Author: Robin Smith
2nd grade teacher
Designer & Production Manager, The Horn Book
Education professor, Harvard University
Audience: The audience for this blog is teachers, librarians, or others who are interested in following the Caldecott race. The comments are very active with a wide variety of people who are interested in picturebooks.
Format/theme/loading: This blog is a part of the Horn Book site which runs similar blogs that follow the top contenders for the Newbery and Printz awards. The site loads easily and has a traditional blog format with the posts on the left and links to other Horn Book features on the right.
Navigation: The only way to follow the blog is by reverse chronological order. There are tags on the posts but there isn’t a list of linked tags.
Frequency of Posts: They post 2-3 times a week during the awards season – from September until January. There are infrequent posts during other times, but mostly the blog goes silent.
Content of Posts: The posts are all about current picturebooks and evaluating their merits based on the criteria for the Caldecott award.
Strengths: Both of the writers have served on the Caldecott committee in the past, so they have a great deal of insight into the process. Some of the commentators also have a great of expertise, and the conversation is often quite lively. It is very interesting to see picturebooks evaluated using the Caldecott criteria.
Weaknesses: The lack of posting from February – September. I think it would be quite valuable for them to post on quality picturebooks during the month that they are published rather than waiting until September to start up the blogging process.