Caldecott's Smoky Night

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It was only a year after it was published, Smoky Night won The 1995 Caldecott Medal. This picture book is about a night during the riots of Los Angeles that devastated the city in 1992. The story is told by a young boy, Daniel, as he sees people rioting in the streets across his apartment. He is unable to find rationale behind the mob’s aggressive behavior and at the same time he is terrorized to see them smashing, destroying and burning everything in their way. Later that night their apartment is set on fire and everyone is forced to vacate. He soon realizes that his pet cat is missing and his neighbor, who is disliked by his mother because of racial differences, is also missing her cat. Eventually the cats are found together hiding in a corner. Everyone has this question in their mind that if animals of different color can live in harmony why can’t the humans. They have a subtle realization, but no one says anything.…show more content…
The illustrations are predominantly acrylic painting done on Arches watercolor paper and the background is collage work composed and photographed by the illustrator. Bold lines and shapes are used thought. All figures have thick black outline which reflects the young boy’s resentment for the riots going around. The background is composed of collage with sharp edges and corners. The sharpness in the background is indicative of forbidding or uninviting ambience of the setting. However, the paintings have soft boundaries and non-geometric curves, which show that people still have emotions and

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