Caldecott Club 2021: Session #2

Posted & filed under Blog, Book Discussions, Youth & Teen.

Welcome back to our 2021 Caldecott Club! I’m Miss Eti, one of the Youth & Teen Services librarians at Lincolnwood Library. We have come full circle during this, our 4th Caldecott Club, inspired by the fantastic program that Brian Wilson created at Evanston Public Library in 2016. This year we are hosting a collaborative virtual Caldecott Club WITH Mr. Brian and Evanston Public Library. We have been learning so much about how to host this program virtually – and it’s been so fun to join together across our community to geek out about gorgeous picture books!

We met together on Zoom on December 7 with a group of wonderful readers, their families, and friends to talk about all things picture books. We were joined by our program buddy, Kevin, and our Evanston Library buddy, Laura. We designed this program to be open to kids from around 1st grade through 8th grade and up 🙂 because picture books are for everybody and everyone can learn from each other. I’ve tried to recap their brilliance in this post. (You can read the recap from Session #1 here.)

We began our program by reviewing what the Caldecott Award is. Mr. Brian shared how it is the award for the most distinguished American picture book for children, given out each year by the Association for Library Service to Children. Thank you to Curt Leppert at Baker & Taylor who has shared print posters with us in years past – and provided this graphic for us to use this year. You can find it in our resources.

Mr. Brian put the books in a cardboard box, so he could dramatically open it just like the grown-up committee does when books arrive in the mail.

The books we discussed in session 2 were:

Honeybee by Candace Fleming, illustrated by Eric Rohmann

We Are Water Protectors by Carole Lindstrom, illustrated by Michaela Goade

The Ocean Calls: A Haenyeo Mermaid Story by Tina Cho, illustrated by Jess X. Snow

You Matter by Christian Robinson

Picture Walk

Rather than doing a formal read aloud of each book, we did picture walks. For the picture walk, we discussed each book’s visual features to examine the techniques the artists used and how they worked. Often we would prompt the group by asking them: What did you notice? What does it make you wonder? How does this page make you feel? What makes this art distinguished? (Shout out to Megan Dowd Lambert’s Whole Book Approach. I highly recommend her book, Reading Picture Books with Children: How to Shake Up Storytime and Get Kids Talking about What They See.)

We added to our usual picture walk toolbox by encouraging participants to share and listen in lots of ways. People could unmute themselves and talk, raise their hands, use the chat, and use the reactions – and people did all of these things throughout the program, so ended up having a rich discussion in many places at the same time.

Honeybee: The Busy Life of Apis Mellifera by Candace Fleming, illustrated by Eric Rohmann

Mr. Brain began the picture walk by sharing how exceptional Candace Fleming’s writing is Honeybee – and definitely encouraging us spend time reading it. (I highly recommend checking out Mr. Brian’s Calling Caldecott post!) With only 10 minutes (or so) per book, we sadly did not have time to read it all – but there’s always more to explore with picture books. He talked about how Eric Rohmann created detailed and realistic oil paintings to express this informational story. Mr. Brian also shared how the creators made sure to enlist the help of bee and pollination expert Dr. Mark L. Winston to fact-check their text and art to ensure accuracy. He shared that “bees are our friends. It’s okay to be nervous around bees, but we need them.” (Honeybee could be wonderfully paired with The Thing About Bees: A Love Letter by Eric-Shabazz Larkin.) He helped us think critically about perspective as Eric Rohmann shows small parts of Apis and gradually reveals her cell and bee community to show her very busy life. He also talked about how Candace Fleming builds anticipation for flying while Apis does all the things. Our group definitely noticed how realistic the art is in Honeybee.

Here are some of their great comments:

“I think they look pretty real from the illustrating.” 

“The lighting makes the bees look really real, with the shading in the colors.”

“They are scientifically real.”

“The little details make it look real.”

“The hair texture makes it feel like I could FEEL it.

“Whoah… that literally looks like a movie scene.”

“This book shows you a lot of the bee’s life.”

“The pollen in its hair is EXTREMELY REALISTIC, it’s almost scary.”

Our Caldecott Club was entranced by the cinematic way Apis’s story is told. We, of course, had to film the dramatic page turn to open up the gatefold and see Apis flying. Mr. Brian talked about how the color palette and shapes change as she encounters the outside world.

This book also provoked personal connections from stories of ways people have helped bees to stories of being stung (ouch!). It also inspired some great scientific questions about dying queens, bee language and communication, and their life cycle. I was particularly charmed when we talked about bees dancing – and participants did their own wiggly bee dance in response. Outstanding picture books should make us all dance.

We Are Water Protectors by Carole Lindstrom, illustrated by Michaela Goade

I (Eti) began our discussion by asking, “how is water important to you in your daily life?” People shared different answers from drinking, bathing, hydration, keeping us alive, hygiene like hand washing and teeth brushing and watering plants. S. added “soaking when I am weary.” This helped frame our discussion thinking about our relationship to water. 

We talked about how this book is based on Indigenous-led movements to protect our water and land, specifically the water protectors at Standing Rock. I was able to share some of the research that Michaela Goade did to honor those who were there, including showing photographs of water protectors and Indigenous art, thanks to attending the ALSC Institute this past fall.

We began our picture walk through We are Water Protectors and it was clear our group was engrossed in this beautiful book. They were engaged by the art style, which C. said, “I think the art style is as if it were carved in stone…” The vivid watercolors absolutely draw in readers – and I only wish the digital version could do it justice. Looking at the image about coming from water, L. & S. noted, “it seems like the circle of life.” Michaela Goade’s use of circles, curves, and waves throughout the book effectively show the circular nature of water – and our relationship to it. Our group had much to say on the startling spread predicting the damage the black snake would unleash.

