Our Caldecott consideration continues with a fascinating book of poetry about strange habitats and their stranger inhabitants.
A Strange Place to Call Home
Marilyn Singer, illustrated by Ed Young
Ed Young has been on something of a stylistic tear of late. He strikes me as one of those undeterrable illustrators compelled to pursue a particular vision. Of course the Caldecott Committee is forbidden from considering a body of work. But A Strange Place to Call Home gives them plenty to consider in a single package. Singer presents fourteen different unlikely animal habitats in poems as different as their subjects. And Young goes to town (quite literally, in the case of some urban foxes). These are not the warm and fuzzy animals of petting zoos. These are peculiar and wild and just a little off-putting, and Young’s mysterious collages do them enigmatic justice. In many of the spreads the subject is not immediately identifiable, never mind recognizable. These images require attention, and reward it with curiosity. Neither the poetry nor the images explain these unfamiliar creatures, but their mysterious expression compells us to wonder and to investigate. And, really, what more can we ask than that?