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Caldecott Books & summaries

Caldecott Books & summaries

The book Literature and the Child is a concise overview of genres of children’s literature and principles that should be applied when teaching children literature. According to the authors Gilda et al., books used in teaching literature to young children should be straightforward while maintaining the child’s interests. As such, these books should aim at persuading, informing, and entertaining the child while helping them learn literature. Children’s literature comprises books, stories, magazines, and poems created for children. However, modern children’s literature has improved to differentiate the needs of varied children based on age and level of the child by incorporating picture books for very young children. These books are critical for children’s development, especially among those in preschool age. Essentially, at this stage of life, children have limited engagements in social contexts. Reading books, therefore, acts as a way to prepare young children for future interactions in real-life situations because, through reading, they learn language, gain cognitive and social skills, and develop emotionally. Additionally, engaging children in reading literature books helps develop their vocabulary and increase their language development skills, hence giving them a better understanding of how language is applied in varied contexts. In this regard, this article reviews and summarizes five Caldecott Books: Watch Out for the Crocodile, The Chicken-Chasing Queen of Lamar County, How to Hide a Lion, The Pilot and the Little Prince, and The Big Blue Thing on the Hill.

Watch Out for the Crocodile

Watch Out for the Crocodile by Ellis-Barrett, Louise, is a delightful picture book about a father and daughter’s trip into the wilderness and how children can create adventurous opportunities, helping parents see the world differently. Little Tora accompanies her father on a trip, and the goal of this trip is to trek, camp, and view animal spotting areas. Tora warned her dad that no more coffee drinking or talking to mobile phones would be allowed during this adventure. Tora is dedicated to helping her dad see life from a different perspective by helping him forget about all life’s troubles and see life from another perspective. At the beginning of the trip, Tora and her father had to buy supplies at the supermarket to sustain them during the journey to the forest. At this time, Tora and her dad sink into their imagination, thinking about when they will see wild animals and make memorable adventures. This book, therefore, presents a sweet and unforgettable tale of father-daughter bonding as they go camping in the forest. Watch Out for the Crocodile is a lovely narrative that parents and their children could use as bonding literature during outings and other trips. The book helps children to grow their imagination. For example, the author narrates how Tora saved her father from their encounter with the crocodile. The more children develop their creativity, the more they grow their curiosity about knowing more, helping shape their language acquisition.

The Chicken-Chasing Queen of Lamar County

The Chicken-Chasing Queen of Lamar County by Harrington and Jackson is about an African-American farm girl who loves chasing a chicken more than anything else. Every day in the morning, the self-appointed chicken chaser narrates to a grey-haired Big Mama about her encounter chasing chicken the previous day as she heads out to pursue her prey that day. The story incorporates the joy and strategies employed by the young girl using poetic language to explore her tactics. For example, the narrator says, “Then I sneaky hide behind Big Mama’s Wheelbarrow to make myself small, small, small” (Harrington and Jackson). The elusive Miss Hen is one of the girl’s favorite victims. However, her victim is lucky when the tormentor discovers she is now a mother, nesting her fuzzy chicks. This is a heartwarming development that forms in the mind of the greedy chicken chaser, although temporarily. One aspect of the book is the explicit use of language. Notable examples include “Wash away the dreaming,” “as still as sunlight,” and “plump as a Sunday purse.” The girl is determined to achieve her dream of chasing the chicken regardless of the issues she encounters. For example, the author depicts the facial expressions of the human and the hen, especially when the new mother, Miss Hen, looks at the captor sly. The book is an exemplary piece of art that aims to increase the creativity and imagination of children as they read about the girl’s encounter with the chicken and her determination to chase and captor them.

How to Hide a Lion

The book How to Hide a Lion by Stephens, published by Macmillan Publishers in 2013, combines charming stories of a young girl named Iris whose friendship with a large lion causes an uproar wherever he goes. One day, while the poor lion was strolling the market square to buy a hat, the town centre people chased him due to fear that he would attack them. However, the lion sought refuge in a shelter where he found the brave young girl, Iris. As the two interact, they become great friends, but once Iris’s mom returns home, she is forced to chase the lion into the dark, cold night. Nonetheless, Iris is determined to find her friend again, no matter what. The major themes expressed in the story are friendship, acceptance, tolerance, and helping those in need. The story touches on the aspect of imagination and play, allowing young children to grasp the content because of the cheerful language of expression used by the author. Additionally, because it covers important aspects that children should be taught, such as love, friendship, and tolerance, the book becomes one of the best fits for children. The author has used funny, charming illustrations to capture the audience, particularly children. It is a book with strong and gentle animal hero-fetching images. Children and adults will enjoy reading How to Hide Lion because of the creativity used by the author, hence making the audience read time and again.