One reader remarked, “It’s (the oil) spilling into the water – and it makes me ashamed for some humans that did it.” We talked about how the illustration shows the animals running away from the pipeline that is destroying their home. C. suggested, “The goose on the right is deformed which maybe symbolizes what the “snake” will do to animals.” Another person shared, “I don’t like it because it’s trying to destroy their home.” Our group had very strong reactions to the black snake, which shows the effectiveness of Michaela Goade’s art and Carole Lindstrom’s powerful words. On the red spread with just the pipeline snake, L. & S. said, “It seems angry and evil.” I love how C. noticed, “it makes the tree over there die,” which I had literally never noticed before.

But our attention was not focused on the extraction industry, but on the water protectors banding together. We immediately talked about how beautifully “strong and determined,” the girl looks as she urges us to take courage. Y. said, “she is determined and her hair-water has animals and plants,” helping us see how the water grows stronger in her hair as she rallies her people.

We Are Water Protectors | Carole Lindstrom | Macmillan

We talked about the shift in perspective as the book focuses on how she fights for the creatures, animals, and plants who cannot speak for themselves, leading to the dramatic page turn when we are looking down at the earth.

Interior Image

One participant said, “it shows all the animals together around the earth, in the earth, plants and water.” L. added, “the animals and people are together fighting against the snake.” We talked about how this image shows how interconnected we all are, as the text declares, “we are all related.” (I love the Earth spread so much!) We talked about the powerful repetition of the refrain,” We stand/with our songs/and our drums/we are still here,” which gains momentum with each chorus, growing the community of water protectors who are still advocating for the water right now. Finally, we reached the grand finale with the beautiful diverse community of water protectors standing up, youth and Elders together in solidarity. As always, we looked for and found our friend with the eagle feather standing up against the black snake.

Interior Image

I made sure to point out the outstanding back-matter (you know how much I love good back-matter) and the Earth Steward and Water Protector Pledge. (There’s a copy of the pledge (and other fantastic educational resources) in our Grab & Go Kits.) I also shared that we were honored to have Carole Lindstrom send us a signed We are Water Protectors poster that we will raffle at our Voting Party in January. Thank you so much, Carole!

Check out Young Water Protectors: A story about Standing Rock by Aslan Tudor,
and his new book Young Native Activists: Growing Up in Native American Rights Movements!

Mr. Brian then kindly led us in our movement break where people could get their wiggles out through jumping backs or any other kind of movement that they preferred to get their bodies moving before our next book. It’s hard to sit for so long, especially later at night!

The Ocean Calls: A Haenyeo Mermaid Story by Tina Cho, illustrated by Jess X. Snow

We began our picture walk by talking about how Jess X. Snow created the art digitally with hand-painted textures and line work. Accordion to Jess X. Snow, “The Ocean Calls was created through drawings made with Procreate with the apple pencil on the iPad, which is the preferred medium that I use for illustration work these days. After the inking was done, these drawings were then colored in digitally with watercolor and gouache brushes, and then sent into photoshop, where I then layered it with hand-made textures of paper, and textures of real rocks, underwater, bubbles, and sand.” How cool is that! It’s also worth noting that Jess worked collaboratively with Yuan Zheng, the primary assistant, who also did the character designs. They also worked with Zoraida Ingles and Sean Devare as assistants to finish the coloring. These collaborators are all named on the copyright page.   

We talked about how this book is based on the real-life haenyeo of Jeju Island in South Korea, Korea’s southernmost island, who are professional women divers and marine specialists who understand the sea’s ecological environment, passing down their knowledge intergenerationally as they support their families. (There’s so much more to discuss and explore in the incredible back-matter, of course…) I was able to share some awesome images that Jess X. Snow shared during a recent Facebook Live storytime with Tina Cho that I highly recommend watching. It’s clear that they put so much care and attention into crafting each illustration and ensuring the haenyeo were respectfully and accurately depicted.

We began our journey by talking about Dayeon’s feelings wanting to be a “treasure-hunting mermaid” like her grandmother juxtaposed with the scary experience she had in the water last summer. We talked about how the visuals express Dayeon’s worry about diving with her grandmother. One reader shared, “She feels worried that it’s gonna happen again.” We noted how her grandmother helps her develop the skills needed to dive, practicing breathing and ensuring her gear is on correctly. This book uses mermaid imagery throughout the book, so I told our group to make sure to look for it. They noticed their mermaid-shadows in the field of canola flowers. 

We talked about how the art almost works like animation or a comic to show Dayeon’s progression into the water. Our group thought about what they would do if they were called to the ocean with the grandmother. We talked about how the art shows the grandmother supporting Dayeon and taking each step in the process gradually and carefully. When they finally dive, we noticed the continual mermaid imagery from the mermaid in the background to the fins in the bubbles.

We experienced a magical page turn when they finally head into the underwater world of treasures, the color palette shifting to show more purples, reds and oranges. A reader pointed out, “I like the dolphins – they look so cool. It’s just really pretty. I don’t think there’s real purple water, but it’s really pretty.” We talked about how Jess X. Snow used a surreal fantastical palette to make this experience feel magical and full of possibility.

As the sun sets, we experienced another perspective shift to view of the boat of haenyeo from above, with the mermaids in the water – and Dayeon feeling “at home in the sea.. Like a mermaid, like a true haenyeo.” We then marveled at the awesome back-matter to check out later – and the gorgeous bird’s eye view of Jeju Island as the end paper. 

You Matter by Christian Robinson

Mr. Brian shared how Christian Robinson’s art is playful and whimsical and wonderful, using acrylic paint and collage to create the art. He shared that this book explores shifting perspectives and points of view. We began our picture walk with a girl looking into a microscope, noticing the shapes and textures of the collage. Mr. Brian shared how the illustration shows the sea creature swimming against the tide, going its own way. We then go back to prehistoric times with creatures coming up from the water, charting our long history. We then zoom in on the mosquito being a mosquito, pulling back on the big reveal biting the t-rex.

