1996 Caldecott Medal Winner
The 1996 Caldecott Medal winner is Officer Buckle and Gloria, written and illustrated by Peggy Rathmann (G. P. Putnam's Sons).
"Peggy Rathmann knows what appeals to a child audience in her talk of the lively antics of police dog Gloria and the earnest Safety Officer Buckle," said Julie Cummins, chair of the Caldecott Award Selection Committee. "Rathmann integrates picture, text, and total design into a united whole. Gloria's irreverent acrobatics behind Buckle's back contrast with the officer's straight-laced safety tips to school audiences. The original, lively, and energetic art leads the readers through a story of cooperation and friendship. The cartoon-style watercolor and ink illustrations employ brilliant colors that, combined with a creative use of white space, engage the reader in the humor and warmth of this stellar performance."
Listen to Peggy Rathmann’s Caldecott Medal Acceptance Speech [Link downloads MP3 audio file/10MB]
1996 Honor Books
Alphabet City by Stephen T. Johnson (Viking)
"Johnson's photorealistic paintings of urban environment present an imaginative variety of views and perspectives, textures, and light. Each painting stands alone as as a handsome, balanced piece. Together they are an inspiring exercise in seeing patterns and art in everyday things. Johnson inspires the viewer to examine the environment with new eyes."
Zin! Zin! Zin! a Violin , Illustrated by Marjorie Priceman
Text: Lloyd Moss (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)
"Priceman's distinctive palette and dashing lines make for an exhuberant introduction to the orchestra.The sense of visual musicality is enhanced by warm, changing background colors. Like the music itself, the musicians are far from static. The text has rhythm and punch, changing size and moving across the pages in swoops and swirls to reflect the flow of music. A true celebration of music and its creation."
The Faithful Friend
Illustrated by Brian Pinkney
Text: Robert D. San Souci (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)
"Brian Pinkney's distinctive illustrations evoke the mystery, magic, and romance in Robert San Souci's retelling of this West Indian folktale. Pinkney's unique scratchboard style, enhanced by vivid oil colors, is a superb match for this atmospheric story. Changes in perspective underline the solidarity of the friendship between the main characters as they confront and ultimately overcome the dark forces of evil."
Tops & Bottoms Adapted and illustrated by Janet Stevens (Harcourt Brace & Company)
"Gardening has never been such fun as in the rollicking, colorful romp of Tops & Bottoms. Sleepy, sprawling bear is outwitted by the wily hare, who succeeds in feeding his numerous offspring with abundant vegetable harvests. The vertical format is perfect for the lively cover adaptation of a trickster tale. Handmade vegetable paper and a masterful use of mixed media are un-'beet'-able. From top to bottom, Stevens has created a zesty, organic combination of story and illustration."