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Me…Jane wins Calling Caldecott vote

The winner of the 2012 Calling Caldecott mock vote is Me…Jane by Patrick McDonnell!

     Blackout        I Want My Hat Back

The four honor books are
Balloons Over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy’s Parade
by Melissa Sweet
Blackout by John Rocco
Grandpa Green by Lane Smith
I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen

Though the first place numbers were decisive on this ballot, there would still be another vote on the real committee between Me…Jane and Grandpa Green. According to the rules, the winning book has to receive more than half the first place votes and with 297 or so voters, the winner would have to garner 149 first place votes. However, we make our own rules!

In the interest of transparency, here are the totals:

1st choice
(4 points)
2nd choice
(3 points)
3rd choice
(2 points)
Total points
Balloons Over Broadway 46 56 68 488
Blackout  43 41 50 395
Grandpa Green  68 65  52 571
I Want My Hat Back 47 66  64 514
Me…Jane  89 61  52 643


In the next day or two, we will be back to talk about how honor books are selected, interesting things about the math of the vote, watching the returns, and mourning the loss of beloved titles. And, of course, we will return next week to see if we had a lick of luck in our predictions. For those of you who will not be in Dallas on Monday, you can watch the award press conference here, at least until it crashes due to traffic overload! If and when that happens, you might find the Twitter feed more useful. All this is supposed to begin at 7:45 a.m. MT, which would be 8:45 for east coasters, 5:45 for west coasters, etc.

For now, we would love to know your reactions to the latest vote. What surprised you? How did you feel when you saw the results of each ballot?

About Robin Smith and Lolly Robinson

Robin Smith is a second-grade teacher at the Ensworth School in Nashville, Tennessee. She is a reviewer for Kirkus and The Horn Book Magazine and has served on multiple award committees.
Lolly Robinson is the designer and production manager for The Horn Book, Inc. She has degrees in studio art and children's literature and teaches children's and adolescent literature at Harvard University's Graduate School of Education. She has served on the Caldecott and the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award committees.



  1. Robin Smith Robin Smith says:

    I posted this on the thread about Mock Caldecotts, but I will repeat the results of my sixteen second graders here:

    Winner: Blackout by John Rocco (which was a bit of a surprise to me based on the discussions)
    Balloons Over Broadway
    Grandpa Green

    We considered all the books that we discussed on Calling Caldecott.

    I was not surprised that Blackout was honored, but I was surprised by the margin. Neville won an honor because it received so many second and third place votes. I think they were trying to make me happy. That’s how it works sometimes in second grade.

    A number of books dropped off after the first vote, but I was most surprised that I Want My Hat Back received just one second place vote and three third place votes. That’s such a class favorite.

    Here are the books that received votes in the first round, but dropped off:
    Bone Dog
    A Ball for Daisy
    Where’s Walrus?
    Tweak! Tweak!
    I Want my Hat Back

  2. Yowza! Please thank your second graders for me, Robin. This has been such a fun blog to follow, so many thanks to Lolly and Robin for doing this. I am thrilled to be getting a Calling Caldecott Mock honor and having Blackout displayed with those lovely books.
    One minor quibble, which doesn’t effect the outcome at all, but the math is wrong on the final tally.
    Could that be a hanging chad?

  3. Robin Smith Robin Smith says:

    I think I fixed it, John.

    Darn transparency. (and when I say “darn,” it is just because my students might be reading.)
    Funny how that whole adding thing works when one is racing, talking on a cell phone to Lolly, and looking at the clock. (That crazy post was finished while my students were in the library for 30 minutes!) Funny thing is, that total is what I had written down. 0 & 9 are dangerously close together when my fat fingers are concerned.

    I will be posting about the mysteries of honor book selections soon.
    No numbers will be involved. Well, actually there will be numbers involved. Hope for the best.

    And–congratulations on your virtual prize. Perhaps next year Lolly and I will call the winners at some god-awful hour–in the interest of authenticity, of course.

  4. John Rocco follows this blog?! How exciting.! And congratulations on the great book, Mr. Rocco. I enjoyed it for many reasons (and so did my 5-year old son!) and was very glad that it made honor on our mock here on the blog.
    Why were all the books in our top 5 made honor books? Would that be realistic? Or did you both (Robin and Lolly) just love them all too much to eliminate any as honors after our 2nd vote?
    I’m very sad that books like Naamah and the Ark at Night, Swirl by Swirl, and Orani didn’t make the finals. However, the emotions I’m feeling are over the books that I didn’t like enough to think that they should have been considered at all.