We then see the bigger picture of the asteroid hitting the Earth as the dinosaurs running. Our perspective shifts even more as we zoom out into outer space.

We talked about the astronaut is missing someone on Earth and immediately the perspective shifts to an apartment building on Earth with a child holding a rocket. Our group suggested that the child might be the astronaut’s kid, showing the interconnectedness within the story. This book calls us to notice all the little details! The busy street can make us feel lost and alone, but Mr. Brian pointed out that on the next page, they’re together again with the dog. We talked about the oldest thing on the “old and young” page, thinking about the ancient tree. When we looked at the people feeding the pigeons, Mr. Brian pointed out it paralleled the creature coming out from the ocean in the beginning, repeating the same text, coming full circle. When we looked at “the small stuff too small to see,” Mr. Brian made us think about all the small creatures all around us.

Our perspective shifted to be in an airplane looking down at the city streets we’ve been exploring – and then we’re looking down from the point of view of the airplane. It seems really simple but everything is connected together. As Christian Robinson has said, “You matter simply because you’re here because you exist.”

Did you know that you can get a You Matter bookmark in our Grab & Go Kits?

Make sure to check out Making Space with Christian Robinson! We did the activity below in our summer Junior Justice League session and it was exactly what our hearts needed.

VOTING!

After we had walked through each book in a whirlwind of color and conversation, we were ready to vote. This year, since we met virtually, I created a google form for people to vote for their first and second choice. (If you’re interested in the technical details, I downloaded the results into an spreadsheet, changed the 1s to 3s (since 1st place gets 3 points, 2 gets 2) and then added up the totals. I then was able to screenshare to show how we got our results for full transparency.

And the Session 2 Winners Are…

We Are Water Protectors by Carole Lindstrom, illustrated by Michaela Goade

The Ocean Calls by Tina Cho, illustrated by Jess X. Snow

Join Us Next Time!

Please join us for our next Caldecott Club session on January 4, 2021 from 7:00-8:15pm CST, where we will pick our final 2 books to go to our Voting Party! You can pick up a free Grab & Go Program Kit at Lincolnwood Library in our Great Green Box or contact me to pick up a kit. You can also access our digital Grab & Go Kit at https://bit.ly/3pIi0QJ. Check out what’s in our program kit in the video below!

Since you’ve spent all this time reading this post, I’ll even let you know which books we’ll be discussing. You can even watch us share the reveals below:

All Because You Matter by Tami Charles, illustrated by Bryan Collier

Swashby and the Sea by Beth Ferry, illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal

Our Little Kitchen by Jillian Tamaki

Magnificent Homespun Brown by Samara Cole Doyon, illustrated by Kaylani Juanita

Resources

You can put Caldecott Club books on hold at our libraries here.

I have created a RESOURCE GUIDE with activities, videos, podcasts, program kit supplies, handouts, and more to share the sources we’ve used and continue the learning! We hope it will be useful for you to explore these books at home – and maybe even create your own Caldecott Club!

But wait, there’s more! Make plans to join out Caldecott Club Voting Party on TUESDAY, January 19 where we will pick the winner(s) of our Mock Caldecott. And then, we’ll join together to watch selections from the Youth Media Awards on January 25! That’s right, it’s three Caldecott Club events in January to start 2021 with beautiful picture book celebrations!

Thanks for sticking all the way through this post… I hope to see you next time at Caldecott Club!

 – Eti

Program Recap: Herpetology with The Frog Lady

Posted & filed under Blog, Uncategorized, Youth & Teen.

In November, the Lincolnwood Public Library hosted Deb Krohn (The Frog Lady) to give all ages an introduction to Herpetology. Everyone got to look at frogs, snakes, and turtles. Here are some highlights of things that were discussed:

-What makes a frog poisonous and how can you tell?

-What does each animal eat and how they live

-How they interact with other animals

Everyone got to see every animal up close. The Frog Lady even answered questions on raising our participant’s amphibians and what they can do to keep them healthy! Check out some highlights on our social media!

One of our biggest animal guests!

Rescue Bears Experience with Erin Fountain of Institute for Positive Mental Health

Posted & filed under Blog, Youth & Teen.

Join our Junior Justice League on December 8 at 3:30pm CST for a Rescue Bear-Making Experience with Erin Fountain, Executive Director of Institute for Positive Mental Health (IPMH). Register here to join our live session.

The Institute for Positive Mental Health (IPMH) is a 501(c)(3) for-impact community mental health organization. They were founded in 1994 and have been known for many years throughout the South and West side for their EXCEL Job Training and Work First Program, their Entrepreneurship Program developing holistic body care products, and as makers of Rescue Bears from mismatched socks. We partnered with Erin last year for a fantastic bear-making program in person – so we’re so honored to be able to partner with the Institute for Positive Mental Health again to host a community-wide virtual Rescue Bear-Making Experience.

“We will take an old, lonely, forgotten sock and turn it into an adorable Rescue Bear,” Erin shared. “ The purpose of the Bear Making Experience is to give people hope during difficult times. Rescue bears are individually crafted and designed to demonstrate THAT and HOW we give purpose and meaning to our world. Once created, Rescue Bears are gifted to people who need a little something to hold onto. They also make a wonderful personalized and unique gift. No two bears are ever alike and there’s no wrong way to make a Bear.” 

