Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut gets 4 Stars {picture book, caldecott, newbery}

Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut written by Derrick Barnes and illustrated by Gordon C. James won all of the awards this year.  This book was definitely the big ALA winner; it came away with 7 awards.  With a Caldecott Honor, aka runner-up for illustrations, Newbery Honor, aka a runner-up for the written story, and a Coretta Scott King Award, an award for the best book by an African-American, for the author and illustrator. Barnes and Gordon seem to be quite the dream team, and even more impressive they are both new to the writing/illustrating world. 

Most people adored this book, and it's not new to me for feeling differently from the majority.  To be honest, I felt Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut is a great book to add to your collection for more diversity.  I felt the concept of taking pride in your appearance, getting a hair cut in this instance, can build self-esteem.  The story and the pictures are unique and beautiful in their own ways.  I thought the word choice was excellent and descriptive with words like magnificent, flawless, and a comparison to royalty.  

Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut by Derrick Barnes and Illustrated by Gordon C. James is a picture book about an African American boy who is excited to get a hair cut, and seems to build his self-esteem when he does get it cut.  Newbery Honor book (best story runner-up), Caldecott Honor book (best pictures runner-up) and several other awards.  This kidlit book earns 4 out of 5 stars in my book review. I think best geared to toddlers through 2nd grade.  Great diversity book. Alohamora Open a Book, alohamoraopenabook

My major qualm with the book, and why it earned 4 out of 5 stars was because the storyline and the wording seem more appropriate for 4th through 6th grade, however the concept of pride felt from a hair cut, and the excitement for going to get a cut seems more appropriate for preschoolers.  I think the audience this book is best suited for is off and the reason for my lack of enthusiasm.     

According to Goodreads, I am in the minority with my rating.  What do you think? Where do you rate this Caldecott and Newbery Honor book?      

Happy New Hair Cut Self-Esteem Building picture book reading!

Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut by Derrick Barnes illustrated by Gordon C. James

Rating: 4/5 stars
Best For: 2-7 years old, Toddlers to 2nd grade. 

Worth a Check Out: Yes
Buy It or Not: It's a great diversity book, if your collection is lacking diversity you need this book.
Read Aloud: Yes.  If you are talking about hair-cut or appearance impacting self-esteem.

Lesson Ideas: Hair cut, barbershop, African-American, word choice 6 traits writing, Caldecott, Newbery. 

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