Thursday, March 3, 2011

Caldecott Medal Book 1938

Look what I discovered at the library ... Animals of the Bible, this is the very first children's book to be awarded the Caldecott Medal in 1938!

For those of you who may not know ... the Caldecott Medal is awarded each year to a freshly published children's book. It was named in honor of Randolph Caldecott (1846-1886) ... a beloved 19th century English illustrator whose work brightened the path for children's literature!

Animals of the Bible
was illustrated by Dorothy P. Lathrop (1891-1980), another beloved illustrator in the 1930-40's. Her simple pencil and wash drawings seem tame compared to the brightly colored, graphic illustrations of today ... but as I turned the pages ... I knew that this book has been a special friend to many children! So, after a 40 year love affair with children's books, discovering this delightful little bit of Caldecott history ... (and a new illustrator too) ... has been a thrill for me!

(A few of my favorite children's book illustrators over the past 40 years have been William Steig, Ludwig Bemelman, Tomie de Paola, Alice & Martin Provensen, Eric Carle, Arnold Lobel, Margot Zemach, Laura Cornell, Lucy Cousins and Beatrix Potter. But, hands down, my all time favorite is ... E. H. Sheppard ... whose simple pen and ink illustrations brought Winnie the Pooh and all of his friends to life!)

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