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On the radar

It’s WAAAY too early to predict the books that will rise to the top of the Caldecott pile when the committee meets to make their choices next January. So today we three Calling Caldecott bloggers will simply offer some titles that have caught our attention. (Or ones that we think might catch the committee’s attention. Or books we just want to talk about this fall.)

I’m happy to go first. Some of the books on my very preliminary list are ones I’ve lived with for a while; others are newly met. Some I can offer articulate defenses of; some I just kind of lurve (and some I admire rather than love). And others I calculatedly suspect will be of interest to the committee. So here, in no particular order, are my (Martha’s) baker’s dozen as of this moment:

  • Two Mice by Sergio Ruzzier
  • Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement illus. by Ekua Holmes
  • Finding Winnie illus. by Sophie Blackall
  • Lenny & Lucy illus. by Erin Stead
  • Waiting by Kevin Henkes
  • Last Stop on Market Street illus. by Christian Robinson
  • My Bike by Byron Barton
  • Wait by Antoinette Portis
  • Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans by Don Brown
  • Float by Daniel Miyares
  • The Night World by Mordicai Gerstein
  • The Bear Ate Your Sandwich by Julia Sarcone-Roach
  • Gordon Parks: How the Photographer Captured Black and White America illus. by Jamey Christoph

 •   •   •

From Robin:

As usual, I have no idea what might end up with a sparkly sticker on it in January. But here are the ones I’d like to see discussed by the committee. (I always wish I could be a fly on the wall, a fly with really good hearing.) So, here is my list. Some of these books I have not actually read yet, but the reviews are so intriguing that I know they are special.

  • Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans by Don Brown
  • Float by Daniel Miyares
  • Gordon Parks by Carole Boston Weatherford, illus. by Jamey Christoph
  • Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña, illus. by Christian Robinson
  • Lenny & Lucy by Philip and Erin Stead
  • Leo: A Ghost Story by Mac Barnett, illus. by Christian Robinson
  • Meet the Dullards by Sara Pennypacker, illus. by Daniel Salmieri
  • My Cousin Momo by Zachariah OHora
  • The Night World by Mordicai Gerstein
  • Two Mice by Sergio Ruzzier
  • Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer  by Carole Boston Weatherfort, illus by Ekua Holmes
  • Waiting by Kevin Henkes
  • Water Is Water by Miranda Paul, illus. by Jason Chin

 •   •   •

From Lolly:

A lot of books pass through my hands while preparing our book review sections, but I don’t have enough time to really sit and admire the picture books. Once Calling Caldecott season arrives, I can spare the time without feeling as if I’m goofing off. So here is a list of books I am looking forward to discussing or exploring, with parenthetical notes. There’s nothing on this list that hasn’t already been listed by Martha or Robin.

  • Waiting by Kevin Henkes (I reviewed this and have much lurve for it)
  • Wait by Antoinette Portis (I look forward to exploring two approaches to the same subject)
  • Finding Winnie illus. by Sophie Blackall (I reviewed a different Winnie book and want to compare the two)
  • Voice of Freedom by Carole Boston Weatherford, illus. by Ekua Holmes (I’ve been a fan of Ekua’s since we worked together in the 1990s. VERY happy to see her picture book debut getting so much attention)
  • Two Mice by Sergio Ruzzier (Ruzzier is always worth a closer look)
  • Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña, illus. by Christian Robinson (like Ruzzier, I will always pay attention to this illustrator’s work)
  • The Bear Ate Your Sandwich by Julia Sarcone-Roach (my new favorite unreliable narrator book)

 •   •   •

So, these are some of the books we’re looking forward to discussing here. In the comments section, please make your suggestions for any other 2015 books you’d like us to discuss. We’re listening, and eager to hear from you!

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. Eric Carpenter says:

    Some of my favorites not mentioned above:
    My Pen
    P. Zonka Lays an Egg
    A Fine Dessert
    Toys Meet Snow
    Lillian’s Right to Vote

  2. I posted my list in the 9/8 post, but The Bear Ate Your Sandwich is one of my favorites. However, A Fine Dessert is my top favorite. Also: My Pen, Little Bird Takes a Bath, and If You Plant a Seed.

  3. These are my favorites thus far:
    Trombone Shorty by Troy Andrews; illus. by Bryan Collier
    Drum Dream Girl by Margarita Engle; illus. by Rafael Lopez
    Waiting by Kevin Henkes
    A Fine Dessert by Emily Jenkins; illus. by Sophie Blackall
    Float by Daniel Miyares
    My Pen by Christopher Myers
    Water Is Water by Miranda Paul; illus. by Jason Chin
    On the Ball by Brian Pinkney
    Troto and the Trucks by Uri Shulevitz
    The Boy & the Book by David Michael Slater; illus. by Bob Kolar
    In a Village by the Sea by Muon Van; illus. by April Chu
    The Whisper by Pamela Zagarenski

  4. Thanks for sharing your lists! I love these. WATER IS WATER, LEO: A GHOST STORY, GINGERBREAD FOR LIBERTY, and FLOAT are currently on my mind. I also can’t stop thinking about Eleanor Davis and Drew Weing’s FLOP TO THE TOP!, which I hope gets some Calling Caldecott love this fall (and real Caldecott love come January). 🙂

  5. Robin Smith Robin Smith says:

    I don’t have all the titles you all have suggested, but I am scampering to find them!

  6. Usually, I don’t have a big preference for the Caldecott. This year, I’m all about A Fine Dessert, by Emily Jenkins, illus. by Sophie Blackall. I think it goes way above and beyond.

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