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Calling Caldecott 2014 second ballot is open!

We’re heading into the home stretch. Robin, Martha, and I are excited to see how this final vote plays out, especially since the last ballot had some very close votes. It seems pretty clear that either Mr. Tiger Goes Wild or Journey will be the winner, but which one? And what will the honor books be?

Here’s a link to the second ballot, and here, again, is the list of books under discussion:

Calling Caldecott 2014 second ballotBuilding Our House by Jonathan Bean
The Dark by Lemony Snicket, illustrated by Jon Klassen
Flora and the Flamingo by Molly Idle
Have You Seen My New Blue Socks? by Eve Bunting, illustrated by Sergio Ruzzier
Journey by Aaron Becker
Locomotive by Brian Floca
The Mighty Lalouche by Matthew Olshan, illustrated by Sophie Blackall
Mr. Tiger Goes Wild by Peter Brown
Mr. Wuffles! by David Wiesner
Niño Wrestles the World by Yuyi Morales
On a Beam of Light by Jennifer Berne, illustrated by Vladimir Radunsky
Parrots over Puerto Rico by Susan L. Roth and Cindy Trumbore, illustrated by Susan L. Roth

Note that this ballot will be open for just 24 hours, closing at 9 a.m. EST Thursday. Check back here at noon Thursday for the final results!


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. Sherie Biegel says:

    After reading these titles to hundreds of children, I’m surprised The Dark is not placing higher. Of all the books, this one resonated with my children the most. While reading it, you could have heard a pin drop in my library. Every child was holding his/her breath as Laszlo triumphed over his fear. After each reading it was amazing how many children opened up and shared their fears. In many classes every child shared something.

    Unicorn Thinks He’s So Great is another book my kids just loved. We had wonderful conversations about times when they felt like the goat and what made someone a “unicorn” in their eyes.

    If relatability is a factor in making Caldecott choice, then these two should definitely concerned.

  2. Hi Sherie,

    I came here to vote for Sergio Ruzzier’s book HAVE YOU SEEN MY NEW BLUE SOCKS and came across your comment.

    Thank you so much for your kind words and for tossing my book around in proximity of a Caldecott discussion. I’m so glad the kids could relate to UNICORN THINKS HE’S PRETTY GREAT. You really made my day.

    Oh, and the art in THE DARK is masterful.


  3. The first graders in my school adore UNICORN as well, and I deferred to the excellent audio for the in class reading. Definitely a worthy Caldecott contender! The online trailer is fabulous too!

  4. KT Horning says:

    Shrie, The Dark just won the Charlotte Zolotow Award for outstanding writing in a picture book. Our committee members had the same experience with reading it aloud to many different groups of young children. Plus the writing — and the art — are both excellent.

  5. KT Horning says:

    Aargh, I meant Sherie, of course.

  6. thanks Sam.

    I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to say you’re the nicest, smartest person in the whole world.

    If someone is rude to you today I want you to think, “So what? Bob Shea likes me.”

    Have a great day.

  7. Indeed Bob. I am deeply honored to hear that from you. Congratulations on one of the year’s most accomplished and beloved picture books, and the very best to you on Monday!

    I will be doing a post on UNICORN over the weekend as part of my ‘Caldecott Contenders’ series at my arts blog, Wonders in the Dark.

  8. Hi Sam,

    I knew I was right about you.


  9. 🙂

  10. Flora and the Flamingo speaks to all ages. The color, movement and facial expressions are the best I have ever seen. Everyone can relate to this wonderful book. The Dance of Friendship… Who wouldn’t love this book?

  11. Sherie Biegel says:

    After reading my own comment, I discovered a major typo…”concerned” should have been “be considered.” That’s what happens when you’re juggling five things at a time, I guess!

    Bob, your books are ALWAYS favorites with my students. We are currently voting for our Caldecott winners and Unicorn is definitely a strong contender. Voting wraps up Friday afternoon. I can’t wait to see if our choices mirror those of the committee. Keeping fingers crossed…

  12. Sheri, I will be most interested in learning how your kids voted. I will be polling the first grade classes tomorrow (today we wound up with a snow day here in the northeastern part of New Jersey right across from Manhattan) and likewise I am anticipating some love for UNICORN and a few other popular titles.

  13. This second ballot was easier than the first. All my favorites were still represented (save BLUEBIRD) and my vote has been cast. But I’d like to go out on a limb and give a shout-out to my personal favorite picture book of 2013 – GOD GOT A DOG by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Marla Frazee. In my eyes, Frazee’s interpretation of Rylan’t poems is sublime.
    It is the 2013 book I immediately wanted a dozen copies of to give to friends and family. It’s the picture book I walked around with and read a selection or two to anyone polite enough to lend me their ear the first weeks I owned it. It’s the book that travels back and forth to school with me, and it’s the book that is never far from the top of any pile that’s accumulated in the past three months.

