Yes, I know. But 2010 has been such a fantastic year for picture books that I want to get my predictions in early, before everyone else starts making them. I've seen one beautiful, poignant, funny, wonderful book after another.
Where to start? Here are some of the ones that have stood out from the crowd for me.
There's the beautiful and touching City Dog, Country Frog by Mo Williams, with amazing watercolor illustrations by John Muth.
There's the funny and spunky Dotty by Erica Perl, illustrated by Julia Denos.
There's Feeding the Sheep by Leda Schubert with wonderful text and exuberant pictures by Andrea U'ren. (Don't write this one off as just another "how something is made" book.)
There's the endearing and deceptively simple How Rocket Learned to Read by Tad Hills. (See my review here.)
But, I'm afraid that these books (along with a few others) are going to have to slug it out to see which ones get Caldecott honors.
Because this one blows them all away.
I can hear a question forming on your lips. It sounds something like this:
"David Wiesner?! AGAIN?!! Doesn't that man have enough awards??"
And I have a question for you in return.
"Have you read Art & Max?"
When you do, you'll see that this incomparable illustrator has topped both the competition and himself. Again. Talk about a genius. When a copy of this book finds it's way into your hands, savor it. Read each panel slowly. Spend some time with it. Take a look at this video.
And then, sit back, and wait for January 9, 2011 when we'll find out if Wiesner becomes the most decorated Caldecott Medalist in history.