The Pilot and the Little Prince

The Caldecott story The Pilot and the Little Prince by Stevenson, published by the Center for Children’s Books, is a beautiful children’s story with valuable life lessons. It is a story that recounts the life of an aviator and a little boy from a distant planet. Both the characters are stranded in the desert, finding ways to get back home. The book captures themes surrounding the essence of humanity and grabs the reader’s attention by arousing their curiosity and imagination to see the meaning of life. At the story’s beginning, the narrator complains about how adults fail to understand what is important in life. To test their understanding, he shows them a picture of a big snake that has eaten an elephant. However, when they claim the image looks like a hat, they understand that they have lost their imagination. The narrator, an aviator, experiences difficulties in life when his plane crashes in the Sahara Desert (Stevenson 596). While there, he meets the prince, a young boy with golden hair and a sense of curiosity. Surprisingly, when the narrator shows the prince the same picture, he can correctly interpret the elephant devouring through the gut of the snake. The book teaches children to apply their senses to find meaning in life experiences. According to the narrator, imagination is more important than knowledge, and it is only through imagination that people find meaning in life experiences. However, the story is also valuable because it warns children against bad habits. For example, the narrator says, “Ego, vanity, bad habits, and mindless following lead to people succumbing to these challenges.” On the contrary, the author urges children to stay humble and curious and always reflect on one’s life. The prince and the fox formed an incredible bond, and when it was time to leave, the fox cried (Stevenson 596). Therefore, this is to teach people that it is only with the heart that they can see rightly what is invisible to the eye.

The Big Blue Thing on the Hill

The Big Blue Thing on the Hill is another important child literature book by Zommer, published by Templar Publishing. It is a story set in a forest with several animal characters. It is a great little story to read to the children, especially by their parents. The “thing” described in the story is a VW bus. However, animals cannot understand what this “thing” is: to them, it is a sense of danger. Out of speculation, the wolves decide to frighten it away. They howl at it throughout the night, all to no avail. However, the small animals, including the foxes, badgers, and weasels, decide to dig around it and bury it. However, this frightens everyone, and they decide to run and seek advice from the Wise Owls, who suggest that the very small creatures form the “BIG BUG FLYING SQUAD”. Through this method, they could use these small animals to understand things. This plan worked, and the animals lived peacefully in the wilderness. The story represents itself through revealing, well-detailed, playful pictures that heighten the humor, making it more interesting. This interesting book leaves the reader laughing and wanting to read it repeatedly. Children can use this book to better their skills in literature because it includes factual, realistic stories that help improve children’s reading skills.


In summary, all these Caldecott books are important in helping children develop their literature-reading skills. By engaging learners in reading these books, teachers can help them break into new realms of creativity with their personal writing, reading, and thinking skills. Additionally, since these books utilize a variety of skills, including pictures and colors, they attract the child’s curiosity, helping them develop their reading skills while still young. Lastly, these books are important sources of information for children because they empower them with life lessons and warnings, shaping their behavior patterns as they grow up.

Works Cited

Ellis-Barrett, Louise. “Watch Out for the Crocodile.” The School Librarian 62.2 (2014): 105.

Galda, Lee, Lauren A. Liang, and Bernice E. Cullinan. Literature and the child. Cengage Learning, 2016.

Harrington, Janice N., and Shelley Jackson. “The chicken-chasing queen of Lamar County.” (2007).

Stephens, Helen. How to Hide a Lion. Vol. 1. Macmillan, 2013.

Stevenson, Deborah. “The Pilot and the Little Prince: The Life of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry by Peter Sís.” Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books 67.11 (2014): 596–596.

Zommer, Yuval. The Big Blue Thing on the Hill. Templar Publishing, 2017.


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Select 5 Caldecott Award Books and read them. For each selection, include the title, author, and publication date (if you have it). Below that provide a simple one paragraph summary of the book.

Caldecott Books & summaries

Caldecott Books & summaries

Put together a simple title page (name, date, course number). Begin your summaries on a separate page. Make sure that your assignment is typed using 12-size Times New Roman font.

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