During this last week of 2015, I’m going to post lists of my favorite books in different categories. This is the time of year when there’s a lot of buzz about what books will get Newbery and Caldecott honors. When I look at the lists of possibilities, these five are the ones I liked best, not only for the illustrations (which is the sole criteria for the Caldecott), but for the whole package.
Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena, illustrated by Christian Robinson. Published by G. P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
When I reviewed this in April, I liked it, and since then, it’s continued to grow on me. The collage details of the city are evocative of Ezra Jack Keats. The grandmother turned out to be one of my favorite characters of 2015.
Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl’s Courage Changed Music by Margarita Engle and Rafael Lopez. Published by HMH Books for Young Readers.
Every page could be its own vibrant, colorful poster. The book trailer is what really convinced me this is Caldecott worthy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_lruQabrUco
A Fine Dessert: Four Centuries, Four Families, One Delicious Treat by Emily Jenkins and Sophie Blackall. Published by Schwartz and Wade.
I reviewed this back in February, and ever since, it’s been one of my favorites. There’s been a lot of controversy over the depiction of slavery (Google “Fine Dessert Slavery” if you’re not familiar with this), but I stand by my original impression of this as a book that entertains and teaches on many levels.
Float by Daniel Miyares. Published by Simon and Schuster
There have been some great wordless picture books this year. And there have been some beautiful artistic depictions of water this year. This one had both.
The Moon Is Going to Addy’s House by Ida Pearle. Published by Dial Books.
Okay, I admit I have a weakness for cut-paper illustrations. These pictures amaze me. Plus, the text and illustrations perfectly capture the feeling of a child’s world.