The announcement of the Caldecott winner is always one of the highlights of my year as an avid picture book afficiando. This year’s selection, The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend, is a triumph. With beautiful use of color to express emotion and the story of a budding friendship told directly to the reader, Beekle stole my heart. The 2015 Caldecott Honor books are a treasure trove as well, with my favorite runner-up, VivaFrida! Enjoy the selections below and the comments made about each book by the Caldecott Medal Committee.
2015 Medal Winner
The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend, illustrated and written by Dan Santat
In 4 delightful “visual chapters,” Beekle, an imaginary friend, undergoes an emotional journey looking for his human. Santat uses fine details, kaleidoscopic saturated colors, and exquisite curved and angular lines to masterfully convey the emotional essence of this special childhood relationship. “Santat makes the unimaginable, imaginable,” said Caldecott Medal Committee Chair.
2015 Honor Books
Nana in the City, written and illustrated by Lauren Castillo and published by Clarion Books, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company
Castillo’s evocative watercolor illustrations tell the story of a young boy’s visit to his grandmother, and the reassuring way she helps him to lose his fear and experience the busy, loud city in a new way.
The Noisy Paint Box: The Colors and Sounds of Kandinsky’s Abstract Art, illustrated by Mary GrandPré, written by Barb Rosenstock
Abstract artist Vasily Kandinsky experienced colors as sounds and sounds as colors; he created work that was bold and groundbreaking using colors from his “noisy paint box.” His process is reflected beautifully by GrandPré, whose paint flows across the page in ethereal ribbons of color..
Sam & Dave Dig a Hole, illustrated by Jon Klassen, written by Mac Barnett
Klassen’s use of texture, shape and earth tones in this deceptively simple book invite readers into the experience of two boys, who, accompanied by their dog, set out to dig a hole. Readers will find an unexpected treasure and be challenged to ponder the meaning of “spectacular.”
Viva Frida, illustrated and written by Yuyi Morales
Using a unique variety of media – puppetry, printmaking, painting and photography – combined with an intoxicating use of color and unfailing sense of composition, Morales celebrates the artistic process.
The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus, illustrated by Melissa Sweet, written by Jen Bryant
Sweet’s inspired mixed media illustrations illuminate the personality and work of a man passionately interested in many things. Her collages combine disparate elements to create a cohesive whole, echoing the ways in which Roget ordered the world into lists that evolved into his groundbreaking thesaurus.
This One Summer, illustrated by Jillian Tamaki, written by Mariko Tamaki
Intricately detailed illustrations in shades of indigo are masterfully layered with the text in this graphic novel. The pacing and strong imagery evoke myriad emotions and ground this poignant and painfully realistic coming-of-age story.