A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Teaches about the life and contributions of Randolph Caldecott. Also shows the transformation of the style of children's books over time. Uses reproductions of Caldecott's own art and includes a guide at the back of the book to direct readers to those reproductions. The back of the book also includes a section of annotations, a list of picture books by Randolph Caldecott, a bibliography, and more.
Use your gifts to help others. Persevere in the face of obstacles. Don't give up on your dreams, as they can change the world. Never stop learning.
Positive Role Models
Randolph Caldecott is a positive role model. Though he faces setbacks like illness and homesickness at different times in his life, he doesn't let that keep him from pursuing his goal. On one hand, he is aware of his gift and talent, but he also never stops learning. He dared to challenge the status quo, and his influential career continues to inspire artists.
A few people of color are portrayed as background characters throughout the book.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Tomfoolery! Randolph Caldecott and the Rambunctious Coming-of-Age of Children's Books is a picture book biography of Randolph Caldecott, the man the prestigious Caldecott medal for best picture book is named after. While taking readers from his childhood to his influential career, it also shows the evolution of the style of children's books. Younger readers will enjoy the action-packed illustrations, but some background knowledge is needed that they may lack to get the story. For example, "...in the 1850's, there are no children's books like this one. Many are published, but their pictures look stiff, full of pretty poses and cluttered scenery." However, illustrations are available to show kids what historic children's books looked like. Additionally, British words like "lad" and "chap" may require some defining.
Is It Any Good?
This unique picture book biography teaches history while honoring the life of a trailblazing artist. Tomfoolery! Randolph Caldecott and the Rambunctious Coming-of-Age of Children's Books is profound in that it captures the essence of the story through and through. The word choice and illustrations portray the magnitude of the transformation Caldecott brought to the world of illustration in the same energetic way. Young readers will absolutely enjoy poring over the detailed art. And this book is impactful in that it brings a fresh perspective on Caldecott medal and honor books and the innovative artists who create them.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.