The Caldecott Medal was named in honor of nineteenth-century English illustrator Randolph Caldecott. It is awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children.
The Caldecott Medal has been given out annually since 1938, and many of the recipients have been favorites ever since!
Here are the winners from 2020, recognizing books published in 2019. We're including the honor books in this post! Have y0u read any of them?
2020 Medal Winner — "The Undefeated" illustrated by Kadir Nelson and written by Kwame Alexander
Kadir Nelson’s rich illustrations amplify Kwame Alexander’s poetic tribute to the resiliency, strength, and perseverance of the historical and present-day Black experience. Gripping, realistic oil portraits use light and forward movement to portray the deep humanity and contributions of Black brilliance in America.
“Through color and composition, Kadir Nelson’s daring visuals erupt off the page. They challenge our emotional capacity in this layered journey of heroes,” said Caldecott Medal Committee Chair Julie Roach.
2020 Honor — "Double Bass Blues" illustrated by Rudy Gutierrez and written by Andrea J. Loney
Ignited by an electrifying snap of the string bass, Nic navigates between the symphony of two worlds: music and community. Syncopated rhythms, musical harmony and familial love are vibrantly expressed through riotous color, dynamic lines, and kinetic movement. This inventive composition visually illuminates the auditory experience that is the blues.
2020 Honor — "Bear Came Along" illustrated by LeUyen Pham and written by Richard T. Morris
“Oh, what a ride!” After tumbling into a river, Bear is swept into an epic journey, collecting woodland companions along the way. The river comes to life with Pham’s energetic lines, gradual increase of vivid color, and surprising page turns to form a rollicking adventure and bonding connections.
2020 Honor — "Going Down Home with Daddy" illustrated by Daniel Minter and written by Kelly Starling Lyons
An African American family reunion gives a boy a chance to connect to his vibrant roots. Featuring a warm, rich color palette, every spread has multiple, complex layers. Earthy imagery and Adinkra symbols help tell a story of intergenerational love and ancestral memory.
Next up: the Newbery winners!
Descriptions adapted from ALA.org.