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And the 2016 Calling Caldecott winners are…


Approximately four hundred of you (judging by the number of first-place votes) took part in our second vote yesterday, with every one of the remaining eight books on the ballot garnering significant support (see results below). Congratulations to all those deserving and distinguished picture books! and best of luck in the real world as the […]

Calling Caldecott 2016 ballot #2 now open


This is when it gets really exciting for us. We had access to the secret link where we could see more and more votes come in yesterday. It was kind of like watching a road race in extreme slow motion. At 10 a.m. one book had a huge lead. When I checked back at 1:30 […]

Calling Caldecott 2016 ballot #1 now open

The voting booths were filled with voters at Memorial Hall in Independence, Kan., Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2006. (AP Photo/The Independence Daily Reporter, Nick Wright)

As promised, here is a link to the ballot. It will be open until 9 a.m. (EST) Tuesday. That’s tomorrow. Around noon Tuesday, Jan. 5 we will post the results of the first ballot AND a link to the second and final ballot. For those who want to think some more before voting, here (below) […]

Pre-voting instructions + ballot 1 choices

The voting booths were filled with voters at Memorial Hall in Independence, Kan., Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2006. (AP Photo/The Independence Daily Reporter, Nick Wright)

This year, Calling Caldecott has zoomed by! It’s not just our imagination. Last year there were 22 weeks between Labor Day and ALA; this year, only 18. But it feels rushed every year because there are so many good books out there. Even posting three times a week — and sometimes two books to a post […]

Picking up dropped stitches

if you plant

We are down to the wire, book-coverage-wise; after this post, it’s on to gearing up for our end-of-the-year Mock Caldecott vote. We try to discuss as many eligible picture books as we can here, but inevitably we miss some. This post is intended to catch some of those missed titles. I’m taking a slightly unorthodox approach […]

Two books about emotions


Normally our post title is the book’s title, but both of these together would be way too long: When Sophie’s Feelings Are Really, Really Hurt by Molly Bang and I Used to Be Afraid by Laura Vaccaro Seeger. Both illustrators have won Caldecott honors in the past, but never the actual Medal. Could this be […]

The Nonsense Show


The line between silliness and nonsense is fine but important, with the former largely random and self-generated, like a kid spinning in circles while intoning “I’m HILARIOUS” over and over. Nonsense is trickier: incongruity laid bare by juxtaposition with the world as we expect it to work. And in The Nonsense Show‘s series of eighteen double-page spreads, Eric Carle demonstrates […]

Top five picture books?


It’s time to weigh in with your top five picks for the 2016 Caldecott Medal! Last week, 2015 Caldecott committee member Susan Kusel reminded us what it’s like to be on the Real Committee this time of year, as members submit their seven allowed nominations. And Robin wrote last year both about that nomination process and […]

Out of the Woods

Out of the Woods

As Martha could tell you, this post has been really difficult to write because I love this book so much and want to do it justice. Why hasn’t Rebecca Bond been on my radar? Well, now she is. Out of the Woods is a story first told by Bond’s grandfather about a forest fire he […]

The Whisper


Alice famously wondered, “What is the use of a book without pictures or conversations?” In The Whisper, Pamela Zagarenski asks readers to consider the use of a picture book without words. Having been lent a “magical book of stories” by her teacher for the night, the unnamed protagonist eagerly scampers home with it — only […]