The 2002 Caldecott Medal winner is The Three Pigs by David Wiesner (Clarion/Houghton Mifflin)
The plot and form of a familiar folktale unravel as the pigs are huffed and puffed off the page and into a new world. The trio cavorts through scenes from nursery rhyme to fairy tale, liberating other characters on the fly. Wiesner uses a range of artistic styles and thrilling perspectives to play with the structure and conventions of traditional storytelling, redefining the picture book.
"Pigs burst through the pages' boundaries and soar into new dimensions. Transformations occur as the pigs boldly enter new stories, make friends, and ultimately control their own fate. Witty dialogue and physical humor make this a selection that will have youngsters squealing with delight. Through Wiesner's vision and artistic virtuosity, The Three Pigs celebrates possibility," said Kate McClelland, chair of the 2002 Caldecott Award Selection Committee.
Listen to David Wiesner's Caldecott Medal Acceptance Speech [Link downloads MP3 audio file/29MB]
The Dinosaurs of Waterhouse Hawkins , illustrated by Brian Selznick.
Text: Barbara Kerley (Scholastic)
With a sense of showmanship echoing the spectacle of Waterhouse Hawkins's own public presentations, this dramatic biography brings the work of the 19th century dinosaur artist to life. Using a rich palette, theatrical staging, and monumental dimensions, Selznick creates an exquisite balance between illustration and design in this distinguished marriage of science and art.
"From the textured leather-like scrapbook jacket, to an interior filled with fascinating facts and vibrant acrylic paintings, this dramatic biography presents the story of one person's creative vision. Selznick captures Hawkins's passion with whimsy, exuberance, and attention to historical detail," said McClelland.
Martin's Big Words: the Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. illustrated by Bryan Collier. Text: Doreen Rappaport (Jump at the Sun/Hyperion)
In this picture book biography of Martin Luther King, Jr., Rappaport's spare text and carefully chosen quotes are carried to a powerful emotional level by Collier's art. From the smiling, inviting image on the cover to each striking double spread the artist portrays significant events evoking King's purpose, telling readers that "His big words are alive for us today."
"Collier combines two mediums, paint and cut-paper collage, to beautifully evoke the dramatic and inspiring life of this great civil rights leader. Sunlight streaming through stained glass windows, the ugly flames of a destructive fire and the gentle glow of four candles in a church illuminate milestones from King's life."
The Stray Dog by Marc Simont (HarperCollins)
A chance encounter turns into a family love affair in this disarmingly simple, gently humorous, and emotionally satisfying tale. The soft palette and subtle touches in the distinctive watercolors perfectly capture the heroic actions of the young protagonists and convey the universal feelings of longing and belonging.
"A heartwarming tale, satisfyingly told with an economy of word and art, this story will resonate with both children and adults for years to come. Simont's illustrations create an emotional identity of Willy as 'Everydog' and the boy and girl as 'Everychild.'"