Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Caldegeisel? Geiselbery?

With They All Saw A Cat taking the top spot in our Mock Geisel, I’m reminded of the great potential for award crossover we have this year.

Not only does They All Saw A Cat distinguish itself as a beginning reader, but the illustrations exploring the various perspectives have garnered Brendan Wenzel some Mock Caldecott attention as well.But it’s far from the only title with potential for overlap. With so many picture books eligible for both the Geisel and the Caldecott, we’ve seen crossover before with titles like 2016’s Waiting and 2008’s First The Egg. When a book is exceptionally distinguished, it’s not unusual for more than one committee to recognize and reward those qualities. And there is nothing in the criteria that prevents the Newbery committee, for example, from considering books that are also eligible for the Geisel. In fact, the manual contains language specifically cautioning against such a bias. After 2016’s groundbreaking selection of a picture book for the Newbery Medal, will this year’s committee also find themselves impressed by a book for the younger end of their age range? Could this be the year that an easy reader is recognized for the first time since 1973’s Frog and Toad Together?

Below are some titles that we, and others, have recognized as having the potential to sport multiple shiny medals after the committees have had their say.

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This Is Not a Picture Book by Sergio Ruzzier

Robin Smith does a thorough job exploring the Caldecott potential of this delightful book on Calling Caldecott, and also includes a plea to the Geisel Committee to take note. The use of white space (just look at that first spread), an appropriately large font, and fairly decodable text position this as a possibility for the Geisel. Will this be the year that Ruzzier’s imaginative Seussian landscapes receive recognition?

Elephant and Piggie Like Reading

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Between them, Dan Santat and Mo Willems have 4 Caldecott Awards and 7 Geisel Awards, so one cannot discount the possibility that The Cookie Fiasco will receive deserved recognition this year. In our own Mock Geisel, Laurie Keller’s We Are Growing has devoted fans and took third place on our first mock  ballot. Patrick Gall has explored the Caldecott potential of both titles in this new series on Calling Caldecott, and Jonathan Hunt makes the case for one or both appearing on the Newbery table on Heavy Medal. Might either of these titles have advocates on this year’s committees?

We Found a Hat by Jon Klassen

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Jon Klassen has experience with receiving more than one award in a year, as he did in 2013 when he was the second artist to receive two Caldecott medals in the same year.  I Want My Hat Back was a Geisel Honor in 2012 and This Is Not My Hat took Caldecott gold in 2013. Will this third installment in Klassen’s hat trilogy be the one to take both awards?

What other titles do you see as having award crossover potential this year? Any books so distinguished that the committees will have a difficult time placing all of their award seals on the cover?

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