Caldecott #1 (1938) "Animals of the Bible"

We have started working our way through the Caldecott Award books.

The Caldecott Award is an annual honor bestowed on the finest in children's book illustration (its cousin, the Newbery Award, is perhaps more familiar.)

Dorothy Lathrop's Animals of the Bible was the first winner in 1938. A prime example of what the Caldecott represents: illustration, because the text itself is certainly not the most interesting for children. Or for adults, actually: King James Version verse that accompanies the beautiful black-and-white drawings. The attention to both creature and botanical detail is captivating. I ad-libbed my own interpretations of half a dozen stories, which I found amusing. I cannot speak for my children.

Settled at the base of of one of our favourite trees. Johannes found a stick for pointing, and kept his ubiquitous toothbrush gripped in the other hand. He grunt-talked through each page, occasionally getting distracted by a pinecone beneath our feet, or Magdelana popping by to correct me when I read the story of Jonah and the Big Fish, as opposed to whale. 

I wish there were more minotaurs in the Bible, or at least one.

66 pages
text selected by Helen Dean Fish

photographs by Rebecca Long 2011.

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