• Artist



    Dear Lincoln School -  
               Wow!!! I am so excited to have been chosen by the readers at Lincoln for the Caldwell-cott! Wow and Wow again! I am particularly pleased as I am originally from New Jersey and grew up in Springfield.  I went to the St. James school. 

                Thank you for taking the time to read and listen to my book. I am honored.

    Robert J Blake
     Medal Winner
     Honor Book
     Honor Book
    Lincoln School third-graders participated this spring in the second annual "Caldwell-cott" awards, voting Painter and Ugly, written and illustrated by Robert J. Blake, as the best picture book of 2011. The honor books selected were Betty Bunny Loves Chocolate Cake and Chocolate Moose. 
    The brainchild of Media Specialist Doreen Golembeski, the third-graders evaluated picture books published in 2011, reading, reviewing and voting to determine which picture book deserved the recognition as best picture book. 
    "In January of each year, the American Library Association awards the Caldecott Medal, named after famous artist/illustrator Randolph Caldecott, to the most distinguished illustrations in American picture books for children," Golembeski said.  "Sometimes when the award is announced, many librarians are surprised by the winner and honor books that were selected. This activity showed the students how the selection process works." 
    The purpose of the project was to teach third-grade students to look critically at books, to tally and record numbers and to engage the student population in the process of voting.  The program educated students about the Caldecott Medal while providing an opportunity to think critically about picture books. 
    For nearly two months, the third-graders discussed the criteria for evaluating picture books, worked with partners to read the books and evaluated pre-selected books from 2011 using a teacher-created evaluation sheet.
    After evaluating all of the preselected books, the third-graders voted for their favorites and tallied the results to come up with the top three books. The students introduced the entire school to the three finalists and each student voted for a favorite. The winner received the "Lincoln School Caldwell-cott Medal." 
    "Throughout the project, third-grade student honed their literature appreciation and math skills," Golembeski said. "The entire school population was an important part of selecting the medal-winning book by participating in the democratic experience of voting." 
    The original  program was funded through an Alice Long Grant, made available through the Caldwell-West Caldwell Education Association.
    (A similar article appeared in The Patch, May 2010 which was written by Christine Corliss)
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