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Calling Caldecott 2013 ballot list

We decided to put more titles on the ballot this year. It means more math for Robin when we tally everything Wednesday morning, but she says that’s okay, bless her.

On the real committee, once the ballot is decided there is more discussion before voting, so we’d like to hear lots of comments. Lurkers, it’s time to be heard! Be as specific and as persuasive as you can. Who knows, you just might bring some undecided voters into your camp.

We will post a link to the actual voting mechanism at 9 a.m. Tuesday morning and the poll will stay open until 9 a.m. Wednesday. Robin will tally the votes and we’ll let you know the results later on Wednesday, aiming for noon. It seems like a mathematical certainty that we will need a second ballot, and that will go up Thursday morning at 9, closing Friday morning. The goal is to announce a definitive winner and honor books at noon Friday.

(One more thing. In case you were otherwise occupied over the weekend, do check out our last three posts on I Have a Dream, Abe Lincoln’s Dream, and Fifty Cents and a Dream.)


AND NOW, here is THE 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 Seas by 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

On your mark, get set, DISCUSS!

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 Robin Smith says:

    I am getting excited about this! Thanks for getting all those covers up, Lolly. It helps a lot.
    Feels rather wide open this year…

  2. Carole Koneff says:

    These are all wonderful books and I am delighted to see Island by Jason Chin, but I cannot believe that Sleep Like a Tiger illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski is not featured. I guess we don’t all have the same opinions and that is what makes the world go round, but I am disappointed not to see it. Thanks however for posting this list and I will be happy to participate in the voting.

  3. In the event the nonfiction books have a shot, I am pulling for Island. Incredibly well thought out use of pictures to tell this story in conjunction with the words. While Extra Yarn has been with us from the get go this year in Caldecott discussions, I am sticking with my support for that book. It tells a wonderful and unexpectedly original story. I think Jon Klassen’s illustrations are a perfect match for the story. He is great working with subdued colors…and sets the stage well for the yarn making the world more colorful. I think the Steads deserve to be in the mix, and, despite my earlier reservations, I’m going to put my money behind A Home for Bird. I Have a Dream is powerful. (The CD by itself is powerful.) As others have mentioned, Nelson seems overdue for a Caldecott. One last book that I really like that is not on your list is We March by Shane Evans.

    Since I do not engage in this type of Caldecott prediction on my blog, thanks for the opportunity to do it here!

  4. Both I Have a Dream and Z is for Moose do excellent jobs of ignoring margins when they need to, and for very different purposes. I’d be very happy to see either win.

  5. Sam Bloom says:

    The other day I asked my 3-year old what should win the Caldecott, and without blinking an eye she answered, “Step Gently Out.” You heard it here first, folks.

  6. Robin Smith Robin Smith says:

    From her lips to God’s ears.

    I was just thinking about what I would vote for and that was the first one that popped to my mind. Last year, I was much more decisive. See how I feel in the morning…

  7. I can’t remember the last time I rooted so hard for one book to win. (Well, I did want Amos McGee to win, so I guess it wasn’t that long ago.)

    Anyway, I am still rooting for Cordell’s hello! hello! I love his distinctive style. I love the smart design choices. I love the book’s rhythm and pacing—so spot-on, especially the explosion of color right where it matters—and the fantastical elements in the book’s climax (Lydia’s romp on the horse with animals like an octopus and dinosaur). I love all the details (especially the book’s lettering) and what they tell us about the story. I think the subject matter is timely, yet not too finger-waggy. I love Cordell’s line work — economical, light, full of movement. I’ve said this before (I’ve been rooting for this book all year), but I think Cordell pulls it all off with delicacy, a sophisticated restraint, and a satisfying elegance. And humor to top it all off.

  8. Nicely said. Just talking about this book over Scrabble. (I won.)

  9. Judy Houser says:

    Green is a very unique book and I like it very much, but considering the award is for the most distinguished illustrations, I have to go with Unspoken. I tell my students that the award is not just for good artwork, but for artwork that enhances the story. It is a beautiful and provacative book.

  10. I’m happy to see someone mention Sleep Like a Tiger! It’s not on the list, but that would be my vote. It’s such a wonderful combination of an eloquent text, a lovely story, and beautiful illustrations. The illustrations are rich with detail and texture. They’re slightly surreal, giving the book a dreamy, whimsical feel, which suits the story. Even the end-papers are wonderful.

    As for what’s on the ballot, A Home for Bird would be my pick.I love that the illustrations are bright, colorful, messy and exuberant. The humor and childlike sweetness are charming. So many good books to choose from!

  11. Betsy Dewey says:

    I agree, Judy, I think Unspoken is the most distinguished of this year’s picks (and my college class agreed in their Mock Caldecott selection today…) Cole tells the story of the Underground Railroad wordlessly in perfectly detailed illustrations, very reminiscent of Brian Selznick’s work. I would definitely give Green an honor. I am unsure of the other honors…I like Oh, No!, Baby Bear Sees Blue, and even Jenkins’ The Beetle Book, but definitely not Hello Hello which I find much too didactic and not particularly well illustrated…sorry

  12. A HOME FOR BIRD gets my first place vote. From the front cover to the very back is brilliant. Isn’t it clever that on the back cover the birds are pointing the way for Skunk and Porcupine to find their friends, Vernon and Bird? Talk about a book about friendship with bright and messy, childlike illustrations. What’s not to love? Look closely or not there are details and delights on each page.

  13. Oh, so many great books. I’m seriously in love with the beauty and simplicity of Baby Bear Sees Blue, but I’m rooting for Extra Yarn to take it. Love Klassen’s work in that. Beautiful, simple, detailed. Yes, stunning!

  14. AllisonGK says:

    I’m late commenting, but wanted to put in a word for the exquisite Life in the Ocean: The Story of Oceanographer Sylvia Earle by Claire A. Nivola. While I readily admit that having a newborn has prevented me from keeping up with all the books, I have read about half of them, and Life in the Ocean is still my favorite. Claire Nivola is an illustrator whose artistry deserves appreciation and no book is more deserving than this one.

  15. I love her work too, but this one is something special! I hope people get it, listen to the NPR interviews with Sylvia Earle and pass the book around. So good.

  16. Hi to all, how is the whole thing, I think every one
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