No, I haven’t seen the books yet, but I wanted to get the covers in front of you so you can keep an eye out for them.

Always be prepared for the unexpected, and things never happen the way you expect them to (Pittsburgh Steelers aside.)
A lot of people kind of expected Mark Reibstein’s Wabi Sabi,  illustrated by Ed Young to get the Medal .

But last week the American Library Association announced that the committee had chosen a bedtime book with illustrations etched on scratchboard (with a few daubs of watercolor) by Beth KrommesThe House In the Night, written by Susan Marie Swanson and published Houghton Mifflin.

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You can see an inside illustration from The House In the Night on Ms. Krommes’ own website , as well as other scratchboard works.

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Her technique involves making  photocopies of her black  and white scratchboard images on archival paper — then she paints on the copies, using watercolor.

She’s also a wonderful painter as well as a scratchboard artist. You can see some meadow scenes done in sumptious casein on panel in her website gallery pages.  Here’s a fine example.

Krommes has won several previous awards, including the Golden Kite Award presented by the National Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators.  That was for The Lamp, the Ice, and the Boat Called Fish by Jacqueline Briggs Martin (Houghton, 2001.)

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Uri Shulevitz is no stranger to Caldecott Medals (and Honors.) He won the medal for the Fool of the World and the Flying Ship, written by Arthur Ransome.

He got into the Caldecott ranks again last week with How I Learned Geography, which he wrote himself and  the New York Times called “a masterpiece.” This Caldecott Honor book published by Macmillan, a division of  Farrar, Straus and Giroux is Shulevitz’s first autobiographical children’s story. It recounts his family’s (and his own, when he was four) bold escape in 1939 from Holocaust and war-ravaged Poland — to Turkestan, a very different land.

Shulevitz is also the author of Writing With Pictures (Watson Guptill  Publishing),  that classic textbook from the early 1980s on the process of  creating four-color children’s picture book illustrations —  and the peculiar storytelling “language” of the children’s picture book.

He has two other Caldecott Honor Books to his credit, Snow and The Treasure.

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A wonderful smaller publisher, Eerdman’s produced the other Caldecott Honor Book,  A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams written by Jen Bryan and illustrated by Melissa Sweet.

What better way for you to check out the content and the instructional style, and see if there’s a fit there for you!