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Caldecott Roundup! The 1960s

Updated: Jul 28, 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 third set of winners, from 1960-69. Do you recognize any of them?

1960 "Nine Days to Christmas" illustrated by Marie Hall Ets and written by Marie Hall Ets and Aurora Labastida

Ceci's first Christmas posada party and pinata have made her Mexican town come alive for generations of readers. "The youngest child will be completely transported by this lovely story". The Atlantic.

1961 "Baboushka and the Three Kings" illustrated by Nicolas Sidjakov and written by Ruth Robbins

The Russian folktale about an old woman's endless search for the Christ child.

1962 "Once a Mouse..." illustrated and retold by Marcia Brown

When a small mouse’s life is threatened by large jungle predators, a kindly hermit uses magic to change him into a cat, a dog, and a majestic tiger. But the proud tiger must suffer the consequences when he becomes ungrateful and forgets his humble origins. Marcia Brown’s magical woodcuts bring this Indian fable to life...

1963 "The Snowy Day" illustrated and written by Ezra Jack Keats

The adventures of a little boy in the city on a very snowy day...

No book has captured the magic and sense of possibility of the first snowfall better than The Snowy Day. Universal in its appeal, the story has become a favorite of millions, as it reveals a child's wonder at a new world, and the hope of capturing and keeping that wonder forever.

"The book is notable not only for its lovely artwork and tone, but also for its importance as a trailblazer. According to Horn Book magazine, The Snowy Day was "the very first full-color picture book to feature a small black hero" — yet another reason to add this classic to your shelves. It's as unique and special as a snowflake." —

1964 "Where the Wild Things Are" illustrated and written by Maurice Sendak

Max, a wild and naughty boy, is sent to bed without his supper by his exhausted mother. In his room, he imagines sailing far away to a land of Wild Things. Instead of eating him, the Wild Things make Max their king.

1965 "May I Bring a Friend?" illustrated by Beni Montresor and written by Beatrice Schenk de Regniers

An imaginative boy brings a surprising array of friends to dine at the palace in this Caldecott Medal–winning picture book. One day, a small boy receives a very special invitation — the King and the Queen have invited him to the castle for tea. He accepts, with one question: “May I bring a friend?”

“Any friend of our friend is welcome here,” says the King. But their guest’s friend turns out to be someone they never expected!

1966 "Always Room for One More" illustrated by Nonny Hogrogian and written by Sorche Nic Leodhas (Leclair Alger)

Lachie MacLachlan, the generous hero of this enchanting tale, is the exception to the rule that the Scots are a thrifty lot. In his "wee house in the heather," where he lives with his family of twelve, he welcomes to his hearth every weary traveler who passes by on a stormy night. "There's always room for one more," says Lachie, and how his grateful guests say a wonderful "Thank you" provides a delightfully warm and tender ending to this hilarious tale of kindness.

1967 "Sam, Bangs, and Moonshine" illustrated and written by Evaline Ness

Samantha (known as Sam) is a fisherman's daughter who dreams rich and lovely dreams — moonshine, her father says. But when her tall stories bring disaster to her friend Thomas and her cat Bangs, Sam learns to distinguish between moonshine and reality.

1968 "Drummer Hoff" illustrated by Ed Emberley and adapted by Barbara Emberley

Drummer Hoff is a lively folk verse all about the building of a cannon. Brightly dressed in full uniform, each soldier brings a part for the remarkable machine.

1969 "The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship" illustrated by Uri Shulevitz and retold by Arthur Ransome

When the Czar proclaims that he will marry his daughter to the man who brings him a flying ship, the Fool of the World sets out to try his luck and meets some unusual companions on the way.


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!

We'll continue rounding up the Caldecotts by decade until we reach today. Stay tuned!

Descriptions adapted from GoodReads.

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