Who Killed Louis Slobodkin [‘s Art]? The Case of the Caldecott Award Poster
This is pretty much as low-tech as a mystery can go. More than anything else it’s a celebration of the fact that I’m not actually losing my mind.
Half a year ago I got the chance to help moderate this really cool Mock Caldecott program that one of my librarians set up with the kids in town. At each meeting the kids would examine five or six potential winners and discuss them. Now at this particular meeting there was a poster of the past Caldecott winners hanging on the wall. I’m sure you’ve seen these posters before. I always assumed that they were produced by ALA but upon closer examination it appears that Baker & Taylor creates them:
Attractive, aren’t they? And helpful too! It was really nice seeing last year’s hanging up on the wall. Yet as I sat there and glanced at it, something seemed . . . wrong. Off. One of the book jackets didn’t seem right. Or was I being too picky? I put it out of my mind for the moment and then when I tried to look at it a little later the poster had been moved elsewhere.
Months pass. The seasons change. And in the summer I’m handed some new award winner posters. There was a Printz and a Newbery and, naturally, a Caldecott. Without any hesitation I opened it up and stared. And this is what I saw:
Oh dear. Do you see what I see? Yep, this is a classic case of mistaken identity. Many Moons is one of the few Caldecott Award winners that was reillustrated later by a different artist. Here’s what the cover should look like:
Case closed, chief! So for those of you who have these posters on display, feel free to print out this cover, cut it out, and paste it over the perfect nice but not award winning Marc Simont cover you see on the poster.
This would be your public service announcement of the day.
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About Betsy Bird
Betsy Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.
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