Updated: Aug 13, 2020
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 is the eighth and (for now!) last set of winners, from 2010-2019. Do you recognize any of them?
2010 — "The Lion & The Mouse" illustrated and adapted by Jerry Pinkney
In award-winning artist Jerry Pinkney's wordless adaptation of one of Aesop's most beloved fables, an unlikely pair learn that no act of kindness is ever wasted. After a ferocious lion spares a cowering mouse that he'd planned to eat, the mouse later comes to his rescue, freeing him from a poacher's trap. With vivid depictions of the landscape of the African Serengeti and expressively-drawn characters, Pinkney makes this a truly special retelling, and his stunning pictures speak volumes.
2011 — "A Sick Day for Amos McGee" illustrated by Erin E. Stead and written by Philip C. Stead
Amos McGee, a friendly zookeeper, always made time to visit his good friends: the elephant, the tortoise, the penguin, the rhinoceros, and the owl. But one day — "Ah-choo!" — he woke up with the sniffles and the sneezes. Though he didn't make it into the zoo that day, he did receive some unexpected guests. Philip C. Stead's gently humorous tale of friendship and dedication is illustrated by his wife Erin E. Stead's elegant drawings, embellished with subtle hints of color.
2012 — "A Ball for Daisy" illustrated and written by Chris Raschka
Any child who has ever had a beloved toy break will relate to Daisy's anguish when her favorite ball is destroyed by a bigger dog. In the tradition of his nearly wordless picture book Yo! Yes?, Chris Raschka explores in pictures the joy and sadness that having a special toy can bring. Raschka's signature swirling, impressionistic illustrations and his affectionate story will particularly appeal to young dog lovers and teachers and parents who have children dealing with the loss of something special.
2013 — "This Is Not My Hat" illustrated and written by Jon Klassen
When a tiny fish shoots into view wearing a round blue topper (which happens to fit him perfectly), trouble could be following close behind. So it's a good thing that enormous fish won't wake up. And even if he does, it's not like he'll ever know what happened...
2014 — "Locomotive" illustrated and written by Brian Floca
It is the summer of 1869, and trains, crews, and family are traveling together, riding America's brand-new transcontinental railroad. These pages come alive with the details of the trip and the sounds, speed, and strength of the mighty locomotives; the work that keeps them moving; and the thrill of travel from plains to mountain to ocean.
2015 — "The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend" illustrated and written by Dan Santat
This magical story begins on an island far away where an imaginary friend is born. He patiently waits his turn to be chosen by a real child, but when he is overlooked time and again, he sets off on an incredible journey to the bustling city, where he finally meets his perfect match and — at long last — is given his special name: Beekle.
2016 — "Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World's Most Famous Bear" illustrated by Sophie Blackall and written by Lindsay Mattick
Before there was Winnie-the-Pooh, there was a real bear named Winnie. In 1914, during World War I, Captain Harry Colebourn, a Canadian veterinarian on his way to serve with cavalry units in Europe, rescued a bear cub in White River, Ontario. He named the bear Winnie, after his hometown of Winnipeg, and he took the bear to war. Harry Colebourn's real-life great-granddaughter Lindsay Mattick recounts their incredible journey, from a northern Canadian town to a convoy across the ocean to an army base in England... and finally to the London Zoo, where Winnie made a new friend: a boy named Christopher Robin. Gentle yet haunting illustrations by acclaimed illustrator Sophie Blackall bring the wartime era to life, and are complemented by photographs and ephemera from the Colebourn family archives. Here is the remarkable true story of the bear who inspired Winnie-the-Pooh.
2017 — "Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat" illustrated and written by Javaka Steptoe
Jean-Michel Basquiat and his unique, collage-style paintings rocketed to fame in the 1980s as a cultural phenomenon unlike anything the art world had ever seen. But before that, he was a little boy who saw art everywhere: in poetry books and museums, in games and in the words that we speak, and in the pulsing energy of New York City. Now, award-winning illustrator Javaka Steptoe's vivid text and bold artwork echoing Basquiat's own introduce young readers to the powerful message that art doesn't always have to be neat or clean — and definitely not inside the lines — to be beautiful.
2018 — "Wolf in the Snow" illustrated and written by Matthew Cordell
A girl is lost in a snowstorm. A wolf cub is lost, too. How will they find their way home? Paintings rich with feeling tell this satisfying story of friendship and trust. Here is a book set on a wintry night that will spark imaginations and warm hearts.
2019 — "Hello Lighthouse" illustrated and written by Sophie Blackall
Watch the days and seasons pass as the wind blows, the fog rolls in, and icebergs drift by. Outside, there is water all around. Inside, the daily life of a lighthouse keeper and his family unfolds as the keeper boils water for tea, lights the lamp's wick, and writes every detail in his logbook.
Some of these books are available at the Swanton Public Library. If you are interested in reading one that we don't have, we can definitely order a copy!
The last Caldecott post will cover all the winners — both the medal and the honor books — from 2020. Stay tuned!
Descriptions adapted from GoodReads and Amazon.