accessible to him as a young person. As they journeyed into the museum, R. remarked that “you can never get too close to the art,” making connections between her experiences and the boy’s encounters in the museum. I truly believe that good picture books are like experiencing art museums at your fingertips – with no alarms to stop you from getting as close as you want to be. The more kinds of picture books we can share with young people, the more beauty they will see and create in the world.
When the boy brings the characters into the city, we discussed how they experience all kinds of art, from music and dance (the group was excited to point out all the kinds of instruments) to reading and writing. Our group was very curious to know if the boy liberated real paintings. I shared that the paintings were Picasso’s Three Musicians, Rousseau’s The Sleeping Gypsy, and Matisse’s Icarus. Ever curious, D. remarked, “Isn’t that copying? Can’t you go to jail for that?” (Imagine the possibilities using this book to share a lesson about fair use, copyright, and art.) After this session, I found that Raúl Colón addressed this question in an interview with Publisher’s Weekly, saying, “The only issue was the use of the paintings. The museum holds the copyright, so if I was using a painting I had to make sure it wasn’t the full image. I couldn’t show a whole full painting by itself. I had to make sure the boy or something else was in front of it. When the characters came out of the painting I was allowed to change them around. That’s why the Matisse character has a hat and heels.” When the boy makes art from the art he has seen, our group wondered again about copying and discussed how all art is inspired by other art and it’s how the boy combined the inspiration that makes it unique.
After we had walked through each book in a whirlwind of color and conversation, we were ready to ballot. Each child received a paper ballot to select their top 2 choices (the first place book got 3 points, the second place book got 2 points). I asked for a helper at the beginning to help tally the results on our new fancy whiteboard. The top 2 books then are the winners of our session and go on the Voting Party on January 10.
And the Session 4 Winners Are….
The Books Going to the Party
Over the course of our 4 Caldecott Club sessions, we selected 8 books to go to our Voting Party. The books we’ll discuss to determine what is the best picture book are:
The Field by Baptiste Paul, illustrations by Jacqueline Alcántara
Join Us Next Time! If you know a young person in 1st-8th grade who is interested in joining us, please register for our next Caldecott Club program on January 10 from 3:30-5:00. Note our new end time since we need extra time to talk about 8 books. You don’t need a library card to sign up, but you do need a love of books & conversation!
Thanks for sticking all the way through this post… hope to see you next time!
A librarian always provides her resources – here are a series of resources I found while preparing for this program that you may want to check out:
It’s the most wonderful time of the year when book awards and best book lists are released to much fanfare and excitement. Throughout the year we read voraciously to discover incredible books and share them with young people and their caregivers. We seek out those best lists to ensure we haven’t missed an excellent book to add to our collection and of course, see if our predictions were correct. This year we created our own “Lincolnwood Librarians’ Choice Awards” where we curated a list of the best children’s and teen books of 2018. On Wednesday, December 5, we shared this list with the community by book talking some of our favorites from our list, sharing read aloud recommendations, and giving away free books and audiobooks because book access is essential.
You can access our entire Best Books List by downloading the pdf here. You can also stop by the library for a full color copy of our handout.
Please be aware that our list is not the definitive list of children’s and teen books published in 2018. We are sharing some of our favorite books that we’ve enjoyed, shared with young people, and believe would be perfect additions to your home, school, or classroom library. They make excellent gifts, too. We also offer personalized recommendations to help young people find the books that are best for them. Just call us or stop by the library.
Here are some of our librarians’ favorite books from 2018!
Miss Dannie & Miss Emily’s favorite picture book series returns with some new friends next door – and if you know anything about Buddy the dog and Earl the hedgehog, you know meeting the neighbors won’t be simple!
We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga by Traci Sorell. Illustrated by Frané Lessac. Journey through the year with a contemporary Cherokee family and their tribal nation to understand the meaning of we are grateful, in Cherokee, Otsaliheliga.
The House that Lou Built by Mae Respicito. Lou attempts to build a “tiny house” as an escape from her extended Filipino family that all lives under the same roof. When the process becomes more difficult that she could have initially imagined, she learns what it means to have a home.
Children of Blood and Bone by Toni Adeyemi. Zélie Adebola is on a mission to restore magic to her village, inspired by the Nigerian-American author’s roots. Part fantasy, part folklore, and part family history, this book is engaging and has many different themes relating to race, power, history, and how they intersect, but is written in a way that is accessible to any teen.