Each year begins with two of the biggest and well known children’s books awards being awarded. Those two biggies are the Caldecott and the Newbery. But, did you know that there are also many other awards given to children’s books throughout the year too? Welcome to my series on award winning children’s books where I’ll introduce you to some amazing book awards and award winning books for kids.
Children’s Book Awards
There are lots of different children’s books awards given out each year by organizations, newspapers, bloggers,and more. This ongoing series will look at some of the different awards relevant to early childhood education.
Today we are looking at the most well-known children’s book award- The Caldecott Award. And, then I’ll feature other posts celebrating other awards. See those below.
Awards Celebrating Diversity: Ezra Jack Keats Award, Coretta Scott King Award, Schneider Family Book Award, Pura Belpré Award, American Indian Youth Literature Awards, and Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature
Subject Specific Awards: Mathical Book Prize, NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Books, and Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People
Early Childhood Focus Awards: CLEL Bells, Bank Street College of Education Best Children’s Books of the Year, and Theodor Seuss Geisel Award
More Children’s Book Awards: Cybils Awards, Bookstagang, and Children’s Choices List (coming Friday)
What is the Caldecott Award?
The Caldecott Award has been around a long time. The first book to recevie the award in 1938 was Four and Twenty Blackbirds illustrated by Robert Lawson.
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.American Library Association
The focus of this award is on the illustrations. The winners are chosen by committees of the Association for Library Service to Children. They committees look at the following criteria.
- Excellence of execution in the artistic technique employed;
- Excellence of pictorial interpretation of story, theme, or concept;
- Appropriateness of style of illustration to the story, theme or concept;
- Delineation of plot, theme, characters, setting, mood or information through the pictures;
- Excellence of presentation in recognition of a child audience.
Some Books That Have Won the Caldecott Award
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Here are a some of the books that have been awarded the Caldecott Award over the years. I especially like these for using in an early childhood setting.
Outside In by Deborah Underwood and Cindy Derby (2021 Honor Book)
Bear Came Along by Richard T. Morris and LeUyen Pham(2020 Honor Book)
2019 was an amazing year of winners that are appropriate for young children.
Hello Lighthouse by Sophie Blackall(2019 Winner)
Alma and How She Got Her Name by Juana Martinez (2019 Honor Book)
A Big Mooncake for Little Star by Grace Lin (2019 Honor Book)
Thank You, Omu! by Oge Mora (2019 Honor Book)—> Also, see my Thank You, Omu! Book Activities.
Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut by Derrick Barnes and Gordon C. James (2018 Honor Book)
They All Saw a Cat by Brendan Wenzel (2017 Honor Book)
The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend by Dan Santat (2015 Winner)
Nana in the City by Lauren Castillo (2015 Honor Book)
You can see all the winners HERE.
Caldecott Ideas to Do With Students
Holding a mock Caldecott with kids is always fun to do in January before the award is announced. Children read some of the top contenders, discuss, and vote for their favorite. Then, they compare to the winners in late January or early February. You can even watch the awards live online. Here is printable you can use for voting from Some the Wiser.
Highlight those Caldecott winners in the library with this neat idea from the Book Wrangler. He places award winning markers inside books to highlight winners on the shelf.
I hope you enjoy sharing these books with children.
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