Caldecott Hopefuls: Rabbit's Snow Dance

A traditional Iroquois story retold by James and Joseph Bruchac and illustrated by Jeff Newman, Rabbit's Snow Dance (Dial, 2012) has a spot on the cover that seems ready-made for a Caldecott award sticker (one hopes): right there on Rabbit's drum. Newman's illustrations, rendered in watercolor, gouache, and ink, also have a sort of mid-century modern style that's maybe a little unexpected here (the PW review calls it "a welcome departure from the stodgier artwork that can often accompany myths and folk tales"): that's what I love about this one.

That and the Bruchacs' text [not among the Caldecott criteria, of course], which will have you and any little readers among you chanting "I will make it snow, AZIKANAPO!" right along with Rabbit: it's really a great read-aloud.

[For more on the story's sources, see this letter from Joe Bruchac at Debbie Reese's blog American Indians in Children's Literature; it will appear in subsequent printings. For more on Newman's illustrations, including storyboards, sketches, and finished art, see this post at 7-Imp (where else?). For more from me, I do think there is some inconsistency in the way Rabbit is depicted: sometimes more stylized, sometimes cartoonish, sometimes (as seen on the title page, and at right, falling from the tree) adorable. "AAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHEEEEEE!"]