Chalk was a big favorite to get a Caldecott nod, and now, having read it, I can see why this was such a popular opinion. This book is delightful. If I was doing a mock Caldecott at an elementary school again this spring, this book would absolutely be in my lineup.
I love a wordless picture book. I remember that my mom didn't ever care for them because then you have to make up the story as you go along, but as a mega-reader, I like wordless books because it makes it easier for me to focus on the illustrations instead of just zipping through the words.
The story follows three children walking to the park on a very rainy day. Hanging from the mouth of one of the ride-on dinosaurs is a bag of chalk.
One of the little girls pulls out a piece of chalk and draws a sun on the rainy ground. And then the real sun comes out and in an instant the rain is gone.
Of course, now they all have to draw something and see if it comes to life. Which is all well and good, until you draw something scary. . .
I love how realistic these images are; they make the magic even more striking. The colors are so rich, and this image, where the chalk butterflies turn into real butterflies is breathtaking.
I think this book, with a box of sidewalk chalk, would be the perfect birthday present for a child. Or for me.