Wednesday, March 22, 2006

On this day in literature . . .

1846 ~ English artist Randolph Caldecott - illustrator of Washington Irving's Old Christmas and a contributor to Punch - is born in Chester. The Caldecott Medal for excellence in children's book illustration will be named for him.

Each year the Newbery Medal is awarded by the American Library Association for the most distinguished American children's books published the previous year. However, as many persons became concerned that the artists creating picture books for children were as deserving of honor and encouragement as were the authors of children's books, Frederic G. Melcher suggested in 1937 the establishment of a second annual medal. This medal is to be given to the artist who had created the most distinguished picture book of the year and named in honor of the nineteenth-century English illustrator Randolph J. Caldecott.

In college I took a class in children's literature, which gave me the opportunity to read many Newbery and Caldecott books. My favorite picture book was one that received the Caldecott medal in 1998 - Rapunzel, retold and illustrated by Paul Zelinsky.

Richly detailed oil paintings convey dramatic emotions and feature distinctive architecture, lush landscapes and authentic costuming of Renaissance Italy. Classically beautiful illustrations portray this complex love story which can be appreciated on many levels and by all ages.
~ 1998 Caldecott Committee chair John Stewig


Blogger Beverly said...

I don't know if she has won any awards or not, but I love Jan Brett's books and artwork. When I retired from teaching, I gave a lot of books away, but I kept my Jan Brett books and those by Eric Carle for my future grandchildren.

10:37 PM  

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