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In limbo

Sometimes this Mock Caldecott thing starts to seem a little too real for me. I keep having to remind myself that our choices are not THE choices. I am actually very happy with the three books you all voted for, but I also find myself getting a little sad about some that didn’t make it to our final three. Like Robin, I prefer to have as many honor books as possible. So it’s nice to wake up and realize that the actual awards have yet to be announced. There is still hope!

This time, the toughest losses for me are Little Dog Lost, Ocean Sunlight, and Mom, It’s My First Day of Kindergarten! I need to remind myself that the real committee is likely to go in a completely different direction. Last year, our list was weirdly close to the committee’s, but my gut says that was a coincidence and is unlikely to happen again this year. As others have said in the comments here, the 2012 picture book year seems pretty wide open.

The best books this year feel so spread out to me. There’s really strong nonfiction like Step Gently Out, Island, and Life in the Ocean. There are books with gorgeous distinguished (a.k.a. serious) art like I Have a Dream, Green, and Each Kindness. There are funny books like Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs and The Obstinate Pen. And of course the committee will also be talking about lots of books that we never even mentioned here.

I’d love to know which books you are still rooting for.

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. House Held Up By Trees!

  2. I just can’t say enough about Ocean Sunlight, by Molly Bang and Penny Chisholm. Every spreadis so thoughtfully and wonderfully designed, with soft but structured lines and a vivid palette, to lead us deeper and deeper into the mystery of how life subsists in the ocean. Areas of solid color are juxtaposed against areas of rich detail to create a call and response of questions and answers; these moments of pause allow the reader to fully engage with the science, art, and story. The illustrations of the sunlight and foliage in particular have an almost stylized, “Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain” look to them that is well paired with the omniscient voice of the Sun. (Can you just imagine James Earl Jones narrating this one, too??)

  3. Caitlin L.Baker says:

    You mentioned some of my favorite picture books of 2012!
    I’m still rooting for:
    1) Little Dog Lost
    2) Life in the Ocean
    3) Island
    4) I Have a Dream

  4. Susan Dailey says:

    Hope to hear “Step Gently Out” get at least an honor tomorrow!

  5. Lynn Van Auken says:

    I have a question about participation: are those on the actual committees in any given year discouraged from participating in Mock conversations? I can imagine the interest, but as the awards are not for popularity, see how conversations outside the committee could create a conflict of interest.

  6. Robin Smith Robin Smith says:

    Anyone on any committee can speak about THEIR favorites. However, they can say NOTHING about what has been nominated. Personally, I would step away from running a public mock committee if I were serving.

  7. Robin Smith Robin Smith says:

    Me too.

  8. I had the same feeling when narrowing down the books for discussion at my library’s mock Caldecott, and had to remind myself that “our” books were not “the” books, nor was it our intention to predict the award (but to show people some excellent books, talk about the award process, and have fun, which we did). I remember pushing the cart of books that didn’t make it into our program over to the desk to be checked back in, and thinking, “There’s probably at least one Caldecott honor book, or maybe medalist, on this cart.”

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