Last year, I put together a Mock Caldecott list and I loved having so many of you participate in reading and picking your own winners, and then comparing them to the official winners chosen by the American Library Association.
Well, book award season is just around the corner, which means it’s time for a 2019 Mock Caldecott Book List!
If you’re unfamiliar with the Caldecott award, it’s an award given to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book published in the previous year (“most distinguished” according to the panel of judges made up of librarians that year).
Each year, the winner (and any chosen Honor books) are awarded in late January or early February at the American Library Association conference.
I’ve been able to attend a couple of times (once in Boston in 2010 and once in Dallas in 2012) and it is pretty much the most thrilling thing to be in that room when they announce all the award winners.
This year, it’s being held in Seattle, and I’m delighted to be able to attend, although I won’t be there for the actual announcements.
The committee will spend the weekend deliberating and then the winners will be announced on Monday, January 28th.
I’ve participated in a few Mock Caldecott discussions in the past – when I was in graduate school and taking a children’s literature class, my professor held one at the end of the semester (she’d actually served on the Caldecott committee at one point, so she knew what she was talking about).
Then, when I was a student librarian, the (fabulous) librarian I trained with did her own Caldecott with her elementary school students each year. The following year, when I was a librarian with my own two schools, I did my own mock Caldecott award with the second graders.
It was SO fun and one of the highlights of the school year.
I made a short list of contenders and we read them all together over a week or two. We talked about what makes a book “distinguished” and the Caldecott criteria.
It’s pretty short criteria, actually, but it talks about Caldecott books being a VISUAL experience, with the story or theme developing primarily via pictures, rather than resting mostly on the text. It also has to have children as the intended audience and respect their understanding and abilities, and have both artistic excellence and appropriateness to the the topic and audience.
Last year, I thought it’d be fun to do as a family and see how our picks matched up with what actually won, and I was so delighted by how many of you did the same!
If you’d like to do it again this year, I’ve come up with a list of possible Caldecott books and have checked out as many of them from the library as I can.
I printed off score sheets with a list of all the titles of the Caldecott books I chose and then as we read them, we rate them according to the Caldecott criteria.
I spent a long time reviewing books that are getting buzz as Caldecott contenders, so your odds of at least one of them being picked as a Caldecott winner or honor are pretty good!
I made a score sheet with each of the 28 titles and then the four criteria:
- How well is the art executed? (Basically, is this good art?)
- How does the art match the story? Is the style and medium a good fit for the tone and feeling of the storyline or theme? (In a nutshell, if it’s a happy, cheerful book, does the art reflect that, or if it’s a serious, sad book, does that art match that?)
- Is the art important to the story? (Do you get insight into the story, the characters, or additional details through the art that you wouldn’t get if you were just reading the text without any art?)
- Does it have a child audience in mind? The award isn’t for the most popular book, but it does need to have children as the primary audience.
On the score sheet, there’s a space after each book to score it on each part of the criteria between 1-5. Once we’ve read all the books, we’ll tally up all the scores and determine our Caldecott winner, plus a few Honor books.
Here are the 28 Caldecott books on our score sheet this year:
- Adrian Simcox Does Not Have a Horse by Marcy Campbell, illustrated by Corinna Luyken
- Alma and How She Got Her Name by Juana Martinez-Neal
- Blue by Laura Vaccaro Seeger
- A Big Mooncake for Little Star by Grace Lin
- The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by Rafael Lopez
- The Digger and the Flower by Joseph Kuefler
- Drawn Together by Minh Le, illustrated Dan Santat
- Dreamers by Yuyi Morales
- Good Rosie! by Kate DiCamillo, illustrated by Harry Bliss
- Hawk Rising by Maria Gianferrari, illustrated by Brian Floca
- Hello Lighthouse by Sophie Blackall
- A Home in the Barn by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Jerry Pinkney
- A House that Once Was by Julie Fogliano, illustrated by Lane Smith
- I Am a Cat by
- Imagine! by Raul Colon
- Night Out by
- Nothing Stopped Sophie by Cheryl Bardoe, illustrated Barbara McClintok
- Ocean Meets Sky by Terry Fan, illustrated by Eric Fan
- Otis and Will Discover the Deep: The Record-Setting Dive of the Bathysphere by Barb Rosenstock, illustrated by Katherine Roy
- Pie is for Sharing by Stephanie Parsley Ledyard, illustrated by Jason Chin
- Pignic by
- The Rough Patch by Brian Lies
- Stop That Yawn! by Caron Levis, illustrated by LeUyen Pham
- The Stuff of Stars by Marion Dane Bauer, illustrated by Ekua Holmes
- Thank You, Omu! by Oge Mora
- They Say Blue by Jillian Tamaki
- Water Land : Land and Water Forms Around the World by Christy Hale
- We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga by Traci Sorell, illustrated Frane Lessac