Erin will guide us through the steps to make our Rescue Bears, offering tips, answering questions, and sharing ideas to help us make them unique and special. This is a program that is perfect to do as a family, especially when using crafting supplies like scissors and glue guns. Due to the small pieces, Rescue Bears are recommended for children ages 8 and up, especially middle schoolers and teens. Some adult supervision is recommended for young people, especially while using scissors and glue guns. 

Grab & Go Program Kits

We have created free Grab & Go Program Kits to pick up in our Great Green Box at the library, while supplies last, available starting November 30.

They will include: 2 socks, stuffing, mini-rubber bands, googly eyes, a card (to write a note to the person you’ll gift your bear to), and directions.

You’ll need to find these supplies at home: scissors, sharpie, hot glue gun with glue sticks OR fabric glue OR needle & thread, other crafting accessories such as pompons, buttons, feathers, fabric, etc.

You can always make a bear using the supplies you have at home and adapt the directions below accordingly. 

You can join us live on December 8 or you can use this post with our Grab & Go Kit to do this activity at your convenience. You can start by watching these videos.

How to Make a Rescue Bear

We have provided two socks, so you can plan to keep your first bear. This is the bear you are experimenting on and learning how to make a rescue bear. There’s no ONE way to make a bear and no two will be alike. Large socks make large bears; baby socks make baby bears. The heel of the sock will become the face of the bear so select your sock with that in mind. Most accessories are made from sock parts as well. There is no sewing involved. Recycled parts and pieces are valuable accessories.

Adapt these directions to best express your vision for your Rescue Bear. Due to the small pieces, Rescue Bears are recommended for ages 8 and up. Some adult supervision is recommended for young people, especially while using scissors and glue guns.

Select your sock. Orient it so the heel is the head. Put a little bit of fluff in the two bottom corners to make the feet. Wrap a rubber band around each foot.

Fill the rest of the body with fluff (but not too much). Take some fluff and push it out on the sides of the sock to make the arms. Wrap a rubber band around each arm.

Put a rubber band around the bottom of the heel to make a neck.

Fill the heel with fluff.

Wrap a rubber band around the head. (Rubber bands may be a bit fragile, so be careful not to pull them too tightly.) 

Cut the extra sock off but leave enough sock to make ears. Cut the extra sock into circles (ears) using sewing scissors. Put rubber bands around both of them. 

Put fluff in the ears. Put the fluff in with scissors and then glue it shut with a glue gun, fabric glue, or hand-sewing. 

Use a glue gun or fabric glue to affix the eyes. 

Draw on paws and the face with a sharpie.

Using the extra sock material, you can make a hat or scarf. Use the crafting accessories as desired. Be creative. You can even make a personalized facemask for your bear! 

Make plans to safely (think contactless) share your completed Rescue Bear with someone who could use it. Use the card to write a message to the person you’re gifting the bear to.

We’d love to see what you have created and how you’ve shared your bear with others to help them. 

Share pictures/video of your Rescue Bears with us on social media or via email at youthservices@lincolnwoodlibrary.org

Caldecott Club 2021: Session #1

Posted & filed under Blog, Book Discussions, Early Literacy, Youth & Teen.

Welcome to our 2021 Caldecott Club! I’m Miss Eti, one of the Youth & Teen Services librarians at Lincolnwood Library. We have come full circle during this, our 4th Caldecott Club, inspired by the fantastic program that Brian Wilson created at Evanston Public Library in 2016. This year we are hosting a collaborative virtual Caldecott Club WITH Mr. Brian and Evanston Public Library. Things will be a bit different in our virtual program, but the joyful fun of exploring awesome books together will be the same. And now we have the opportunity to welcome people from across our community – and beyond – to celebrate beautiful picture books together!

We met together on Zoom on November 9 with a group of wonderful readers, their families, and friends to talk about all things picture books. We were even joined by friends in other states, including teachers and a library school student! We were joined by our program buddy, Ms. Ann, and our Evanston Library buddies, Laura and Louise.

We designed this program to be open to kids from around 1st grade through 8th grade because picture books are for everybody and everyone can learn from each other. I’ve tried to recap their brilliance in this post.

We began our program by reviewing what the Caldecott Award is. Mr. Brian shared how it is the award for the most distinguished American picture book for children, given out each year by the Association for Library Service to Children. He pointed out last year’s Caldecott medal winner, The Undefeated, illustrated by Kadir Nelson, written by Kwame Alexander, as well as the Honor books, Bear Came Along, illustrated by LeUyen Pham, written by Richard T. Morris, Double Bass Blues, illustrated by Rudy Gutierrez, written by Andrea J. Loney, & Going Down Home With Daddy, illustrated by Daniel Minter, written by Kelly Starling Lyon. Thank you to Curt Leppert at Baker & Taylor who has shared print posters with us in years past – and provided this graphic for us to use this year. You can find it in our resources.

Mr. Brian then talked about the criteria for evaluating picture books. Shoutout to Holly Jin at Skokie Public Library for sharing this resource with me in past years to make the evaluation language more accessible. Brian and I emailed the criteria handout to those who registered to print out or view during the program if they wanted to use it.

Once we established our criteria, we were ready to explore the books. Mr. Brian put the books in a cardboard box, so he could dramatically open it just like the grown-up committee does when books arrive in the mail.

The books we discussed in session 1 were:

A Girl like Me by Angela Johnson, illustrated by Nina Crews

I Am Every Good Thing by Derrick Barnes, illustrated by Gordon C. James

Lift by Minh Lê, illustrated by Dan Santat

The Old Truck by Jerome Pumphrey & Jarrett Pumphrey

I guess this is the place I should put a spoiler alert for all the books we’re discussing…

Picture Walk

Rather than doing a formal read aloud of each book, we did picture walks. For the picture walk, we discussed each book’s visual features to examine the techniques the artists used and how they worked. Often we would prompt the group by asking them: How well does this book do what it’s trying to do? What did you notice? What does it make you wonder? How does this page make you feel? What makes this art distinguished? (Shout out to Megan Dowd Lambert’s Whole Book Approach. I highly recommend her book, Reading Picture Books with Children: How to Shake Up Storytime and Get Kids Talking about What They See.)

