Every year the Caldecott Selection Committee sifts through hundreds of picture books, looking for that one special gem, the one with the most pristine illustrations. The one book where the pictures tell a wondrous story all on its own, moving the reader and instantly drawing a connection. The Randolph Caldecott Medal is then awarded to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children.
Could you imagine looking through so many books?! How do you choose?! Where do you even begin?! Especially when it can include fiction or nonfiction picture books!
Fortunately, the committee is given certain criteria to follow when narrowing down their choices to just SEVEN titles. If you’re interested, check out the American Library Association’s award page for more info on what the judges are looking for exactly, and for a list of previous winners.
A few of our favorite past winners include:
A Sick Day for Amos McGee written by Philip C. Stead and illustrated by Erin E. Stead (2011)
Locomotive written and illustrated by Brian Floca (2014)
A Ball for Daisy written and illustrated by Chris Raschka (2012)
This Is Not My Hat written and illustrated by Jon Klassen (2013)
Kitten’s First Full Moon written and illustrated by Kevin Henkes (2005)
And last year’s winner: Hello Lighthouse written and illustrated by Sophie Blackall (2019)
But with so many great books, every year includes a list of honorable mentions because picking just one is quite a challenge!
Notable past honors include:
Creepy Carrots! written by Aaron Reynolds and illustrated Peter Brown (2013)
They All Saw a Cat written and illustrated by Brendan Wenzel (2017)
Trombone Shorty written by Troy Andrews & Bill Taylor and illustrated by Bryan Collier (2016)
One Cool Friend written by Tony Buzzeo and illustrated by David Small (2013)
Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale written and illustrated by Mo Willems (2005)
So what picture books have been your favorites this past year? What books have you checked out, and checked out AGAIN, because those illustrations are just fantastic?
Here are a few of our favorite potential titles in our very own mock Caldecott:
My Heart written and illustrated by Corinna Luyken
Sulwe written by Lupita Nyong'o and illustrated by Vashti Harrison
A Stone Sat Still written and illustrated by Brendan Wenzel
Saturday written and illustrated by Oge Mora
Truman written by Jean Reidy and illustrated by Lucy Ruth Cummins
Bear Came Along written by Richard T. Morris and illustrated by LeUyen Pham
Hey, Water! written and illustrated by Antoinette Portis
The actual Caldecott award for this year will be announced on Monday, January 27. Will one of your favorites take home the medal?
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