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Calling Caldecott 2016 ballot #2 now open

This is when it gets really exciting for us. We had access to the secret link where we could see more and more votes come in yesterday. It was kind of like watching a road race in extreme slow motion. At 10 a.m. one book had a huge lead. When I checked back at 1:30 p.m., there were two clear leaders and every book had at least one first place vote. By 5:30 the middle of the pack had surged forward. This morning, all the books stretched out into a more even race, and I was was glad to see a healthy number of votes for the books I love that didn’t quite make it into my top three.

Now we need to turn away from Reading and Writing and move on to Arithmetic.

If we count up the first-place votes, a total of 328 people cast a ballot. There were 315 second-place votes and 309 for third place. I guess some people figure fewer votes will give more weight to the books they really love, or they had one or two big favorites and just wanted to vote for those. However, on the real Caldecott Committee, every member MUST vote for a first, second, and third choice on each ballot, so for our second (and last) ballot coming up, we hope and trust you will do the same. (On the Real Committee, they would keep voting until one book got the majority of first choice votes. For the sake of time, we cap it here at two ballots.)

We did our math, weighting the votes as the real committee would: 1st choice votes x 4; 2nd choice votes x 3; 3rd choice votes x 2; then add them all up for the total points.

Here are the results:

1st choice
(4 points)
2nd choice
(3 points)
3rd choice
(2 points)
Total points
The Bear Ate Your Sandwich
10 14 13 108
Bird & Diz
7 5 8 59
Boats for Papa
33 16 15 210
Drowned City
5 8 10 64
Drum Dream Girl
17 12 13 130
Finding Winnie
21 25 15 189
26 21 19 205
If You Plant a Seed
11 13 11 105
In a Village by the Sea
10 9 11 89
It’s Only Stanley
7 9 21 97
Last Stop on Market Street
33 30 30 282
Lenny & Lucy
6 15 14 97
My Bike
3 1 3 21
My Pen
4 11 9 67
The Night World
9 13 9 93
Out of the Woods
6 6 3 48
Tricky Vic
4 10 5 56
Two Mice
20 9 11 129
Voice of Freedom
6 5 9 57
5 7 9 59
46 33 20 323
Water Is Water
18 20 20 172
When Sophie’s Feelings Are Really, Really Hurt
1 3 1 15
The Whisper
12 10 10 98
Wolfie the Bunny
8 10 20 102


Looking at all these numbers, I find it hard to see straight and much prefer a visual overview like this:



Next we had to decide what should go onto the final ballot. A large number of books received in the neighborhood of 100 votes, but there is a bit of a gap in the spread between that 100-point neighborhood and the 120s, so we decided to make that number the cutoff. That sent the top eight books — all getting 120 or more votes — on to the second ballot. So … drumroll, please … here are the books that are on our final ballot, available from now until Wednesday morning at 9 a.m. EST:


Boats for Papa (Jessixa Bagley)
Drum Dream Girl (Rafael López)
Finding Winnie (Sophie Blackall)
Float (Daniel Miyares)
Last Stop on Market Street (Christian Robinson)
Two Mice (Sergio Ruzzier)
Waiting (Kevin Henkes)
Water Is Water (Jason Chin)

Last year we had an entire day to mull things over and mourn favorite books that didn’t make it to the second ballot. This year, the ALA Midwinter calendar is against us, so we will proceed to the second ballot right away.

If you are like me, you WILL need to mourn before moving on, so use the comments below to tell us about that. This is also a good time to state your case for a favorite book on the our final ballot. At this stage, on the Real Committee, an articulate, passionate plea can sway votes. After all, any votes previously spent on books that didn’t make the second ballot are now up for grabs.

And now, time to vote!


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. My favorites are here: Drum Dream Girl and Boats for Papa. My K-2nd grade students would be sorely disappointed to see Wolfie the Bunny missing from the list. I’m sure Wolfie the Bunny will be a strong contender for the Children’s Choice Award.

