Oct 28, 2012

More Oldies-But-Goodies!

Last week's post shared some memorable out-of-print titles that are worth the hunt to find on library and used-book shelves to share with readers of all ages. (No updates on finds so far, but don't give up, you'll love Edna Miller's classic,  Mousekin's Golden House!)

Houghton Mifflin, 1942

Here's an opportunity to enjoy some other classics that have, indeed, been reissued and continue to be available in print. (Woo-Hoo!) These are a series of similarly designed titles written and illustrated by Holling C. Holling, several of which have won Caldecott and Newbery honors, among many others awards.
TREE IN THE TRAIL was a Caldecott Honor book for 1941, setting the standard for other successful titles that followed. A cottonwood tree sprouts along the Sante Fe trail and stands witness to the unfolding of western American history, from Native American to Spanish expansion to homesteading, including the eventual use of its wood. Left-pages use text and black/white sketches, diagrams, inset charts, and maps providing well-researched information. Right-pages use full-color full-page art.

Houghton Mifflin, 1948 

PADDLE-TO-THE-SEA won the  Caldecott honor for 1948. It continues that layout pattern with a mobile story reference. A carved Indian figure in a canoe begins life in the high waters above Lake Superior and travels through the Great Lakes, into the Atlantic, ending in France. In this case the traveling witness takes the reader through the natural, social, technological, and ecological passages that make the Great Lakes a true Wonder of the World.

There is even a quirky little film/DVD of this one made in Canada.

In MINN OF THE MISSISSIPPI, the 1951winner of Newbery Honors, the traveling witness, a turtle hatchling, carries the reader from the headwaters of the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico.

PAGOO is yet another Holling title which offers a detailed exploration of a tide pool through the experiences of a hermit crab. Pagoo's reliance on his instinct drives his actions and reactions, allowing him to survive and navigate a tricky but beautiful biological habitat.

SEABIRD, 1948 Newbery Honor winner, is a carved figure that is the traveling mascot of four generations of seafarers, accompanying each on progressively more advanced means of transportation.

If you read one of these titles, you're likely to become addicted to the art spreads, the graphics, the text, the central characters, or all of the above. These are books that can be enjoyed by the youngest for their adventures and images, but can (and should) grow in significance with readers throughout school years.

These titles may continue in print because of their presence on the Caldecott and Newbery lists, but they could also have been written today by someone targeting the market for picture books with fiction/non-ficiton parallel text and content that can well-serve the widely adopted common core state standards.

Maybe it's true what they say, everything old is new again, at least if it was of the highest quality, and if it won enough awards to stay in print. Are there any other fans of these classics out there? Chime in with your comments!

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