Caldecott Books

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The Caldecott Medal is awarded “to the artist of the most distinguished American Picture Book for Children published in the United States during the preceding year. The artist must be a citizen or resident of the United States. Randolph Caldecott was an influential children's illustrator working in England in the 19th century. His illustrations for children were unique for their humor and their ability to create a sense of movement, vitality, and action that complemented the stories they accompanied (Association for Library Science to Children)

 

 

Caldecott Winners 1985 to date

Raschka: A Ball for Daisy

2012 Winner of Caldecott Award

By Chris Raschka

2011, 32 pages, $11 list

Here's a story about love and loss as only Chris Rashcka can tell it. 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?, Caldecott Medalist 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.

 

Stead: A Sick Day for Amos McGee

2011 Winner of Caldecott Award

By Philip Christian Stead

2010, 32 pages, $17 list

Friends come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. In Amos McGee’s case, all sorts of species, too! Every day he spends a little bit of time with each of his friends at the zoo, running races with the tortoise, keeping the shy penguin company, and even reading bedtime stories to the owl. But when Amos is too sick to make it to the zoo, his animal friends decide it’s time they returned the favor.

 

Pinkney: The Lion the Mouse

2010 Winner of Caldecott Award

By Jerry Pinkney

2009, 40 pages, $17 list

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.

 

Swanson: The House in the Night  

2009 Winner of Caldecott Award

By Susan Marie Swanson

2008, 40 pages, $17 list

A young girl is given a golden key to a house. A spare, patterned text and glowing pictures explore the origins of light that make a house a home in this bedtime book for young children. Naming nighttime things that are both comforting and intriguing to preschoolers—a key, a bed, the moon—this timeless book illuminates a reassuring order to the universe.

 

Selznick: The Invention of Hugo Cabret

2008 Winner of Caldecott Award

By Brian Selznick

2007, 544 pages, $23 list

Orphan, clock keeper, and thief, Hugo lives in the walls of a busy Paris train station, where his survival depends on secrets and anonymity. But when his world suddenly interlocks with an eccentric, bookish girl and a bitter old man who runs a toy booth in the station, Hugo's undercover life, and his most precious secret, are put in jeopardy. A cryptic drawing, a treasured notebook, a stolen key, a mechanical man, and a hidden message from Hugo's dead father form the backbone of this intricate, tender, and spellbinding mystery.

 

Wiesner: Flotsam

2007 Winner of Caldecott Award

By David Wiesner

2006, 40 pages, $17 list

On a seemingly ordinary day at the beach, a budding young scientist makes a fabulous discovery. A barnacle-encrusted underwater camera has washed up on the shore, holding a reel of film of fantastical images that no human eye has seen. Moving cities, an octopus in a lounge chair, a clockwork fish. And yet, there is one more secret, even more astonishing than these surreal scenes: the camera has journeyed not only through the depths of the ocean but through the past, hiding in its last photo a visual timeline of children from around the world.

 

Juster: The Hello, Goodbye Window

2006 Winner of Caldecott Award

By Chris Raschka and Norton Juster

2005, 32 pages, $16 list
The kitchen window at Nanna and Poppy’s house is, for one little girl, a magic gateway. Everything important happens near it, through it, or beyond it. Told in her voice, her story is both a voyage of discovery and a celebration of the commonplace wonders that define childhood. It is also a love song devoted to that special relationship between grandparents and grandchild. The world for this little girl will soon grow larger and more complex but never more enchanting or deeply felt.

 

Henkes: Kitten's First Full Moon

2005 Winner of Caldecott Award

By Kevin Henkes

2004, 40 pages, $17 list

In this beautiful picture book, Kevin Henkes, captures the sweet, sometimes slapstick struggle of Kitten, who sees her first full moon and thinks it's a bowl of milk in the sky. Any child who has yearned for anything will understand how much Kitten wants that elusive bowl of milk. Readers will giggle as she tries to lick the faraway moon and gets a bug on her tongue, or leaps to catch it and falls down the stairs. 

 

Gerstein: The Man Who Walked Between the Towers

2004 Winner of Caldecott Award

By Mordicai Gerstein

2007, 40 pages, $7 list

In 1974, French aerialist Philippe Petit threw a tightrope between the two towers of the World Trade Center and spent an hour walking, dancing, and performing high-wire tricks a quarter mile in the sky. This picture book captures the poetry and magic of the event with a poetry of its own: lyrical words and lovely paintings that present the detail, daring, and in two dramatic foldout spreads, the vertiginous drama of Petit's feat.

 

Rohmann: My Friend Rabbit

2003 Winner of Caldecott Award

By Eric Rohmann       

2007, 32 pages, $7 list

When Mouse lets his best friend, Rabbit, play with his brand-new airplane, trouble isn't far behind. From Caldecott Honor award winner Eric Rohmann comes a brand-new picture book about friends and toys and trouble, illustrated in robust, expressive prints.

