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Friday, August 6, 2010

Illustrated Friday 2 for 1: Mei Li and A Story- A Story

This week's installment of Illustrated Friday features two oldies from the Caldecott Medal winners list. Mei Li is written and illustrated by Thomas Handforth and was the winner of the Caldecott in 1939. The illustrations are incredibly complex (according to the jacket of the copy I got from the library, it took Mr. Handforth 2 years to completely finish them) but I have to say, the story is over the heads of many young readers. It was definitely interesting to look through as an adult, though, and to see how expectations of children's books and portrayals of other cultures have changed over the years (thankfully, the expectations are higher, both for children's books in general and in terms of depictions of other cultures.)

Fast forward to 1971 when A Story A Story: An African Tale won the Caldecott Medal. This story features woodcut illustrations and is the story of Ananse the Spider's quest to pay for the stories he wants to buy, before the time when there were stories for us to hear. This is another one that may escape some younger readers today but is definitely fun to explore and experience as an adult or more mature reader.

Happy Friday!


Suko said...

Hi, I am new to your blog via the Hop! I try to read as many award winning books as I can. Happy weekend! :)

Tanya said...

How am I not familiar with Mei Li? Especially if the illustrations are that complex? Now the second one I am familiar with and I 100% agree that it's one of those books that should come with an 'ageless' category attached! Great story!

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