We used a strategy that ended up working well last year in person: scanning in the books so everyone could see them. While we had our copies of the physical books (insert my soapbox about books as objects, case cover secrets, and the texture and smell of picture books), it was very helpful to have digital versions to share with the group. We also added to our usual picture walk toolbox by encouraging participants to share and listen in lots of ways. People could unmute themselves and talk, raise their hands, use the chat, and use the reactions – and people did all of these things throughout the program, so ended up having a rich discussion in many places at the same time.

A Girl like Me by Angela Johnson, illustrated by Nina Crews

I (Eti) began our discussion by sharing some of the behind-the-scenes details about Nina Crews’ process to make A Girl Like Me. According to Nina, she made “patterns, scanned hand-made textures and used vector shapes created in Photoshop and collaged these with my photographs.” I was able to share some process pictures including thumbnails, sketches, and photoshoots she did with real girls – and emphasize how these real kids are the stars of this book, with their names on the copyright page and facts about them at the end. It was also able to share it as an ebook directly from Hoopla, which you can borrow and read without any waiting.

We began our discussion about A Girl Like Me by talking about the crowds of people who tell the girl who is flying that she shouldn’t be. L & S said, “they look mad.” We talked about Nina Crews used silhouettes to personify the crowds of naysayers – and how the girls have the color and focus on the page. When we explored the spread about the girl in the flowing scarves and a cowgirl hat, another participant pointed out, “she looks confident and brave.” Another participant noticed how “the building is slanted away from us and she’s standing upright, so she’s almost popping out of the building.” Another reader pointed out, “isn’t there a saying, on top of the world?” which is really the perfect way to express the emotions you feel looking at this spread. When we explored the spread with the girl swimming, someone pointed out that “her face makes it look like she’s trying to be a fish.” Ms. Ann commented, “This one is my favorite — she looks like a beautiful mermaid!!” Someone else added, “she looks like a dolphin too, when you see pictures of dolphins jumping out of the water.”

When the girls find community in the real world, people pointed out how much fun they are having with the capes and hats – and there are no grown-ups. We talked about how when the girls come together in the real world, walking past tall buildings, Nina Crews composed the real world elements to still feel fantastical. When we talked about the spread of the girls looking up at the butterflies on the way to the ocean, people pointed out how butterflies symbolize freedom and “they can do what they want.” Y & Z shared, “They chose butterflies because Monarchs migrate which means they are free.” We talked about the finale at the beach where they are all exploring their own interests. Another reader pointed out the buildings in the background, where they have journeyed from, perhaps swimming or boating to the beach. We talked about Nina Crews’ use of different geometric shapes throughout the book and what they symbolize. L. shared that “I think she used the stars because they are having fun.”

I Am Every Good Thing by Derrick Barnes, illustrated by Gordon C. James

Mr. Brian began his picture walk of I Am Every Good Thing by sharing that the boy on the cover is the illustrator, Gordon C. James’s, son, Gabriel. Gordon C. James shared in an NPR interview, “My son is autistic, and so he doesn’t often get asked to do things or asked to be the center of things…It was powerful to illustrate his child “looking like how I feel he sees himself and how we see him as his family.” Mr. Brian shared how it is a celebration of joyful Black boyhood. He shared how the boys are doing different things throughout the book with the oil painting art sometimes being realistic and sometimes being expressionistic to show the feelings and moods the boys are feeling. We talked about how much we love the cover and how it makes you feel – and the sensory experience of the textured gold lettering.

We talked about how Derrick Barnes dedicated the book to Tamir Rice, Trayvon Martin, EJ Bradford, Jordan Edwards, Michael Brown, Jordan Davis, and Julian Mallory, who were Black young people who were killed, who come from families who love them and are unconditionally deserving of love and a future. Gordon dedicated the book “to my son, Gabriel, and all little brothers like him.”

Our journey began with the flying boy. A reader shared, “I really like this picture because he looks like flying – but it really looks realistic like a regular kid who happens to have wings on him.” D. pointed out that the “cape looks like feathers of a bird.” Y & Z shared, “he’s going fast.”

Mr. Brian then pointed out how the next spread of the boys playing in the snow is more realistic. Ms. Ann pointed out the shadows on the spread make it look like “like during real winter.” We then talked about the skateboarding boy and how he felt after falling down. L. shared, “You can’t give up right away because you’d never do it again and then you would think about it and maybe want to try again.” Another reader shared how they did that with their bike. Our group noticed how determined he looks. L. shared that “I like the sole of his shoe.” (I literally never noticed it until this kid pointed it out, which is amazing!) Mr. Brian pointed out how Gordon C. James’ art draws your eye to the shoe and makes it look real.

Mr. Brian then showed how the next spread is more fantastical with the boy looking into the microscope and the other exploring space. He drew our attention to how the art in the background reveals what the boys are looking at, mixing molecules and the cosmos. L & S shared that “it seems like the book is showing different jobs.”

We talked about how Gordon C. James hired models to inspire the kids throughout the book, which helps make it all feel real. The next spread returns to realism with the boy standing with his grandmother “looking at something intently,” according to Y & Z.

Mr. Brian asked about the emotions on the “coooooooool breeze” spread with people pointing out how happy and silly the boys look. They personify that perfect paper airplane metaphor with the joyful fun they are having. On the next spread, L & S pointed out that “he seems like a star himself.”Mr. Brian asked if we’d want to join the boys having fun in the pool, which we wholeheartedly agreed we’d love to do. He talked about how the colorful art expresses this joy. Mr. Brian talked about how the art expresses movement on the page where he’s playing basketball and baseball.