    Thank you all for your enlightening insights and commentary throughout this Caldecott season. I am giddy with the prospect of joining some of you at the announcements Monday morning.

    Time to pack.

  14. Sam Bloom says:

    This time was actually a bit easier than the first ballot:
    1.) On a Beam of Light
    2.) Locomotive
    3.) Nino…

    I just went with my 3 favorites this time. At least, I THINK Nino is my #3… it might be Lalouche, or Mr Tiger, or Journey, or…

  15. I have the results from the first graders at the Number 3 School Annex.

    Because of the plethora of quality books this year I allowed for six honor books.

    Caldecott Gold: That is Not A Good Idea (Willems)

    Caldecott Honor Books:

    Unicorn Thinks He’s Pretty Great (Shea)
    Mr. Tiger Goes Wild (Brown)
    The Day the Crayons Quit (Daywalt; Jeffers)
    Journey (Becker)
    Nino Wrestles the World (Morales)
    The Mighty Lalouche (Olshan; Blackall)

    Students in the classes voted after surveying the layout of the 42 books that virtually covered every legitimate candidate for Caldecotts, books I had previously read to them over the past months. remembering the individual reactions of those readings I can’t say I am at all surprised with this morning’s results. These are first graders after all. Ha! Yet, every book here is great.

  16. Sam, if I might ask, what did you think of Marjorie Priceman’s work in “Who says Women Can’t Be Doctors?” now that we are on the subject of non-fiction books.

  17. It was no UNICORN THINKS HE’S PRETTY GREAT, right Sam?

    Just kidding.

  18. This is great, thanks!

    If any of you guys run into my dad do me a favor and say, “Congratulations on your son’s Caldecott Honor!” because he may be hearing that’s what just happened.

    He may also hear the word, “gold”. Messages get so mixed up sometimes!

  19. 🙂

    Love it Bob! For the record your book finished with 56 points, second of all the books in the running to Willems’ 61.

    After the Big 7 I thought I’d mention that the three closest runners-up to that group are books few would even think of for Caldecott attention:

    Mousetronaut Goes To Mars

    Well, actually Ms. Seeger’s book was well in contention all along.

  20. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  21. Sam Bloom says:

    I liked WHO SAYS WOMEN CAN’T BE DOCTORS a lot, actually. I’ve grown to appreciate Priceman’s books more and more the past few years (the first one I REALLY loved was JAZZ AGE JOSEPHINE). I’d put WHO SAYS… in my top 20, but it probably wouldn’t crack the top 10.

    @Bob: I’d like to think Elizabeth yelled “Taste my cloven justice!” at those who initially doubted her capabilities at med school, but I’m not sure that would be historically accurate.

  22. Does anyone else recognize the cloud machine in JOURNEY as a sort of copy of Wiesner’s machines in SECTOR 7? Does originality count?

  23. Lolly Robinson Lolly Robinson says:

    I see a number of antecedents in Journey, including Harold and the Purple Crayon and The Red Book. But the execution is distinctively different. When The Red Book came out, I said the illustrations needed to be that clean and simple so the intricacies of the plot could be followed more clearly. But with Journey I now see the same can be done with lavish illustrations. The audience just has to work a little harder to figure out what’s going on.

  24. Sherie Biegel says:

    My students made several connections in Journey, as well. They referenced Harold and the Purple Crayon and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe most often. A few were even reminded of the movie Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, which I thought was interesting. They made they connection to the chase in the hot air balloons and the girl’s imprisonment in the cage suspended underneath.

  25. Indeed Robin. I just posted my modest review of FLORA AND THE FLAMINGO as part of my ongoing Caldecott Contenders series at my sie, Wonders in the Dark:

  26. Thanks very much for responding to me, Sam (Bloom). I am completely with you on WHO SAYS WOMEN CAN’T BE DOCTORS? It would likewise make my Top 20 of the year, but not quite the Top 10. Definitely a beautifully illustrated book, and a most interesting biography as well. I do love ZIN ZIN the best of Priceman’s books, but I know that’s a popular position. The other honor book is fine, but somewhat less impressive that ZIN ZIN. I find that Priceman has one of the most immediately identifiable styles of all the children’s book illustrators. I must check out JAZZ AGE JOSEPHINE, which I have not yet seen.

    Thanks again.

  27. Another book that could well surprise on Monday (certainly for an Honor anyway) would be Uri Shulevitz’s DUSK. It’s a stunning book, and the committee rightly adores Shulevitz, who is one of the most honored illustrators.

  28. Bob (Shea):

    If you are still following this thread, i just wanted to let you know that my “Caldecott Contender” series review on UNICORN has just published at my site:

    Best wishes to you on Monday!

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