Our Mock Caldecott vote has concluded. Thanks to everyone (if our numbers and math are correct, over 600 of you—a record number) who participated. There may be hope for us all if we all still care this passionately about picture books.
The winner of our Mock Caldecott, with a phenomenally high 1026 total points, is They All Saw a Cat by Brendan Wenzel. No other book came close, really. And the number of first-place votes it received (152) far outstripped the other contenders. So, we would have a winner even going by the Real Committee rules (under which the winning book must received a majority of first-place votes among the fifteen committee members). From the Caldecott Manual:
“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.”
Here are the full results:
|The Airport Book
|Du Iz Tak?
|Freedom in Congo Square
|The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles
|They All Saw a Cat
|This Is Not a Picture Book!
|Thunder Boy Jr.
|We Found a Hat!
Here’s a visual picture of the results:
Now, on to the choosing of the honor books. Again, from the Manual:
“Immediately following determination of the winner of the Caldecott Medal, and following appropriate discussion, the committee will entertain the following:
- Whether honor books will be named.
- Whether the committee wishes to choose as honor books the next highest books on the original winning ballot or to ballot again.
- If the committee votes to use the award-winning ballot, they must then determine how many honor books to name.
- If the committee chooses to ballot for honor books, only books that received points on the award winning ballot may be included. The same voting procedure is followed as for the award winner.
- If the committee has chosen to ballot for honor books, following that ballot, the committee will vote how many books of those receiving the highest number of points are to be named honor books.”
This year, which saw such a richness of varied and extraordinary picture books, would seem to cry out for as many books to be recognized as possible, and hence a large number of honor books. Here, looking at the graph above, we have two titles that clearly separate themselves from the pack — but there’s no way we’re awarding just one honor book this year. Right? Two other books besides They All Saw a Cat received more than 500 total points in our mock Caldecott. Six other books received 400 or more total points. In the interests of celebrating the riches before us, we decided to err on the side of generosity and award six honor books. (But you can see how the decision could easily have gone a different way — and how that decision might have been justified.)
On a Real Committee, faced with such numbers of books with such similar vote tallies, the chair may well have called for another ballot to get a clearer distinction, a clearer cut-off point, in order to find the books that would rise to the top and thus determine the honor books. Here, our mock balloting is finished. And so our six chosen honor books are Some Writer!: The Story of E. B. White by Melissa Sweet (with 663 points); Thunder Boy Jr., illustrated by Yuyi Morales (with 507 points); Du Iz Tak? by Carson Ellis, (with 475 points); Freedom in Congo Square, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie (with 436 points); The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles, illustrated by Erin E. Stead (with 431 points); and Before Morning, illustrated by Beth Krommes (with 420 points).
There we have it. Congratulations to all!
We want to thank everyone who participated in Calling Caldecott this year. Thanks to our heroic Guest Posters: Sam Bloom, Eric Carpenter, Julie Danielson, Angela Frederick, Elisa Gall, Patrick Gall, Elissa Gershowitz, Alia Jones, Travis Jonker, Yoomi An Larmee, Minh Le, Cathie Mercier, Becky Reiser, Dean Schneider, and Emmie Stuart. They brought fresh eyes and fresh voices to our coverage, and we are truly grateful. Thanks too to everyone who commented this fall and to everyone who voted this past week.
We will have further coverage from the ALA Midwinter conference, which begins this Friday — including, of course, a report on the Actual Winners, which will be announced at Monday morning’s Youth Media Awards press conference. The announcement can’t help but be compelling, given the choices the Real Committee have this year. So many amazing books! And who knows which ones will actually rise to the top behind the closed doors of the deliberating 2017 Caldecott Committee? I don’t envy them their task.