Jan. 9th, 2017

osprey_archer: (books)
I do not quite understand why Drummer Hoff won the Caldecott Medal. It's not that I disliked it, it's just that it seems a bit, well - boring.

It's a retelling of a folk verse about Drummer Hoff, who fires off a cannon after all the other members of the army (right up to the general) assemble its many parts. I suppose a small child might enjoy all the repetition? I could imagine reading this to a class full of kindergartners, who would undoubtedly get quite enthusiastic about shouting "but Drummer Hoff fired it off!" every time it gets repeated.

The illustrations remind me a bit of a paint-by-numbers kit: every color stays in its clearly demarcated space. The illustrations of the various army officers are nonetheless charming: they have a lot of character in their brief appearances. (Naturally the general is a roly-poly man on a white horse.)

And the scene where Drummer Hoff finally fires the cannon is quite well done, the whole world suddenly turning red and purple - even more dramatic because hitherto the pages have had a lot of white space, and suddenly everything is color. So perhaps that's what won the judges over.

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