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Each year the Newbery Medal is awarded by the American Library Association for the most distinguished American children's books published the previous year. However, as many persons became concerned that the artists creating picture books for children were as deserving of honor and encouragement as were the authors of children's books, Frederic G. Melcher suggested in 1937 the establishment of a second annual medal. This medal is to be given to the artist who had created the most distinguished picture book of the year and named in honor of the nineteenth-century English illustrator Randolph J. Caldecott. The idea for this medal was also accepted enthusiastically by the Section for Library Work with Children of ALA and was approved by the ALA Executive Board.
The Caldecott Medal "shall be awarded to the artist of the most distinguished American Picture Book for Children published in the United States during the preceding year. The award shall go to the artist, who must be a citizen or resident of the United States, whether or not he be the author of the text. Members of the Newbery Medal Committee will serve as judges. If a book of the year is nominated for both the Newbery and Caldecott Awards the committee shall decide under which heading it shall be voted upon, so that the same title shall not be considered on both ballots." In 1977 the Board of Directors of the Association for Library Service to Children rescinded the final part of the 1937 action and approved that "any book published in the preceding year shall be eligible to be considered for either award or both awards." Separate committees to choose the Newbery and Caldecott Awards were established in 1978 and began with the 1980 selection committees.
From the beginning of the awarding of the Newbery and Caldecott Medals, committees could, and usually did, cite other books as worthy of attention. Such books were referred to as Newbery or Caldecott "runners-up." In 1971 the term "runners-up" was changed to "honor books." The new terminology was made retroactive so that all former runners-up are now referred to as Newbery or Caldecott Honor Books.
Watercress by Andrea Wang; Jason Chin (Illustrator)
Driving through Ohio in an old Pontiac, a young girl's parents stop suddenly when they spot watercress growing wild in a ditch by the side of the road. Grabbing an old paper bag and some rusty scissors, the whole family wades into the muck to collect as much of the muddy, snail covered watercress as they can. At first, she's embarrassed. Why can't her family get food from the grocery store? But when her mother shares a story of her family's time in China, the girl learns to appreciate the fresh food they foraged. Together, they make a new memory of watercress. Andrea Wang tells a moving autobiographical story of a child of immigrants discovering and connecting with her heritage, illustrated by award winning author and artist Jason Chin, working in an entirely new style, inspired by Chinese painting techniques. An author's note in the back shares Andrea's childhood experience with her parents.
Current Caldecott Honor Books
Have You Ever Seen a Flower? by Shawn Harris (Illustrator)"[A] stunning tour de force. . ." --The New York Times Have You Ever Seen a Flower?is an enchanting picture book exploring the relationship between childhood and nature. In this simple yet profound story, one child experiences a flower with all five senses--from its color to its fragrance to the entire universe it evokes--revealing how a single flower can expand one's perspective in incredible ways. * Authorial debut of award-winning illustrator Shawn Harris * Reminds readers to appreciate the beauty of the world * Full of bright, stunning illustrations Have You Ever Seen a Flower?is a beautiful exploration of perception, the environment, and humanity. * Perfect read-aloud with thought-provoking questions * Ideal for nature lovers * For fans of The Little Prince, The Giving Tree, Not a Box,and The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Mel Fell by Corey R. Tabor (Illustrator)A Caldecott Honor Book and ALA Notable Book of the Year! An innovative and charming tale about a plucky little bird, from the award-winning author-illustrator of Fox the Tiger. Readers will delight in turning their book sideways and upside down to follow Mel on her journey from downward fall to triumphant flight in this tale of self-confidence and taking a leap of faith. An especially enjoyable and satisfying read-aloud! Sometimes, you might fall down, down, down, before you learn to fly up, up, up...
Unspeakable by Carole Boston Weatherford; Floyd Cooper (Illustrator)Winner of the Coretta Scott King Book Awards for Author and Illustrator A Caldecott Honor Book A Sibert Honor Book Longlisted for the National Book Award A Kirkus Prize Finalist A Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Book "A must-have"--Booklist (starred review) Celebrated author Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrator Floyd Cooper provide a powerful look at the Tulsa Race Massacre, one of the worst incidents of racial violence in our nation's history. The book traces the history of African Americans in Tulsa's Greenwood district and chronicles the devastation that occurred in 1921 when a white mob attacked the Black community. News of what happened was largely suppressed, and no official investigation occurred for seventy-five years. This picture book sensitively introduces young readers to this tragedy and concludes with a call for a better future. Download the free educator guide here: https://lernerbooks.com/download/unspeakableteachingguide
Wonder Walkers by Micha Archer (Illustrator)A Caldecott Honor winner! Micha Archer's gorgeous, detailed collages give readers a fresh outlook on the splendors of nature. Cover may vary. When two curious kids embark on a "wonder walk," they let their imaginations soar as they look at the world in a whole new light. They have thought-provoking questions for everything they see: Is the sun the world's light bulb? Is dirt the world's skin? Are rivers the earth's veins? Is the wind the world breathing? I wonder . . . Young readers will wonder too, as they ponder these gorgeous pages and make all kinds of new connections. What a wonderful world indeed!
Previous Caldecott Award Winners
We Are Water Protectors by Carole Lindstrom; Michaela Goade (Illustrator)Water is the first medicine.It affects and connects us all.Water is sacred. My people talk of a black snake that will destroy the land, Spoil the water, wreck everything in its path.They foretold that it wouldn't come for many, many years.Now the black snake is here.Told from the perspective of a Native American child, this bold and lyrical picture book written by Ojibwe/Métis author Carole Lindstrom and illustrated by Tlingit artist Michaela Goade is a powerful call to action to defend Earth's natural resources--inspired by the Dakota Access Pipeline protests and similar movements led by Indigenous tribes all across North America.