In the next few months I expect the Caldecott chatter to start picking up. The Caldecott, for those not versed in the plethora of book awards, is the equivalent of the Oscars for picture books. Until this year, I didn't particularly like very many of the winners. But I am a consumer with specific tastes, and my criteria for picture books is often times not what makes for a distinguished book.
I like books with silly artwork and a serious sense of humor. I love picture books that engage kids from the first page and hold them in rapt attention so that I feel like a rock star while reading to them. However, I do have to expand my view, as there are quieter books that can also touch kids that may not come out of the gate swinging.
So I try to give you my favorite picks of these award contenders that seem to bridge the gap between noteworthy and also kid worthy. This week the book I selected has had a lot of good talk and starred reviews surrounding it. It is quieter but I love the story concept and I think it can capture a child's and parent's imagination.
Title: Building Our House
Author: Jonathan Bean
Target: Preschool - Grade 2
What this book is about:
This book is about a family who buys a field and builds a house there, themselves! They live in a small trailer while they build the foundation, have a frame raising party, install a roof and insulate the house. The kids are there every step of the journey, watching the trucks, measuring the lumber and helping fill the concrete mixer. After a year and half they have a house to call a home.
Why I love this book:
I love that this is a true story and we get to see pictures of the actual process in the back. I think kids will really enjoy knowing what it takes to build a house. For truck lovers, there are plenty in action in this book for them to find.
The illustrations are charming and not very technical, so they have a homey feel. They still give kids a good sense of all the work that goes into building a house.
Who this book is for:
Great for most kids. The story is told from girl's perspective, and while that does not create a gender specific story, it is a nice balance to the trucks and construction.
I think I should be nicer to my contractor!