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2004 Caldecott Medal and Honor Books

2004 Medal Winner

Cover image from "The Man Who Walked Between the Towers"The 2004 Caldecott Medal winner is The Man Who Walked Between the Towers illustrated and written by Mordicai Gerstein (Roaring Brook Press/Millbrook Press)

This true story recounts the daring feat of a spirited young Frenchman who walked a tightrope between the World Trade Center twin towers in 1974. His joy in dancing on a thin wire high above Manhattan and the awe of the spectators in the streets far below is captured in exquisite ink and oil paintings that perfectly complement the spare, lyrical text.

“Gerstein's skillful compositions and dramatic use of perspective make this a book that literally takes your breath away,” said Caldecott Award Chair Kathy East. “Two ingenious gatefolds and horizontal and vertical framing put the reader high in the air with this daredevil performer and emphasize the vast space between the towers and their astounding height. Gerstein ensures that this extraordinary event is imprinted on readers' minds and creates a powerful, transforming memory.”

2004 Honor Books

Cover image of "Ella Sarah Gets Dressed"


Ella Sarah Gets Dressed illustrated and written by Margaret Chodos-Irvine (Harcourt, Inc.)

In “Ella Sarah Gets Dressed” a young girl stands in front of her wardrobe to select her attire and makes her OWN fashion statement. Elegant in its simplicity, this perfect picture book uses a “variety of printmaking techniques.” Cheerful, bold colors outlined in white emphasize Ella Sarah's freedom and confidence.

Cover image from "What Do You Do with a Tail Like This?"


What Do You Do with a Tail Like This? illustrated by Steve Jenkins; written by Robin Page and Steve Jenkins. (Houghton Mifflin Company)

What Do You Do With a Tail Like This? is an innovative guessing book that delivers a fun and playful science lesson on 30 animals' body parts: ears, eyes, mouths, noses, feet and tails. The artist uses exquisite cut-paper collage to detail basic forms combined with clever placement of the spare text to create an interactive visual display.

 Cover image from "Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus"


Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus illustrated and written by Mo Willems. (Hyperion)

In Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, a persistent pigeon asks, pleads, cajoles, wheedles, connives, negotiates, demands and uses emotional blackmail in attempts to get behind the wheel. Pigeon will not take no for an answer, and puts the reader on the spot, using an escalating series of tactics. Perfectly paced, every line and blank space in the deceptively simple illustrations are essential.

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The Newbery and Caldecott Medals and Honor Book seals are property of the American Library Association and cannot be used in any form or reproduced without permission of the ALA Office of Rights and Permissions.


The 2004 Caldecott award-winning books.