Subscribe to The Horn Book

Time to VOTE! 2013 Mock Caldecott polls are open

2013 Calling Caldecott voting booth

Here’s a link to the Calling Caldecott Ballot #1. Note that you will vote for your first, second, and third choices, just like the real committee. The polls will close at 9 a.m. tomorrow morning (Wednesday, January 22) and we will aim to post the results at noon.

Tallying actual Caldecott votes is a tricky business. Here’s what the handbook says about counting votes and determining the winner:


When there is consensus that all the books on the discussion list are fully discussed, the committee proceeds to a selection ballot. Certain procedures apply:

  • Committee members list first, second, and third place votes for the award on a selection ballot.
  • In tabulating ballot results, the tellers assign four points to each first place vote, three points to each second place vote, and two points to each third place vote.
  • There is a formula to determine the winner. A book must receive at least 8 first choices at four points per vote for a total of at least 32 points, and it must have an 8 point lead over the book receiving the next highest number of points.


Once balloting is complete, the tellers tabulate the results. The tabulations are double-checked, and the Chair reads the results aloud to the committee. Depending on the results, certain steps are taken:

  • If there is a winner, the committee proceeds to considering whether or not to select honor books.
  • If the first ballot does not produce a winner, the committee follows procedures for re-balloting.

Obviously, we can’t tally our votes exactly like the real committee. For one thing, the ratios would be off since there will a lot more than 15 people voting! But we wanted to give you an idea of how this would work if you WERE voting on the committee.

In the interest of expediting our results, we will go to a second ballot and stop there. Robin gets to do the math again this year and then she and I will make some executive decisions about how many honor books to choose. More about THAT tomorrow!

Calling Caldecott Ballot #1 book list:
Abe Lincoln’s Dream
by Lane Smith
And Then It’s Spring by Julie Fogliano, illustrated by Erin E. Stead
Baby Bear Sees Blue by Ashley Wolff
Bear has a Story to Tell by Phillip C. Stead, illustrated by Erin E. Stead
Chloe and the Lion by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Adam Rex
Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by E. B. Lewis
Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Jon Klassen
Fifty Cents and a Dream: Young Booker T. Washington by Jabari Asim, illustrated by Bryan Collier
Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs by Mo Willems
Green by Laura Vaccaro Seeger
Hello, Hello by Matt Cordell
A Home for Bird by Phillip C. Stead
I Have a Dream by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., illustrated by Kadir Nelson
Island: A Story of the Galapagos by Jason Chin
Life in the Ocean: The Story of Oceanographer Sylvia Earle by Claire A. Nivola
Little Dog Lost: The True Story of a Brave Dog Named Baltic by Monica Carnesi
Machines Go to Work in the City by William Low
Mom, It’s My First Day of Kindergarten! by Hyewon Yum
Mousterpiece by Jane Breskin Zalben
The Obstinate Pen by Frank W. Dormer
Ocean Sunlight: How Tiny Plants Feed the Seasby Penny Chisholm and Molly Bang, illustrated by Molly Bang
Step Gently Out by Helen Frost, photographs by Rick Lieder
This Is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen
Unspoken: A Story from the Underground Railroad by Henry Cole
Z is for Moose
by Kelly Bingham, illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky

Lolly Robinson About Lolly Robinson

Lolly Robinson is the creative director for The Horn Book, Inc. She has degrees in studio art and children's literature and teaches children's literature at Harvard University's Graduate School of Education. She has served on the Caldecott and Boston Globe-Horn Book Award committees and blogs for Calling Caldecott and Lolly's Classroom on this site.



  1. Robin Smith says:

    I voted and I love that feeling of voting! GO AND VOTE!

  2. So… are we allowed to share our choices, or do you want it to stay secret for maximum effect?

  3. Lolly Robinson Lolly Robinson says:

    I’m all for sharing if you’re willing. This is when we get to be more transparent than the real committee. Let me take a wild guess at your first choice, Sam!

  4. Roger Sutton Roger Sutton says:

    I voted too!

  5. Well, Lolly, as shocking as this may seem, my #1 was Kadir’s I Have a Dream! And also…

    2.) Step Gently Out
    3.) A Home for Bird

    I really had a hard time choosing between the Steads’ books; I would be thrilled if any of the three were covered in shiny stickers next Monday morning.

    Thanks for setting all of this up, Lolly and Robin. Can’t wait to see the results of the first vote!

  6. 1) hello! hello!
    2) This is Not My Hat
    3) A Home for Bird

    That was hard (except for choice #1).

  7. Z Is for Caldecott!

  8. Robin Smith says:

    I just read Z is for Moose again today and the kids were falling all over themselves noticing details…and howling laughing.

  9. Was excluding Red Knit Cap Girl by Naoko Stoop intentional or an oversight? I really think it should be part of the conversation.

  10. maria simon says:

    and MORE…where is MORE?? This is such a beautiful year.

  11. 1. Extra Yarn
    2. Unspoken
    3. Bear Has a Story to Tell

  12. KT Horning says:

    I voted earlier but I am not sure I could remember what I voted for. Robin and Lolly have done a great job of pulling together a list of eligible books, and are hosting a thoughtful discussion here.

    By the way, I love the voting booth graphic at the top. Kudos to its creator!

  13. Robin Smith Robin Smith says:

    You KNOW it was NOT me. Lolly is the design queen.

  14. Susan Dailey says:

    I had trouble limited my vote to only three. It seems to me that this has been a very good year for picture books. What do others think?

  15. Susan Dailey says:

    Guess I didn’t reveal my three. They were:

    1) Step Gently Out
    2) Extra Yarn
    3) Hello, Hello

  16. Betsy Dewey says:

    Cute illustrations but I think the story is really weak..

  17. Robin Smith Robin Smith says:

    We never discussed Red Knit Cap Girl here, so it did not make it to the list.
    The next posting explains how our list came together. We certainly know we are missing many books that folks appreciate. It will be exciting to see what our readers choose and then, on Monday, what the real committee chooses.

  18. Caitlin L.Baker says:

    1) Extra Yarn
    2) I Have A Dream
    3) Island

  19. Extra Yarn is beautiful.
    Goldilocks and Mo Willems are brilliantly funny! –top two choices – i get to do a childrens lit lesson with a high school teachers academy class tomorrow and look forward to exciting them about Caldecott!

  20. Robin Smith Robin Smith says:

    I would love to know how the Klassen folks chose between his two titles. And how the Stead camp made its decision.

  21. 1. A Home for Bird
    2. Abe Lincoln’s Dream
    3. Z is for Moose

  22. Lynn Van Auken says:

    I finally “voted my heart” (thanks for giving me permission to do that!) and took the advice I give my students: Which book(s) did I return to again and again? Which books did I share with my family and friends? The Steads’ books didn’t inspire me to do either of these things (but I am still fascinated by last year’s Big Blue Boat) and although Klassen’s hat book was a hoot to share, when I had to narrow my choices down to three, it didn’t make the cut.
    I chose Abe Lincoln’s Dream, Unspoken, and Each Kindness. (Maybe a little biased??)

Comment Policy:
  1. Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  2. Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  3. Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through (though some comments with links to multiple URLs are held for spam-check moderation by the system). If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.

We accept clean XHTML in comments, but don't overdo it and please limit the number of links submitted in your comment. For more info, see the full Terms of Use.

Speak Your Mind