Mock Caldecotts

Josie Leavitt - December 17, 2010

I know all of us are crazy busy during the last week before Christmas, but that’s no reason to skip having a Mock Caldecott and Newbery.
This year’s Caldecott field is rich with many great books, some from previous winners, newbies to the Caldecott arena and a book or two that aren’t eligible because the illustrators don’t live in the USA.

I think Art and Max is a Medal contender.

This could be another Honor for Willems.

I think this could be the year Elisha Cooper finds himself with some Caldecott bling for Farm.

The Quiet Book is one the best books of the year, but I’m pretty sure it’s not eligible because the illustrator, Renata Liwska, lives in Canada. The rules for Caldecott eligibility are pretty clear, but I think it might be limiting to say that an illustrator whose American book cannot win the award if they’re not a resident of the USA. But is it fair that a book that is beloved by children, booksellers and parents not be eligible if the illustrator happens to live in Canada or France?

I feel the same way about The Chicken Thief, one of the most charming books of the year, but it can’t win because the illustrator lives in France.

Okay, I’m done lamenting. Here are a few more contenders:

Shark Vs. Train illustrated by Tom Lichtenfeld, written by Chris Barton

Country Road ABC by Arthur Geisert

Children Make Terrible Pets by Peter Brown

Snook Alone illustrated by Timothy Basil Ering, written by Marilyn Nelson

What do you think is in contention for the Caldecott? As always, I’ll try to do a round-up of who got the Medal and Honorees and announce the winner of our mock Caldecott, who’ll get a coveted ShelfTalker Shout Out after the awards is announced in January.

9 thoughts on “Mock Caldecotts

  1. Read Aloud Dad

    Thanks for the roundup! I usually lag behind with this year’s Caldecott candidates – so its always great to hear some tips from connoisseurs and pundits.
    I haven’t yet read any of these to my kids, but they do look exciting. Darn! I’ll have to get some…
    Read Aloud Dad

  2. Librarygrrl

    I’m so excited to see that David Wiesner has a new book out! I love his books and this will make a perfect addition to my, er I mean, my kid’s library 🙂
    I’m surprised that you didn’t mention “Chalk” by Bill Thomson. I think this book is quite the contender for the Caldecott his year. Is there a particular reason why you decided not to include it?

    1. Josie Leavitt

      The only reason I didn’t mention Chalk is I’m not familiar with it. There are so many picture books coming out every year, it’s impossible to see all of them. I only spoke about the ones I knew. No offense intended.

  3. shelftalker elizabeth

    I have to add a few titles (and I’m sure I’ll think of more; it’s been a great year for picture books!):
    LITTLE OWL LOST by Chris Haughton (Candlewick)
    DUST DEVIL by Paul O. Zelinsky (Schwartz & Wade)
    UBIQUITOUS by Joyce Sidman and Beckie Prange (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

  4. Joanne Fritz

    Oooh, I love trying to guess what will win!
    Art & Max should definitely win SOMETHING, even if it’s just an honor. But the Caldecott committees always seem to love David Wiesner, so you never know. Could be a gold.
    Ubiquitous is lovely, but so is Dark Emperor, also by Joyce Sidman, with gorgeous woodcuts by Rick Allen. Check it out if you haven’t seen it.

  5. Carol B. Chittenden

    One sings out to me: Pocketful of Posies, illustrated by Salley Mavor.
    Does anyone else find it problematic that the Caldecott seems to divorce illustrations from text, so we are often stuck with a medalist that has lovely pictures but a story line that’s so thin it interests few children?

  6. Sondy

    My picks for the Caldecott are:
    CITY DOG, COUNTRY FROG, illustrated by Jon Muth, written by Mo Willems
    Honor books:
    LADYBUG GIRL AT THE BEACH, illustrated by Jacky Davis, written by David Soman
    ART AND MAX, by David Wiesner

  7. Susan Barhan

    I haven’t read all of these titles but I do want to weigh in as a fan of CHALK. I found it refreshing and imaginative. Thoroughly enjoyable to read and share. It is a story that will inspire children to do more chalk drawing on the sidewalks in summer, not a bad thing to inspire.


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