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Soooo close! But the Calling Caldecott winner is Journey


Journey wins, Tiger honors

Congratulations to both of these deserving books and their creators! The vote was so ridiculously close that it was almost too close to call:

2014 Calling Caldecott final ballot

But a winner must be named, because, as I type, the members of ALSC’s 2014 Caldecott committee are gathering in Philadelphia, preparing for their marathon weekend of meetings that will result in the announcement of the TRUE winners and honor books on Monday morning. (Those who want to experience all the excitement of the media awards press conference can watch it on live stream, here.)

We will be back on Monday as well, with our reactions to the committee’s choices (and please come back to share yours with us). The committee has so many, many excellent picture books to choose from this year. And on that note, I’d like to close by recognizing some of the books that might have been named Calling Caldecott honor books if the stars had aligned differently (i.e., if Journey and Mr. Tiger had not been so dominant and/or we hadn’t had our voting glitches):

locomotive  The Dark by Lemony Snicket  Nino Wrestles the World  flora and the flamingo   on a beam of light

Best of luck to all concerned as we head into The Real Thing. See you Monday!

Martha V. Parravano About Martha V. Parravano

Martha V. Parravano is book review editor of The Horn Book, Inc., and co-author of the Calling Caldecott blog.



  1. Congratulations to Journey. Exciting that they were so close. I’m still hoping for Mr. Tiger, but Journey is a beautiful book too.
    I’m looking forward to Monday so much – very exciting.
    I love this blog and enjoy it so much.
    I’d love to see posts throughout the year on books that are accumulating and might make the list in September. Maybe a couple of guest posters – Jules? Sam J? with some of the books they are loving, and/or the kids they read to love (I think Jules reads to kids regularly, she obvious reviews a lot of books).
    thanks to you all!

  2. Yes, congrats to JOURNEY and to that peach of a chap Aaron Becker, one of the nicest and most humble of all the artists out there.

    Agreed that the vote was “ridiculously” close, heck 108 to 104 is unreal.

    Will this mirror Monday’s results by the Caldecott committee? I believe it will. God only knows which of the two books will win the Gold, but there is like a 99.9% probability that the book that isn’t chosen will absolutely, unquestionably be given an Honor.

    We can bet the farm LOCOMOTIVE will have one of the others honors.

    The challenge is what other three books will win Honors. I say three because like many on these threads I envision the very strong year attracting at least the same number of citations as last year.

    Thanks very much Allison for mentioning me, and kudos to you for your incredible knowledge and incomparable passion.

    The Horn Book and Martha have done a fantastic job that has culminated with this barn burner of a result. Nice!

  3. Bill Wright says:

    Congrats to JOURNEY as well!! We had a similar situation in my 3rd grade classroom, but between Journey and Bluebird. Surprised that Bluebird (the eventual winner) hasn’t gotten more traction from the many mock groups… Wonder what Monday’s news will bring!

  4. On a Beam of Light! On a Beam of Light! On a Beam of Light!… Dang. I can tell that this is getting me nowhere.

  5. And, in all honesty, there are several worthy books this year. Always a fun time of year!

  6. Robin Smith says:

    Being at ALA makes me so happy! It’s books books books all the time!
    Who else is here?

  7. Hi Robin ~ I am! And I’d love to meet one of my favorite mentors. Do you have time for a quick visit this weekend?

  8. Barb Outside Boston says:

    I love ON A BEAM OF LIGHT and yet can imagine it not getting an award this year since there are so many worthy choices.

    However, I cannot imagine ‘our’ 2 winners not both getting either the Medal or an Honor. But we’ll see! I will be live-streaming in the library on our ActivBoard–can’t wait!

  9. I love it too Barbara, and I have argued the case for it over the past few days in a post for it in the Caldecott Contenders series at my film and arts site.

    Yeah I know I could be shameless by posting these links here, but heck I’m 59 years old, am not look for anything (except maybe retirement? Ha! Fat chance with five kids all one-by-one coming upon the college age) but joining in the celebration of the awards and in the lead-up. I am here to help spread the word, though the people at Horn Book and SLJ have always and continue to be the true disciples. Nobody does it better than they do.

  10. Barb Outside Boston says:

    Sam, I am of the opinion that we could always use links to additional sites that celebrate children’s books!

  11. Indeed Barbara, I very much appreciate those sentiments and of course completely agree.


  12. If this balloting is at all indicative of what the real committee is up against, they have a LONG night ahead of them! Thankfully we all can sleep well and rest easy. Thank you Robin, Martha and Lolly for another stellar year!

    By the way, Orbis Pictus was just announced – some familiar titles here, including the winner:

  13. Wow, A SPLASH OF RED wins the top accolade over Locomotive, though the latter did show up as an honor with a few other gems we know and love!

    But A SPLASH OF RED is one of my absolute favorite books of the entire year (in my Top 3 in fact) so I applaud this admittedly surprising result.

    Sweet gets two nods here obviously. I did like her work in BRAVE GIRL, and she is a big favorite for her past work, but A SPLASH OF RED is on another level for me. The attractive illustrations in BRAVE GIRL do not approach it.

  14. Robin smith says:

    Sure, lynn! I am at Notables for the duration of the afternoon!

  15. Robin Smith says:

    It was a joy to see Melissa Sweet talk about her process at ALA. She was on a panel with Brian Floca, Kadir Nelson, Steve Sheinkin and Tonya Bolden. They discussed their work with Ilene Cooper.

  16. I’m here! I’m hoping/planning to be at the press conference bright and early Monday morning 🙂

  17. I met Melissa Sweet at the Eerdmans booth when she was signing River of Words. (b/c I missed Friday’s session 🙁 ). Like a total groupie, I got my picture with her. Wish I’d known about her Orbis Pictus victory!! I LOVED Splash of Red and am so happy it won. I used it as my example of how a picture book biography could be super awesome earlier this fall (only I tried to sound more technical than “super awesome…”).

  18. Sorry I missed you yesterday, Robin. How does today look?

  19. I agree with Barb. I appreciate finding Sam’s blog, and other interesting links that have been shared. So far I haven’t felt that anyone was sharing links for selfish reasons. This is a very enthusiastic, friendly, networking group.

    I wanted to say also that a few postings earlier Martin and Mahalia was noticed by me. And I agree. It is a beautiful book. Of course, I’m a long time fan of Andrea Pinkney and Brian Pinkney as well. But I didn’t even notice at first that the book was by them. I hope it gets recognition somewhere. I have chosen it for our recommended picture book during Black History Month for our school newsletter to give it some more attention.

    Can’t wait for tomorrow.

  20. I agree! So many gorgeous books that, most importantly, KIDS love.

    I’m very excited about the Orbis Pictus awards for Melissa Sweet and the others. Great news. Also, Sam, thanks for posting the link.

    Looking forward to tomorrow!

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