The Caldecott and Newbery awards were founded partly as a way to support the publishing of American books for children, and the rules are quite clear about who can win and who cannot. I have pasted part of the Caldecott eligibility criteria below:
The award is restricted to artists who are citizens or residents of the United States. Books published in a U.S. territory or U.S. commonwealth are eligible….“American picture book in the United States” means that books first published in previous years in other countries are not eligible. Books published simultaneously in the U.S. and another country may be eligible. Books published in a U.S. territory or U.S. commonwealth are eligible…“In English” means that the committee considers only books written and published in English. This requirement DOES NOT limit the use of words or phrases in another language where appropriate in context…“Resident” specifies that illustrator has established and maintains a residence in the United States, U.S. territory, or U.S. commonwealth as distinct from being a casual or occasional visitor.
So, in America by American artists.
That leaves a whole passel of people out, doesn’t it? In one of my other lives, I served on the Outstanding International Books for Children Committee, which is a committee of a fine organization called USBBY. That allowed me to read many books that were published in other countries. Some of them are picture books, and many of them fit the other criteria for Caldecott.
I was lucky enough to visit the Butler Center Children’s Literature Center this past weekend, where Thom Barthelmess and his students are discussing books that are not eligible for the Caldecott. They call these books Caldenott titles, which is a brilliant moniker. Here are the books the Butler students are talking about.
AND, here are just a smattering of 2013 books from other countries that I think are Books You Should Know:
Bang by Leo Timmers
The Bear’s Song by Benjamin Chaud
The Enduring Ark by Joydeb Chitrakar and Gita Wolf
Hello, Mr. Hulot by David Merveille
Line 135 by Germano Zullo, illus. by Albertine
Little Naomi, Little Chick by Avirama Golan, illus. by Raaya Karas
Loula Is Leaving for Africa by Anne Villeneuve
A Mammoth in the Fridge by Michael Escoffier, illlus. by Matthieu Maudet
Mako by Julien Béziat
Mr. Flux by Kyo Maclear, illus by Matte Stephens
My Father’s Arms Are a Boat by Stein Erik Lunde, illus by Øyvind Torseter
My Grandpa by Marta Altés
Once Upon a Northern Light by Jean Pendziwol, illus. by Isabelle Arsenault
One Gorilla by Anthony Browne
Picture a Tree by Barbara Reid
The Silver Button by Bob Graham
Sophie Scott Goes South by Alison Lester
The Tiny King by Taro Miura
Of course there are a bunch of other books that were published in the U.S. but are ineligible because of residency issues. I still don’t know if Frank Viva is a U.S. resident or not. (That, FYI, is for the ALSC office to investigate.) I bet a lot of you can think of a LOT more books that fulfill the Caldecott criteria but are ineligible for one reason or another. What are some other books you love this year that will not be considered by the committee?
Please leave the titles in the comments below so that we can all run out and get them!