The countdown is on for the 2014 Randolph Caldecott Award. What is the Caldecott? “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.”
For more about the Caldecott medal and a list of the books that have won, please visit:
The announcement will be made Monday, January 27, 2014 in Philadelphia. For everyone involved with children’s books, it is the equivalent of the Golden Globes and the Oscars rolled into one. Part of the fun of the award is speculating on which book might receive the prize. Below are some possible candidates that had good buzz throughout 2013. Which book do you think will win?
Mr. Wuffles by David Wiesner; illustrated by David Wiesner
Mr. Wuffles ignores all his cat toys but one, which turns out to be a spaceship piloted by small green aliens. When Mr. Wuffles plays rough with the little ship, the aliens must venture into the cat’s territory to make emergency repairs.
Journey by Aaron Becker; illustrated by Aaron Becker
Using a red marker, a young girl draws a door on her bedroom wall and through it enters another world where she experiences many adventures, including being captured by an evil emperor.
The Matchbox Diary by Paul Fleischman; illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline
Follow a girl’s perusal of her great-grandfather’s collection of matchboxes and small curios that document his poignant immigration journey from Italy to a new country.
Mr. Tiger Goes Wild by Peter Brown; illustrated by Peter Brown
Bored with city life and the proper behavior it requires, Mr. Tiger has a wild idea that leads him to discover his true nature.
Locomotive by Brian Floca; illustrated by Brian Floca
Learn what it was like to travel on the transcontinental railroad in the 1860s. Disclaimer: if I could vote, this is the book I would choose.
The Dark by Lemony Snicket; illustrated by Jon Klassen
Laszlo is afraid of the dark which lives in the same big, creaky house as him, until one night the dark pays him a visit.
Flora and the Flamingo by Molly Schaar Idle; illustrated by Molly Schaar Idle
In this wordless book with interactive flaps, a friendship develops between a girl named Flora and a graceful flamingo, as they learn to dance together.
Little Red Writing by Joan Holub; illustrated by Melissa Sweet
Once upon a time, in pencil school, a brave little red pencil sets out to write an exciting story with nouns and adverbs and everything–but first she has to face the ravenous pencil sharpener, the Wolf 3000.
The Tortoise & the Hare by Jerry Pinkney; illustrated by Jerry Pinkney
Illustrations and minimal text relate the familiar fable of the race between a slow tortoise and a quick but foolish hare. Jerry Pinkney’s books are always wonderful.
The Mighty Lalouche by Matthew Olshan; illustrated by Sophie Blackall
In Paris, France, more than a hundred years ago, a small man named Lalouche is let go from his job as a mail carrier and discovers that he has great skill as a fighter.
If You Want to See a Whale by Julie Fogliano; illustrated by Erin E. Stead
Advises the reader about what to do, and not do, in order to successfully spot a whale, such as wrapping up in a not-too-cozy blanket, ignoring the roses, and especially, being patient.
Hello, My Name is Ruby by Philip Christian Stead; illustrated by Philip Christian Stead
Ruby, a very small bird in a very big world, is looking for a friend, so she introduces herself.
On a Beam of Light: a Story of Albert Einstein by Jennifer Berne; illustrated by Vladimir Radunsky
Follows the life of the famous physicist, from his early ideas to his groundbreaking theories.
That Is Not a Good Idea! by Mo Willems; illustrated by Mo Willems
A surprising lesson about the importance of listening to one’s inner gosling ensues when a very hungry fox issues a dinner invitation to a very plump goose.
Exclamation Mark by Amy Krouse Rosenthal; illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld
A punctuation mark feels bad that he doesn’t fit in with the others until a friend reveals the possibilities that exist when differences are accepted.
Steam Train, Dream Train by Sherri Duskey Rinker; illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld
In this book with rhyming text, the dream train pulls into the station and all the different cars are loaded by the animal workers, each with the appropriate cargo.
Bluebird by Bob Staake, illustrated by Bob Staake
A wordless picture book about the inspiring friendship that develops between a bluebird and a young boy.
The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt; illustrated by Oliver Jeffers
When Duncan arrives at school one morning, he finds a stack of letters, one from each of his crayons, complaining about how he uses them.
For a look at all the children’s awards presented by the American Library Association please visit: http://www.ala.org/alsc/awardsgrants/bookmedia.
Ginny W., Youth Services