On the next spread, the kids shared how he looks “serious and calm” when “people are saying bad things to him.” Ms. Ann pointed out he looks “strong with the halo behind him.” Mr. Brian shared how the words hurt but he doesn’t let them defeat him.

Mr. Brain shared how amazed he is by the versatility in the art in showing so many different experiences and settings to convey the themes of the book. As Gordon C. James shared, “I wanted through the illustrations for these kids to feel empowered …I want them all to feel like they belong everywhere, like there are no limits to the places they should be, or the things that they can be. No part of this life — this full, amazing life — should be off limits to you just because of who you are.”

Mr. Brian talked about the double-page spread showing their ancestors and successful Black men who have come before them – with the confident boys at the front of the spread, looking directly at the reader, happy and proud. We admired the final spread of the boy who is very expressive, declaring, “I am worthy to be loved.”

Good news! You can participate in the Penguin Kids #IAmEveryGoodThingContest. Here are the details: “Do your kids have their own affirmations like the ones in the uplifting picture book? We want to see them! Submit a photo of your kid holding a sign that says “I Am…” followed by a positive adjective for a chance to win a custom portrait from Gordon C. James! There are two ways to enter: 1) Share your photos on Instagram using the hashtag #IAmEveryGoodThingContest 2) Submit using this link. The contest ends November 30 – but sharing affirmations is forever.

We then took a quick movement break to get our wiggles out. People could participate by doing jumping jacks or whatever they preferred to move a bit after sitting through two picture walks.

Lift by Minh Lê, illustrated by Dan Santat

Mr. Brian began the picture walk by asking us who likes graphic novels. Everyone’s hands went up. He shared how Minh Lê also loves graphic novels and wrote the amazing Green Lantern: Legacy graphic novel, which is illustrated by Andie Tong. (We’ll actually be discussing it at Books & Bites in the winter!) He shared that Dan Santat also loves graphic novels – and created Lift basically like a comic book brought to life. This is also a funny book, so he encouraged us to look for the comical expressions, body language, perspective, and camera angles!

Mr. Brian pointed out how Dan Santat shows motivation on the characters’ expressions and body language. We noticed how Iris is surprised by the baby pressing the button, then mad, and then green with envy. Then betrayal again! Mr. Brian shared how miserable everyone is after Iris presses all the buttons. He then pointed out how we’re looking up at Iris from the garbage can when she looking at the broken elevator button and what an innovative way it is to show perspective. (Is it just me or is the elevator repair man a Stan Lee cameo? Can we just make this canon?)

Mr. Brian showed the power of the dramatic page turn going from the button dinging and Iris traveling through the door. As A. pointed out, “welcome to Narnia.” Mr. Brian pointed out the realistic tiger in the jungle, connecting to the stuffed tiger in the real world. Ms. Ann pointed out, “The tiger has Iris’s name on its belly!! It must have been hers!” D. pointed out, “I think she wants to go back because she realizes the tiger is “her” tiger.” Mr. Brian showed how the art reveals how unhappy Iris is compared to how fun her sibling and babysitter are having – making it a hilarious sequence.

We had a great prediction suggesting that Iris would go to outer space. As Iris lifts off the floor, a reader pointed out that it looks like no gravity. After the dramatic page turn, Y & Z pointed out that “it looks like the International Space Station.” Ms. Laura pointed out, “that’s a magic button!”

Mr. Brian pointed out how Iris finally smiles after she has the lovely moment with her sibling reading Summit – and decides to bring them with her to the button. D. suggested, “There are snowflakes on the page with the cat as foreshadowing.” Ms. Ann added, “Kitty is going inside too!” (I’m here for a spin-off adventure with their cat…) A reader pointed out how the sibling was thinking about their story, Summit, which led them to their wintery imagined world. Laura added, “books take you places.” Mr. Brian pointed out how Iris is with her sibling at the final endpapers. We then had to share the case cover secret because it is glorious. We closed by asking everyone where would you want to go with a magic doorbell? Y & Z suggested Hogwarts. A. said, “to meet people.” Another reader said, “outer space since I want to be an astronaut when I grow up and I don’t really want to wait that long.”

Case cover secret!!

The Old Truck by Jerome Pumphrey & Jarrett Pumphrey

I (Eti) began our picture walk by talking about how this This Old Truck is created by brothers, Jerome Pumphrey & Jarrett Pumphrey, who are co-author-illustrators. I talked a bit about the process how they created this book with over 250 handmade stamps, challenging themselves with limitations to provoke creativity. Jarrett and Jerome shared their process with Jules Danielson on her invaluable blog, Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast: “Once we had stamps, we’d use them to make prints with black ink on Bristol board. If an object appeared on multiple spreads, we’d use the same stamp but make multiple prints, so each appearance of the object in the book would be unique. That was a rule we gave ourselves. Another rule was to never use the same stamp twice on the same spread. So even though all those trees kind of look the same, each one got its own stamp with its own print.”

We began our picture walk by predicting the setting, considering that maybe it’s by a greenhouse or about nature or farmlands. We talked about how the story starts even before you get to the title page, cold open style. (L& S even pointed out, “in the first picture before the title page the mom was pregnant.” What careful artist eyes!) We thought about how the Pumphreys use limitations creatively, using only 8 colors and using them well.

We discussed how the old truck worked long. One reader suggested how it could drive things to the market. We noticed how the colors shifted between spreads, subtly showing how the seasons have changed, perhaps also showing the transition to harvest time. We talked about how the perspective changed as we look straight ahead at the barn, but the truck never moves throughout the book. Also, I love the chickens and they are my favorite.

