Marcus, Leonard. A Caldecott Celebration: Six Artists and Their Paths to a Caldecott Medal. New York: Walker and Company, 1998. ISBN 0802786588
Author Leonard Marcus interviews a Caldecott illustrator from six decades and describes how each one created their prize-winning book. Each illustrator described their writing and illustrating challenges and expressed their reaction to winning the Caldecott award. Sixteen ducks lived with R. McCloskey as he studied ducks for Make Way for Ducklings. In one version of M. Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are (that began as Where the Wild Horses Are), he wrote, “Abandon! Dreadful story” at the bottom of the page. David Wiesner knew what winning the Caldecott meant to him when he saw the book jacket for Tuesday on the American Library Association’s poster. Cinderella by Marcia Brown, Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig, and Jumanji by Chris Van Allsburg are also highlighted in the book.
This is a great reference book for adults and young adults both. It will serve to help youth with author studies and perhaps help them become more interested in the illustrator’s other works. The personal stories Marcus shares give a glimpse into the real lives of the illustrator and the long process to success. Preliminary drawings and sketches give readers an understanding of revision and it is interesting to compare the way a character began and the final product.
After reading this book I have thought about the process it has taken for the creation of many of my favorite picture books.
BOOKLIST: “A beautifully made book, this will serve as a fine resource for children interested in illustration and for teachers researching author/illustrator studies.”
*Have students research other Caldecott award winners from a particular decade or read several books from one of the authors in A Caldecott Celebration.
*Lead a discussion about the time, effort and dedications it takes for achievement.
*Other books by Leonard S. Marcus
Side by Side: Five Favorite Picture-Book Teams go to Work. ISBN 0802787789
The Wand in the Word: Conversations with Writers of Fantasy. ISBN 0763626252