Daisy Gets a Medal: The 2012 Caldecott Medal Winners

During its midwinter meeting last week, the American Library Association announced this year's winner of the Caldecott Medal, 'A Ball for Daisy' by Chris Raschka. This award recognizes excellence in the artwork of children's literature. Also honored were John Rocco's 'Blackout,' Lane Smith's 'Grandpa Green' and Patrick McDonnell's 'Me...Jane.'

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a ball for daisy raschka

A Ball for Daisy by Chris Raschka

Daisy loves her ball. One day, her owner takes her to the park with the ball. Daisy is devastated when a bigger dog destroys her favorite ball. Fortunately, when she goes back to the park another time, the other dog and her owner have returned with a new ball for Daisy.

Raschka's story is told not with words but with pictures. His highly evocative artwork captures the joy Daisy's ball brings to her and the sadness its loss causes. Raschka is no stranger to award-winning books. He won the 2006 Caldecott Medal for The Hello, Goodbye Window. He also earned Caldecott honors for Yo! Yes? and Mysterious Thelonius. Raschka's contributions to children's literature, both in writing and illustrating, span over 30 books.

john rocco blackout

Blackout by John Rocco

When the power goes out on a hot summer night, everyone feels put out. A boy can't watch TV, his sister can't use the phone and their parents can't use computers or make dinner.

However, the family soon discovers the joys of a blackout. The stars in the sky are visible. Even better, their neighbors all come outside for an impromptu block party. When the power comes back, it's clear that life may be more fun during a blackout. Rocco illustrates the book with a clever use of light and shadow to convey the sense of adventure.

lane smith grandpa green

Grandpa Green by Lane Smith

In this story, a man tours his garden with his great-grandson. The garden's elaborate topiary sculptures provide the springboard for memories of the family's history. Grandpa Green, as he's known, has lived a rich and fascinating life. The book explores his earliest days as a farm boy through his time as a soldier, an artist and, ultimately, a gardener.

Lane Smith previously earned Caldecott honors for his 1993 book The Stinky Cheese Man. He has also illustrated books for well-known writers such as Roald Dahl and Dr. Seuss.

patrick mcdonnell me...jane

Me…Jane by Patrick McDonnell

Patrick McDonnell's book is about a young Jane Goodall and her favorite toy chimpanzee, Jubilee. The story is based on the autobiography of Goodall, the famous animal activist and conservationist. In the book, young Jane develops an appreciation of the natural world. She aspires to one day live with and help the world's animals.

Me...Jane has received numerous accolades in addition to its Caldecott honors. It won a Charlotte Zolotow Award, and it was also named as a New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Book and a Booklist Editor's Choice Book.

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