We talked about the dramatic tone shift as the girl/truck dream and sail the world and go on adventures. We pondered whether the girl was dreaming of the truck or the truck was dreaming of the girl. It got very metaphysical and I’m here for it. Y & Z. pointed out the great use of personification. L & S shared, it’s “showing her love for the truck.”

We talked how the art shows the passage of time as the truck and the girl grow older – and learns how to take care of the farm and the tractor. We noticed how the weeds around the old truck are growing with each spread. We talked about the illustrators used whitespace to show us the truck covered in snow. L & S said, “the truck is covered in snow.” D. said, it “helps us know the truck is under there because the truck stayed in the same place.” Another reader shared “it kind of looks perfect because the snow is only on the roof and windows of the house.”

Our group shared some predictions for what the new farmer – the girl all grown up – would do with the truck. Some suggested she would sell it or take it somewhere or maybe broke it. Y & Z shared “she fixed it and made it better.” We pointed out how the “but she dreamed and persisted” spread works like comic panels to show the passage of time and the hard work she put into fixing the truck.

A reader suggested how she made the fixed truck her own, likely replacing things to make it like she wants it. In the finale, after the “vroooom!!”, we see our chicken friends again who are startled by the car noise. On the next spread, we see her daughter on the truck, showing the generations of perseverance and persistence and hard work taking care of the land. I then shared how this book is inspired by the incredible women in Jerome Pumphrey & Jarrett Pumphrey’s life.

VOTING!

After we had walked through each book in a whirlwind of color and conversation, we were ready to ballot. This year, since we met virtually, I created a google form for people to vote for their first and second choice. (If you’re interested in the technical details, I downloaded the results into an spreadsheet, changed the 1s to 3s (since 1st place gets 3 points, 2 gets 2) and then added up the totals. I then was able to screenshare to show how we got our results for full transparency. While we were waiting for everyone to vote (and for me to do the maths), we played a read aloud of I Am Every Good Thing by Derrick Barnes & Gordon C. James.

And the Session 1 Winners Are…

Lift by Minh Lê, illustrated by Dan Santat

The Old Truck by Jerome Pumphrey & Jarrett Pumphrey

Join Us Next Time!

Please join us for our next Caldecott Club session on December 7, 2020 from 7:00-8:15pm CST! I am also working on creating Caldecott Club Grab & Go Kits to pick up at Lincolnwood Library. Register for the program here and we’ll contact you to pick up your free Grab & Go Program Kit through our curbside pick-up. You can also access our digital Grab & Go Kit at https://bit.ly/3pIi0QJ.

Since you’ve spent all this time reading this post, I’ll even let you know which books we’ll be discussing. You can even watch us share the reveals below:

  • We Are Water Protectors by Carole Lindstrom, illustrated by Michaela Goade
  • The Ocean Calls by Tina Cho, illustrated by Jess X. Snow
  • Honeybee by Candace Fleming, illustrated by Eric Rohmann
  • You Matter by Christian Robinson

Resources

You can put Caldecott Club books on hold at our libraries here.

I have created a RESOURCE GUIDE with activities, videos, podcasts, program kit supplies, handouts, and more to share the sources we’ve used and continue the learning! We hope it will be useful for you to explore these books at home – and maybe even create your own Caldecott Club!

Thanks for sticking all the way through this post… I hope to see you next time at Caldecott Club!

 – Eti

Program Workshop: Comics and Drawing Workshop with Author Jarod Rosello

Posted & filed under Blog, Uncategorized, Youth & Teen.

Jarod Rosello, author of Red Panda and Moon Bear, lead a workshop on drawing techniques as well as storytelling. Check out some of the highlights as well as the works in process that all participants made as a group

Learning about when to use text (to describe mood) vs. drawings (establish setting, characters)

What makes a good character to draw in a comic (repeatable, distinguished)

Ways to outline a story (have an endpoint)

Ways and prompts to warm up drawing and get your creative juices flowing

Drawing an alien – all participants gave their input on how it should look

creating our own story and comic and at the end with our new characters

Be sure to check out Red Panda and Moon Bear, Books & Bites With Eti, Caldecott Club, and other programs related to graphic novels and drawing!

Get Out the Vote 2020

Posted & filed under Blog, Youth & Teen.

For several years, Lincolnwood Public Library’s Junior Justice League, our community activism program for young people in 3rd-8th grade, has participated in Get Out the Vote projects to inspire our community to vote, which included posting signs and/or sending out postcards for the 2018 midterm elections, village, school and library elections, and the 2020 spring primaries.

Get Out the Vote Postcards (November 2018 Midterm Election)
“Drive with kitty cuteness to the polls” -K. (March 2020 Primary)

This year, we hosted a special National Voter Registration Day session on September 22 on Zoom to Get Out the Vote together. We were joined by Niles Township Supervisor Bonnie Kahn Ognisanti, Assistant to the Supervisor, Jen Steiner, & local community group Lincolnwood Together founder Caren Ex, who shared the importance of civic engagement and participation in our democracy. We created a short version of this program below that you can watch at your convenience.

You can pick up a Get Out the Vote Postcard Kit at the library to participate in this activity on your own time, while supplies last. Our all-ages Get Out the Vote Postcard Kit (with art made by Kate) can offer a fun, engaging opportunity for families and friends to come together to talk about civic engagement and democracy, whether in person or virtually. (You could even host your own postcard writing activity on Zoom!) You can also use your own postcards. All you need are some basic art supplies.

Get Out the Vote Postcards Directions

Using your own style, decorate the postcard and write a personal message to inspire others to vote, such as “Raise your Voice,” “Every Vote Matters,” or “Make a Plan to Vote.” 