 

Wiesner: the Three Pigs

2002 Winner of Caldecott Award

By David Wiesner        

2001, 40 pages, $16 list

Once upon a time three pigs built three houses, out of straw, sticks, and bricks. Along came a wolf, who huffed and puffed... So, you think you know the rest? Think again. With David Wiesner at the helm, it's never safe to assume too much. When the wolf approaches the first house, for example, and blows it in, he somehow manages to blow the pig right out of the story frame.

 

Small: So you Want to Be President?

2001 Winner of Caldecott Award

By David Small

2008, 56 pages, $10 list

So you want to be President! Why not? Presidents have come in every variety. They've been generals like George Washington and actors like Ronald Reagan, big like William Howard Taft and small like James Madison, handsome like Franklin Pierce and homely like Abraham Lincoln. From the embarrassment of skinny-dipping John Quincy Adams to the mischievous adventure of Theodore Roosevelt's pony, Judith St. George shares the backroom facts, the spitfire comments, and the comical anecdotes that have been part and parcel of America's White House.

 

Taback: Joseph Had a Little Overcoat

2000 Winner of Caldecott Award

By Simms Taback

1999, 32 pages, $12 list

Joseph had a little overcoat, but it was full of holes, just like this book! When Joseph's coat got too old and shabby, he made it into a jacket.But what did he make it into after that? And after that? As children turn the pages of this book, they can use the die-cut holes to guess what Joseph will be making next from his amazing overcoat, while they laugh at the bold, cheerful artwork and learn that you can always make something, even out of nothing.

 

Azarian: Snowflake Bentley

1999 Winner of Caldecott Award

By Mary Azarian and Jacqueline Briggs Martin

1998, 32 pages, $16 list

From the time he was a small boy, Wilson Bentley saw snowflakes as small miracles. And he determined that one day his camera would capture for others the wonder of the tiny crystal. Bentley's enthusiasm for photographing snowflakes was often misunderstood in his time, but his patience and determination revealed two important truths: no two snowflakes are alike; and each one is startlingly beautiful. His story is gracefully told and brought to life in lovely woodcuts, giving children insight into a soul who had not only a scientist's vision and perseverance but a clear passion for the wonders of nature.

 

Zelinsky: Rapuzel

1998 Winner of Caldecott Award

By Paul Zelinsky

2002, 48 pages, $8 list

Trapped in a tower with no door, Rapunzel is allowed to see no one but the sorceress who has imprisoned her, until the day a young prince hears her singing to the forest birds. The timeless tale of Rapunzel is vividly and magnificently brought to life through Paul O. Zelinsky's powerful sense of narrative and his stunning oil paintings.

 

Wisniewski: Golem

1997 Winner of Caldecott Award

By David Wisniewski

2007, 32 pages, $7 list

Golem is the Hebrew word for shapeless man. According to Jewish legend, the renowned scholar and teacher Rabbi Loew used his powers to create a Golem from clay in order to protect his people from persecution in the ghettos of 16th century Prague. David Wisniewski's cut-paper collage illustrations are the ideal medium for portraying the stark black-and-white forces of good and evil, pride and prejudice, as well as the gray area that emerges when the tormented clay giant loses control of his anger.

 

Rathmann: Officer Buckle and Gloria

1996 Winner of Caldecott Award

By Peggy Rathmann

1995, 40 pages, $17 list

Officer Buckle is a roly-poly bloke, dedicated to teaching schoolchildren important safety tips, such as never put anything in your ear and never stand on a swivel chair. The problem is, Officer Buckle's school assemblies are dull, dull, dull, and the children of Napville just sleep, sleep, sleep. That is, until Gloria the police dog is invited along! Stealthily pantomiming each safety tip behind Officer Buckle's back, Gloria wins the children's hearts.

 

Diaz: Smoky Night

1995 Winner of Caldecott Award

By David Diaz and Even Bunting

1999, 36 pages, $7 list

This is a story about cats and people who couldn't get along until a smoky and fearful night brings them together.The Los Angeles riots made author Eve Bunting wonder about what riots meant to the children who live through them, and what we can all learn from such upheavals.

 

Say: Grandfather's Journey

1994 Winner of Caldecott Award

By Allen Say and Walter Lorraine

1993, 32 pages, $17 list

Home becomes elusive in this story about immigration and acculturation, pieced together through old pictures and salvaged family tales. Both the narrator and his grandfather long to return to Japan, but when they do, they feel anonymous and confused: "The funny thing is, the moment I am in one country, I am homesick for the other. " Allen Say's prose is succinct and controlled, to the effect of surprise when monumental events are scaled down to a few words.

