Monday, January 9, 2012

Analyze This - My First Caldecott Book Review

Hurray for libraries! Wouldn't you know that the west hernando branch had a reference book which listed the history of all Caldecott winners, Newberry winners and honor books. The book was printed in 2007 so it was missing the last four years but I was still very excited to find it in our small out-in-the-country library. The book provided me with a good listing of books for review and I printed off from 1997-2007 for each award and headed to the computerized library catalog.

West Branch doesn't have holdings for all of the titles but they had enough that I needed to divide my check-out list into manageable sections. I returned home with 15 Caldecott winners. Which should be more than enough for two weeks worth of reviews and also allows me the time to give each of them the attention they deserve. I've never completed a review before so I'm using an example outline from my writing course.

Please note: The  Caldecott medal was first established in 1938 and is named after  19th century English illustrator  Randolph J. Caldecott. The award is given by the American Library Association each year to the illustrator of the most distinguished picture book published in the united States. While the story is taken into consideration, the award is primarily given for illustrations.

Today's book under scrutiny :

No David! Written and illustrated by David Shannon.

1999 - Caldecott Honor Book.

Picture Book - 32 pages. Roughly 60 Words. 

Repetitive theme - "NO DAVID!"
Concept Book - related to behavior.

Main Character - David - A male child, around the age of five.

What was the story about - The story follows a little boy named David through his day and shows images of him doing all types of  things he was not supposed to do.

Character Growth - David learns what is acceptable in his home (ex - You don't play ball in the house), the consequences that may occur if something is done that is not acceptable (ex - A vase was broken), that a punishment will be enforced if the rules are not respected (ex - A time out was given), and that even though he was punished, his mother always loved him, she just didn't like his behavior.

Attractive to children and adults alike - Children hear some of these exact phrases on a daily basis in their own homes. While for adults phrases like No, Settle down, Be quiet, That's enough, Don't play with your food, Go to your room, Stop that this instant, Put your toys away and most importantly I love you can act as triggers to recall memories of childhood events.

Illustrations - The illustrations are child like and view the world on the level of a child. Each picture accurately represents what has happened or will happen in the lives of most children. Even the facial expressions David has during each incident, are very similar to that of children I have observed doing much the same activity. From the reaching up to write on the wall and the over flowing bathtub all the way to the jumping on the bed and booger picking this book is one that children can really relate to.

Personal Note - I would recommend this book for people are all ages to enjoy together. This book was really fun to read and I smiles frequently at little David's antics. I especially like the fact that the book was about more than minding your manners, but clearly showed that the parent didn't like the behavior but loved the child no matter what they had done. This book is perfect for helping a child to understand the difference. I can speak from experience when I say nothing stops a parent in their tracks like the first time they hear "Why do you hate me?"  after administering a punishment.
I've got to tell you since this book was an honor book for 1999, I can not wait to see what the winner for that year has in store for us. Because No David is a truly excellent book!

(Image Artist - David Shannon.)

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