Address the postcard on the right side of the postcard. You can attach a stamp or if you bring the postcard to the Youth Librarians, we can mail the postcard for you. Make sure to mail your postcards. 

Treat yourself to a Voting sticker for a job well done.  

Make a plan with your family to vote this fall.

You can access our Get Out the Vote Postcard templates and directions here.

Voting Resources

Lincolnwood Library provides lots of resources about voting to help you find the information you need about registering, researching candidates, finding your polling place, and more. You can pick up a sample ballot at the library, as well as a special mailer with informative resources to help you do your research.

You can check our Voting page at https://lincolnwoodlibrary.org/vote.

You can access our Get Out the Vote Postcard templates and directions here.

Check out our Voting display in the library & borrow some fantastic books to learn more about raising your voice for all ages.

An Evening with Francisco X. Stork

Posted & filed under Blog.

We were honored to virtually host beloved author Francisco X. Stork in a collaboration between Lincolnwood Public Library & Skokie Public Library on Thursday, September 24. Jarrett Dapier, a teen librarian at Skokie Public Library, hosted a thoughtful heart-to-heart conversation that showcased his longtime appreciation and in-depth knowledge of Stork’s work and its impact on young readers. I am so grateful for the opportunity to hear Francisco share his journey as a young adult writer and the craft of creativity. We were joined by people around the country, which makes our author visit even more special, knowing we’re connecting our communities far and wide. We also partnered with our local independent bookstore, Booked, to sell copies of Francisco’s books. You can order them here.

One of the things I like about Young Adult Literature is that it’s okay to give hope – Francisco X. Stork

We are grateful that Francisco has given us permission to record and share his author visit.

Resources

We shared a variety of resources during our program, as well as collected in preparation for our visit. We hope you will find them useful as you read and share Francisco X. Stork’s work.

Francisco’s Journal

Writing Without Anxiety (Francisco’s Journal)

Francisco’s Website

Writing About Migrant Justice and Asylum for a YA Audience by Francisco X. Stork (Diverse Books Blog)

Speak on It with Francisco X. Stork (YouMediaChicago)

Beyond Borders: Power of Story Presents Speaker Series: Featuring: Aida Salazar (Author, Land of the Cranes), Francisco X. Stork (Author, Illegal), and Kelly Yang (Author, Three Keys) with guest speakers Dr. Carla España & Dr. Sarah Park Dahlen (Scholastic)

Beyond Borders: Immigrant Experiences in Kidlit Further Reading

Sims Bishop, R. (1990). Mirrors, windows, and sliding glass doors. Perspectives, 1(3), ix–xi.

We hope you will join us next for An Evening with Kelly Yang & Jessie Ann Foley on October 15 at 7pm CST. You can register here.

Program Review: Tips for Better Sleep

Posted & filed under Blog, Early Literacy, Uncategorized, Youth & Teen.

What would be the first thing you would do after a good night’s sleep? That was a question that was recently posed at our Early Literacy Event. Recently, Katie Guzan, a certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant, gave a presentation on how both young children and their caregivers can get better sleep. It was beneficial for both kids and adults alike. Please enjoy some of these tips below, or check out more from Sleep Wise Consulting.

Discussing the impact of sleep props for young people

Discussing the importance of a bedtime routine!

Join Junior Justice League to Get Out the Vote

Posted & filed under Blog, Youth & Teen.

Join Lincolnwood Library’s Junior Justice League, a virtual youth community activism program seeking to make a difference in our world while staying connected to your community. Friends who need service hours, this is your opportunity to both complete your requirements AND help support our community!

They will be hosting a special National Voter Registration Day JJL session on September 22 at 3:30pm CST on Zoom for families to Get out the Vote together. This is a fantastic opportunity to bring kids, teens and caregivers together to discuss how to raise your voice. Register with your email address here today!

Niles Township Supervisor Bonnie Kahn Ognisanti & local community group Lincolnwood Together will join us to share the importance of civic engagement and participation in our democracy.

We will create our own Get out the Vote Postcards to encourage people in our lives to vote. You can pick up JJL Postcard Kits in the youth department Lincolnwood Library, while supplies last, or make/use your own postcards. Bring whatever art supplies you like to use to our program.

You can also pick up a Get Out the Vote Postcard Kit to participate in this activity at your own convenience. Feel free to bring your postcards back to the library for us to mail.

Pick up your own Get out the Vote Postcard Kit. Postcard art made by Kate.
Yes, there are stickers in the kits.

Junior Justice League has participated in several Get out the Vote projects in the past, during the mid-term elections in 2018, village, school and library elections, and the spring primaries. Gain inspiration from our young people by checking out these videos showcasing their creative Get Out the Vote postcards!

How delightful is this poster about the 2020 Illinois primary that young JJL friend, K., made? It makes me smile every time I see it.

Lincolnwood Library will provide lots of resources and information about voting throughout the fall to help you find the information you need about registering, researching candidates, finding your polling place, and more.

You can check our Voting page at https://lincolnwoodlibrary.org/vote.

Check out our Voting display now & borrow some fantastic books to learn more about raising your voice for all ages.

Program Review: Manga Drawing with the Artistic Dragon

Posted & filed under Blog, Uncategorized, Youth & Teen.

In September, we had Addie from the Artistic Dragon teach a workshop on Manga Character Drawing. Here are some helpful tips and highlights from the program.

1.Draw light! Don’t be heavy handed when you draw

2. Start Simply with circles and basic shapes

3. Break things down to simpler shapes if you’re attempting to draw something hard

4. Don’t overlook simple things like a nose – they can frame the face since they’re in the middle of the head.

We have another drawing workshop next month with author Jarod Rosselo, so be sure to register if you missed this one.

Also be sure to check out our drawing books such as The Master Guide to Drawing Anime by Christopher Hart