    I’ll just briefly list them because I already commented about them on other postings and don’t want to become your dreaded whiner/reader/commenter.
    I’m baffled by ‘I Want My Hat Back’. I really respect Mr. Klassen’s art and appreciate the book. But I do not think it should have been an honor book on our mock. I just read Robin’s posting above saying it is her classes’ favorite, so I’m sorry that I have such a contrasting view.
    I also love the art in Grandpa Green, but don’t think it should be here as an honor (although I understand why everyone wants it to be!). Maybe it is just my own criteria that if the book isn’t really appropriate for the age group then it shouldn’t be considered. I guess some others who have won in the past wouldn’t have won the Caldecott if I my criteria were used. I feel like Grandpa Green is more for adults than kids as so many references are too old for the apparent intended age.
    OK, so I’ve said it here and I promise not to mention this again!
    I have loved this process, and feel privileged to be able to participate in a mock Caldecott vote after months of interesting discussion of many, many lovely books with Lolly, Robin and the readers of this blog.
    Thank you!

  5. Robin Smith Robin Smith says:

    I am going to post about why and how Lolly and I decided to go on and honor all of the books in a post tomorrow. There was a reason, I promise.

    I hope people got a little taste of the process. Will you be following the announcements on Monday morning? I will be there this year, on the edge of my seat.

  6. Thanks for your reply! Yes, I can’t wait for Monday. But I am on the west coast so I don’t know how early I’ll have to get up!

  7. Roger Sutton Roger Sutton says:

    Good job, you guys! (And not just because you picked my favorite.) Will be on the ground with Martha Monday morning to hear what they think.

  8. Kathy Lauterbach says:

    My third graders voted for Blackout as their favorite Caldecott book too. Their honor books were Grandpa Green, Brother Sun, Sister Moon, All the Water in the World, and Red Sled. In Blackout, they loved the silhouette images and the contrast of light and dark and the candle bringing color to the city scape. We also lost power this fall for 7 days in our area and I think it brought back fond memories.

  9. In the Hyde Park, New York area three libraries hold a mock Caldecott, getting together at the end to vote a last time for the winner. The mock Caldecott committees of this Hudson River
    Valley voted for Blackout as their first choice. They loved the retro originality of the art, the surprising perspectives, the simple power of image – and the powerful visual reminder that less may be more. Even now. Their runnerups were A Nation’s Hope; the presenter for this book did an amazing presentation; it showed just how good it really was. The other runnerup was the popular Me, Jane, which everyone loved.

  10. Susan Dailey says:

    I must admit that I’m surprised “A Nation’s Hope” isn’t getting more buzz. There are some amazing powerful images in it.

  11. Susan–
    Yes there are some powerful images in A NATION’S HOPE, but there have been some pretty serious concerns about the story itself. The depiction of Max Schmelling as “Hitler’s German” has been discussed at some length in a number of reviews and on online sites. Schmelling was not a Hitler supporter and it would be easy to read the book and think he was. Also, there was no backmatter to extend or explain the story. I have no idea about anything that went on in the committee deliberations, but I would not be surprised if these concerns were part of the discussion.

  12. Hanging chad or not, congratulations on your early AM phone call and shiny sticker.

  13. Bill Wright says:

    My third grade class and I have been doing mock Caldecotts in class for quite a number of years, and this year our medal choice was All the Water in the World. Honors went to Blue Chicken, Never Forgotten, Orani, and The Secret River. We had looked at A Ball for Daisy, but the consensus in the class was that it was cute, but not distinguished. This year’s class was very much into details, hence the attraction to Orani and the Dillon’s two books. So great to read what other kids and adults have been choosing!

  14. Susan Dailey says:


    Thanks for the information. I must admit that I didn’t read the text–just studied the illustrations– so it’s good to know of the concerns. Doesn’t the Caldecott criteria say something about the committee being able to consider the text especially if it weakens the book?

    I knew someone who was on the Caldecott Committee several years ago. She felt that one book was eliminated because the story seemed “sappy” after reading it many, many times in the deliberation process.

    Thank you so much for doing this blog! I appreciated Lolly and your insights.

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