Rita Smith & John Cech

Rita Smith
Associate Director, UF’s Center for
Children’s Literature and Culture;
Curator, UF’s Baldwin Library of
Historical Children’s Literature

Kitten's First Full Moon, written and illustrated by Kevin Henkes. Greenwillow Books, 2004.

In 2004/5 I served on the Caldecott Award Committee of the Association of Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association. After reviewing over 650 picture book published in 2004, Kevin Henkes' Kitten's First Full Moon was awarded the 2005 Caldecott Medal by that committee. The Caldecott Award is given to the illustrator of the most distinguished American picture book for children published in English.

John Cech
Director, UF’s Center for
Children’s Literature and Culture;
producer/host, “Recess!”; English professor and children’s author

I am holding an alphabet book, -- Alligators All Around -- written and illustrated by Maurice Sendak. It's one of the four little books in his Nutshell Library. This boxed set was our daughter's favorite reading material when she was very young, and she carried it with her everywhere. It was just the right size for her small hands, and its stories and drawings were just the right fit for her, too -- funny, clever, a wonderful rumpus of rhythms and rhymes. Alligators All Around is also a perfect volume for Gators of every age!