This is the blog of children's book author and third grade teacher, Stacy Barnett Mozer. I blog about my own writing journey, the journey of other kidlit authors, my classroom, and talk about books. Thanks for stopping by. Your thoughts are always welcome (and encouraged).

Monday, January 23, 2017

#IMWAYR January 23, 2016 #MockCaldecott

Each week I try to join Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers to share all of the reading I've done over the week from picture books to young adult novels. It's #IMWAYR!

The results are in and by now you know the real winner of the 2017 Caldecott. On Friday, my class held their own Caldecott debate after studying our nominees for three weeks. This was the first time I did this unit and I loved every minute of it, especially the final discussion. They had an intelligent debate, and used text evidence to prove their points. When our final results were in, this is where we stood:

Our Winner
Are We There Yet? written and illustrated by Dan Santat: We felt that Are We There Yet should have won because the illustrations do an amazing job telling the story inside the story. We liked how time goes backwards and the pages turn over to show how bored the main character was during the drive. We loved the use of bright colors and how all the imaginary scenes disappeared when they arrived at Grandmas. We also like that if you looked closely you can find hidden information - and Beekle! 

Our Honor Books
The Return written and illustrated by Aaron Becker: We thought this book should have been honored because of its use of color. On the page where the character smashes the box, all the colors appear to fly away. The illustrator also made a good use of the space, showing small scenes on the side and making the pages feel big, for instance when the characters are in the ocean. The illustrator also added small details that were unexpected. We were pretty amazed at how the Aaron Becker was able to tell the story without words. 

Henry and Leo written and illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski: We thought this book should have been honored because its use of space. We liked how on some pages there is a white border so it seemed like the characters were stepping out of the book while on other pages the scene took up the whole page. We also like how the illustrations tell a piece of the story that isn't written in the words to show the magic in the book when Leo, the stuffed animal, comes alive. He sits on the bear's back and points out of the woods so we knew it meant Leo was going home. 

From Wolf to Woof written and illustrated by Hudson Talbott: We thought this book should have been honored because of the use of color. We liked how the illustrator used light and dark and had shapes and images in the background to add to the scene. The colors show the mood of the story. We also liked how the illustrations add details to the words. 

Ada's Violin written by Susan Hood and illustrated by Sally Wern Comport: We thought this book should have been honored because the pictures were very bright even though the illustrator was drawing a pile of garbage. The garbage pile itself was very detailed and so were the expressions on the characters' faces. The book did a great job using space and the backgrounds were made of small pieces from the garbage pile. 

This is not a Picture Book! written and illustrated by Sergio Ruggier: I thought this book should have won because each page shows a different mood. For instance, on the last four pages it was very bright and wild, you felt carried away. On other pages you had a feeling of sadness, like when I was looking at the broken houses. The mood shown in the pictures matched the words of the story.

We watched the ALA announcement this morning. It was very exciting even though none of our top choices were selected. Congratulations to Radiant Child and honor books Leave Me Alone, Freedom in Congo Square, Duz Iz Talk? and They Saw a Cat. 

What do you think of our choices? Leave us a message below.


  1. I think I like your students' choices as much as the actual winners! Wolf to Woof looks particularly interesting.

  2. As I read about more about mock Caldecotts, I really wish I had done this before I retired. I still have to get to Are We There Yet? and From Wolf to Woof.

  3. I love doing Mock Cadelcotts with kids! It's fascinating to compare the books that grownups think children ought to read with the ones that kids actually choose to read...! ;-)

  4. Your class picked some good ones! The first time I read Are We There Yet to a group of kids, they could hardly fathom that words could be written like that. So fun!


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