 

McCully: Mirette on the High Wire

1993 Winner of Caldecott Award

By Emily Arnold McCully

1997, 32 pages, $8 list

Mirette and the "Great Bellini" traverse the Paris skyline on high wire in the climactic scene of this picture book about conquering fear. The two meet at Mirette's mother's boarding house, where Bellini is staying with a troupe of traveling performers. Mirette persuades Bellini to teach her his art, and soon enough the two are performing above the rooftops of Paris. While Mirette gets to step outside her daily routine of peeling potatoes and scrubbing floors, Bellini manages to reaffirm his mastery. The story affords a spunky, down-to-earth role model for readers who like to dream big dreams. It also offers rich, scenic portraits of 19th century Paris.

 

Wiesner: Tuesday

1992 Winner of Caldecott Award

By David Wiesner

1997, 32 pages, $7 list

"Tuesday evening, around eight" is a deceptively mundane beginning for what proves to be a thrilling, miraculous, and surreal amphibian journey. Slowly and quietly on this particular Tuesday, a few fat frogs begin hovering over a swamp, riding lily pads like magic carpets. Clearly satisfied and comfortable, the floating frogs are as serene as little green buddhas. Gradually, the flying fleet grows in momentum and number, sailing over the countryside and into an unsuspecting town.

 

Macaulay: Black and White

1991 Winner of Caldecott Award

By David Macaulay

1990, 32 pages, $7 list

Black and White is an interesting title for a book that aims to prove there's no such thing as black and white. But read on and you will see that irony and playful deception are running themes in this multidimensional, nonlinear picture story, which was awarded the 1991 Caldecott Medal. In it, a normal-looking cow contains a robber literally pointing at one of the plot's various possible outcomes, which remain tentative as long as they are formulated by young readers. Seeing new angles and clues every time they open the book, these readers will probably astound adult onlookers with their excitement and ease at navigating the unknown in a literary medium akin to interactive multimedia.

 

Young: Lon Po Po: A Red-Riding Hood Story from China

1990 Winner of Caldecott Award

By Ed Young

1989, 32 pages, $7 list

Three little girls spare no mercy to Lon Po Po, the granny wolf, in this version of Little Red Riding Hood where they tempt her up a tree and over a limb, to her death. The girls' frightened eyes are juxtaposed against Lon Po Po's menacing squint and whirling blue costume in one of the books numerous three-picture sequences, which resemble the decorative panels of Chinese tradition. Through mixing abstract and realistic images with complex use of color and shadow, artist and translator Young has transformed a simple fairy tail into a remarkable work of art.

 

Gammell: Song and Dance Man

1989 Winner of Caldecott Award

By Stephen Gammell and Karen Ackerman

1988, 32 pages, $16 list

Once a song and dance man, Grandpa reclaims his youth and profession before the delighted eyes of his three grandchildren one afternoon. He simply cannot resist the urge to dress up in clothes left over from his vaudeville days, complete with top hat and gold-headed cane, and to perform tricks, play banjo and tell jokes. He taps, twirls and laughs himself to tears on a thrown-together stage in his attic. Artist Stephen Gammell takes full advantage of lamplight to render Grandpa in shadow and silhouette, trivializing the concept of age and creating a feeling of intense nostalgia.

 

Schoenherr: Owl Moon

1988 Winner of Caldecott Award

By John Schoenherr and Jane Yolen

1987, 32 pages, $17 list

Among the greatest charms of children is their ability to view a simple activity as a magical adventure. Such as a walk in the woods late at night. Jane Yolen captures this wonderment in a book whose charm rises from its simplicity. It was late one winter night, long past my bedtime, when Pa and I went owling. The two walked through the woods with nothing but hope and each other in a journey that will fascinate many a child. John Schoenherr's illustrations help bring richness to the countryside adventure.

 

Egielski: Hey, Al

1987 Winner of Caldecott Award

By Richard Egielski and Arthur Yorinks

1989, 32 pages, $7 list

Al, a janitor, and his faithful dog, Eddie, live in a single room on the West Side. They eat together, they work together, they do everything together. So what's the problem? Their room is crowded and cramped; their life is an endless struggle. Al and Eddie are practically at each others’ throats when a large and mysterious bird offers them a new life in paradise. After some debate, they decide to accept. Transported to a gorgeous island in the sky, Al and Eddie are soon living a life of ease and luxury. But they come to find that the grass can be a little too green on the other side. After a dramatic, nearly tragic escape from their paradise prison, both man and dog agree: there really is no place like home.

 

Allsburg: The Polar Express

1986 Winner of Caldecott Award

By Chris Van Allsburg

1985, 32 pages, $19 list

One couldn't select a more delightful and exciting premise for a children's book than the tale of a young boy lying awake on Christmas Eve only to have Santa Claus sweep by and take him on a trip with other children to the North Pole. And one couldn't ask for a more talented artist and writer to tell the story than Chris Van Allsburg.

 

Hyman: Saint George and the Dragon

1985 Winner of Caldecott Award

By Trina Schart Hyman and Margaret Hodges

1990, 32 pages, $8 list

This adaptation of The Faerie Queen features illustrations that "glitter with color and mesmerizing details."

 

End of Caldecott Books