DCPLive is a blog by library staff at the DeKalb County Public Library!

picture books

Oct 31 2014

Picture this!

by Dea Anne M

I have always loved children’s picture books. Working for DCPL is especially animaliarewarding in this regard as I am exposed to so many wonderful picture books both new and old. I even have a small collection of favorites at home. One of my most treasured books is Graeme Base’s fun and elaborate alphabet book Animalia. While this book has won several awards in Australia, it did not win the Caldecott Medal. Indeed, by the rules of the Caldecott committee, Base as an Australian author/illustrator would not have been eligible as the Caldecott is awarded each year to the “most distinguished American picture book for children.” Since its inception in 1938, the Caldecott medal has been lionawarded to many worthy and wonderful titles including Make Way for Ducklings (1942) by Robert McCloskey, Where the Wild Things Are (1964) by Maurice Sendak, and The Lion and the Mouse (2010) by Jerry Pinkney. You’ll find a complete list of Caldecott Medal winners and honor books here.  You can view Caldecott winners owned by DCPL on our Pinterest page. The board for the winners 1938-1976 is here and the winners 1977-2014 are here.

Speaking of Pinterest, be sure to check out a brand new feature that DCPL is offering through our Pinterest collection.  Inspired by the spirit of the this bookCaldecott awards, DCPL Youth Services staff will regularly be nominating theme-appropriate picture books and you can help us pick each month’s winner by “liking” your favorite (click the little heart button). Check out November’s “Dekalbecott” nominees here. The theme is fall inspired picture books and nominees include such fun titles as Fall Ball by Peter McCarty, Balloons Over Broadway by Melissa Sweet, and (probably my favorite) This Book Just Ate My Dog! by Richard Byrne.

What are your favorite picture books?


Jan 21 2013

DCPL Mock Caldecott Winners

by Nancy M

untitledThis past year, DeKalb County Public Library Youth Services Librarians and staff have been reading, reviewing and voting on picture book titles leading up to our first ever Mock Caldecott election. The Caldecott Medal is a prestigious children’s award that has been given out since 1938 to the illustrator with the most distinguished picture book. Recently, we all came together for our final vote and here are the results:

The 2013 DCPL Mock Caldecott Medal goes to…

extra yarnExtra Yarn illustrated by Jon Klassen and written by Mac Barnett



Our Honor Books are:

bootandshoeBoot and Shoe written and illustrated by Marla Frazee



indexChloe written and illustrated by Peter McCarty



indexCindy Moo illustrated by Jeff Mack and written by Lori Mortensen



indexBear Has a Story to Tell illustrated by Erin Stead and written by Philip C. Stead


It was a tight election and there were many beautiful picture books to choose from in 2012. This was our third and final vote and you can check out our past finalists here. Here are some more picture books that did not make our final vote but are definitely worth a read. Click on the title to be taken to the DCPL catalog.









The real Caldecott Medal will be awarded on Monday, January 28 along with many other American Library Association children’s and young adult book awards including the Newbery Medal and the Coretta Scott King Book Award. You can view the winners here and check back to DCPLive that week for a listing and to share your thoughts.


Nov 2 2012

DCPL Mock Caldecott Round 2

by Nancy M

DCPL Youth Librarians and staff have been busy reading and selecting picture books for our Mock Caldecott election.  There have been many wonderful picture books published so far this year and hopefully the following list will guide you to finding something great to share with your children. We recently had our second round of voting and the chosen ones not only met Caldecott criteria, but displayed what we felt were exceptional artwork and storytelling.  Here are the winners from the 2 groups of voters:

Team 1

First Place: Chloe written and illustrated by Peter McCarty




Second Place: Bear Has a Story to Tell by Philip and Erin Stead




Third Place: Too Tall Houses by Gianna Marino




Team 2

First Place: Bear Has a Story to Tell by Philip and Erin Stead




Second Place: Boot and Shoe by Marla Frazee




Third Place: The Duckling Gets a Cookie!? by Mo Willems




Of course not every book can make it to the final round, but here are some more of what we believe are the cream of the crop in 2012 picture books.  You can click on the picture to take you to the catalog listing.







May 14 2012

Mock Caldecott

by Nancy M

This year, DeKalb County Public Library Youth Services staff will be participating in our very own Mock Caldecott election. The Caldecott medal, awarded by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, is given each January to the artist with the most distinguished American picture book for children. While it would be great if we predicted next year’s winner, our primary goal is to seek out great picture books that are being published in a given year, so we can better serve our patrons with outstanding book recommendations.

We will have several rounds of elections before we choose a winner in January. In the meantime I will be posting lists of exceptional 2012 picture books that DCPL has in its collection. If you have any recommendations, please share!

Extra Yarn

Written by Mac Barnett; illustrated by Jon Klassen

Just Ducks!

Written by Nicola Davies; illustrated by Salvatore Rubbino.

Boy + Bot

Written by Ame Dyckman; illustrated by Dan Yaccarino

And Then It’s Spring

Written by Julie Fogliano; illustrated by Erin Stead.


Written and illustrated by Holly Hobbie

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Feb 22 2010

Literary Inspiration

by Jimmy L

I remember when I was a little boy I was so disappointed to find out that most adult books didn’t have pictures. What fun is a book without pictures? I was outraged. Today, still, I think pictures are a great way to enhance the reading experience. Luckily, I’ve found many others who agree with me. Some of them are visual artists who have been inspired by literature or literary figures. So I thought I’d take this opportunity to highlight two blogs that show off a wide range of literary inspired art.

Picture Book Report

I love this blog. It’s a project where many different visual artists have agreed to re-illustrate the classics. Each artist chooses one book to work from, and each week we get new artwork illustrating key scenes from that book. Some of the books chosen so far have been Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, A Wrinkle in Time, Geek Love, and many others. The visual styles vary greatly from artist to artist. For me, it’s really illuminating to see someone else’s conception of a well loved classic.

Hey Oscar Wilde! It’s Clobberin’ Time!!!

Yes, it’s a silly name for a blog. I’m not sure what the story behind the name is, but it’s a fun website where different artists draw or paint portraits of their favorite literary authors or characters. There must be over a hundred artists participating, and they’ve drawn everyone from H.P. Lovecraft and Kurt Vonnegut to Willy Wonka and Ignatius J. Reilly.

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