Marcus, Leonard S. 1998.A CALDECOTT CELEBRATION. Walker and Company. New York. ISBN: 0-8027-8656-1.
A Caldecott Celebration by Leonard Marcus is a fascinating book, giving the reader a glimpse into the life and work of six artists, each from a different decade of the prestigious award for artwork in childrens picture books. This well researched and beautifully presented book itself is worthy of praise. Not only is it informative but also it is visually appealing, supplying plenty of photographs. The front cover, designed by Claire Counihan, with its rich black background and bright text complements the title of the book. It looks like a celebration! Every reader is invited to take a peek into the lives of these illustrators/authors and share the surprise and joy that comes with winning this prestigious award.
The book gives a brief educational introduction to the Caldecott Medal. It goes on to share the work of Robert McCloskey and his book Make Way for Ducklings, Marcia Brown for Cinderella; or, The Little Glass Slipper, Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig, Jumanji by Chris Van Allsburg and Tuesday by David Wiesner.
Maurice Sendak commented about the moment that it dawned on him that he didnt need as much text for the story Where the Wild Things Are: What he could show with his illustrations did not also have to be said in words (p.22). This sums up what a good picture book is.
The dedication and hard work of these talented artists is revealed in the book, giving the reader a greater appreciation for the process of creating the art and the books. A Caldecott Celebration opens ones eyes to the work done behind the scenes and it lets one revel in the celebration and victory of a job well done, very well done indeed. Bravo!