I haven't seen every book released this year, so this list is based on what I've seen. Enjoy!

If possible, sample interior images from the books will be added at a later time....



Illustrated by Kadir Nelson

Written by Ntozake Shange

This book is gorgeous. The subtle color palate and dynamic compositions create a somber, yet cheerful mood. Nelson has clearly taken his artwork to a new level, brilliantly combining cartoon-like elements with a sophisticated realism. Brilliant. I hope this one wins the Caldecott. ELLINTON WAS NOT A STREET should be on all art-lovers' bookshelves.





Written and illustrated by Robert Neubecker

Wow! City! makes the city look as exciting as it really is. The palate is bold and playful and the pictures are chock full of excitement. There are cars! Ships! Plains! Everything! With the right trained hands, the city clutter has been transformed into a candy for the eyes. This book sure is a lot of wow!




Illustrated by Jackie Morris

written by Caroline Pitcher

This book contains some of the most lusciously layered, rich watercolors I've seen. See the below sample to see what I mean! The forest never looked so green, wet, and alluring.







illustrated by Inga Moore

written by Kenneth Grahame

The palate is enormously pleasing, as are the wonderful compositions. The details are delightful. The overall effect is quietly charming. The luscious greens and blues will take you to far away places and you won't want to come back!





Illustrated by Brian Selznick

written by Barbara Kerley

Selzinck obviously did his research for this book. The historical accuracy is perfect. The details are engaging. Selznick keeps the pages turning, mixing detailed scenes with close ups of people and places. His subdued palate is perfectly fitting as are his colorful bursts. The art feels like an old painting found in an attic, dusted off, given some polish and a new, unique perspective




illustrated by Loren Long

written by Walt Whitman

Long has taken his Thomas Hart Benton influence and really made it his own in this book. I can't say enough good things about it. The color is rich. The compositions are breathtaking. The mood and atmosphere are perfectly balanced. This is another book I'd like to see win the Caldecott. The long swooping staircases, towering twisted adults, and deep blue starlit skies deserve arousing applause.



Written and illustrated by David Lucas

Halibut Jackson has a very retro feel to it. The color palate is bright, but yet aged looking. The characters are drawn with great ease and romp accross yellowed pages. The different shapes and details are a feast for the eyes. This book is a true winner.




Go-Go Baby !

Illustrated by Steven Salerno

Written by Roxane Orgill

Go-Go Baby! is a fast paced adventure, and thanks to the art, the pages keep turning. The characters have a very 50s style to them, but the colors and design are very Pop Art looking that could fit somewhere in between Warhol and Liechtenstein. The book reminds me of a fun multicolored lollipop that I want to keep licking.




Written and illustrated by Peter McCarty

As always, McCarty's art has a white, fuzzy look to it, but it is especially winning when combined with an obnoxious meat-eating ferocious dinosaur. The art is an odd mix of cute and obnoxious, and what's better than that!




Illustrated by Charles Santore

written by the Brothers Grimm

Santore draws the reader in before page one, beginning with the compelling woodland scene on the endpapers. His compositions are some of the most compelling I've seen. The artwork is overflowing with interesting details, but not enough to be cluttered or overwhelming. Santore's use of light and shadow only adds to the dramatic moods of the pieces. Santore's version of Snow White is truly beautiful.