  2. Heck I mourn all the books that didn’t advance, much as I mourned a batch that didn’t even make the first ballot.

    However there were four that lost here that……well….I’d say it is a crying shame. They are simply too great to lose out:

    In A Village by the Sea
    The Bear Ate Your Sandwich
    It’s Only Stanley
    If You Plant a Seed.

    But again there are others like Drowned City, Tricky Vic, The Whisper, Wait and Wolfie the Bunny that tomorrow I might say are as great as them all.

    The eight we have are magnificent. I didn’t realize there was that level of support for WAITING, but it sure is a transcendent work, that I do adore. But anything can happen on the next ballot for sure with artists such as Sergio Ruzzier, Sophie Blackall and Jessixa Bagley among others closely contending for that top spot!

    Hurray for Two Mice, Finding Winnie, Boats For Papa, Drum Dream Girl, Float, The Last Stop on Market Street and Water is Water!!

  3. This is when Sophie’s feelings are really, really hurt.

  4. Patricia Dean says:

    I have 2 favorites and only one is on the list. I love The Whisper. I really thought it had a chance. The artwork is amazing and magical, and the way the fox catches the words from the book in a net as the little girl walks home. Then the book turns into a wordless book and the child must create the text. The pictures are brilliantly imagined. I am sorry it is not higher on the list.

    I also love the book Welcome Mr. Bear. The emotion of the bear is extraordinary and the use of materials to create the images is definitely noteworthy. This was my 2nd choice.
    I’m a big fan of Float. My Pen. Book.

  5. Sadly, I didn’t get to vote in the first round, as something came up yesterday. So I voted right away today. I was also sad to see Plant a Seed and It’s Only Stanley also not in this round, Sam. I didn’t get to see Bird and Diz, so wouldn’t have voted for it, but was hoping based on the comments and review in other posts. I am thrilled to see Drum Dream Girl here. My 3rd graders love the art!
    After the heartbreak a few years ago over Mr. Tiger Goes Wild, I must admit that I try not to get as attached to any books even though I love them. I’m truly hoping that Water is Water and Waiting get some big love from the committee, I think they are both remarkable!!!! Here is drought ridden Southern CA, the my students have been drinking in Water is Water. And Waiting is just so tender and thoughtful and gentle and beautiful. Kevin Henkes continues to be inspiring on so many fronts.

  6. Martha V. Parravano Martha V. Parravano says:

    Remember, all, that this is only a MOCK vote. No books have been eliminated in real life. The ACTUAL committee doesn’t even start their deliberations until this weekend 🙂

  7. So many great ones gone but I’m mourning the loss of If You Plant a Seed the most. Those illustrations! The simple yet powerful story about sharing and kindness! Wooo Boy. And I’m STILL mourning the exclusion of Hiawatha and the Peacemaker.

    Pulling for Float by Daniel Miyares and so excited to see it still on the ballot! I like Waiting but I’m not a huge fan, even though Henkes is one of my favorites since childhood. Good luck to the Final 8 and thanks for holding this competition. It’s been fun. 🙂

  8. Allison, I love Mr. Tiger Goes Wild too. 🙂 So clever

  9. Sara Linn says:

    The ballot only had about 1/3 of the books available to vote for. I only cast 2 choices since the other 2-3 titles I wanted to vote for were not represented. No fair.

  10. Lolly Robinson Lolly Robinson says:

    There should be 8 books on this ballot. Yesterday’s ballot had 24. Sometimes you have to click a link at the bottom of the page to see the rest (or scroll down).

  11. Sam Bloom says:

    First of all, well played on your comment, Rose. =)

    I’m bummed about Bird & Diz and Drowned City. Especially Bird & Diz; every time I see that one I’m just gobsmacked by it more and more. Let’s hope it ends up with many, many shiny stickers on it come Monday morning.

  12. I am thrilled to see Finding Winnie and Drum Dream Girl here but sad that Tricky Vic and In a Village by the Sea didn’t make the cut, and that Home didn’t make it on to the original ballot.

  13. I have checked out every one of these that I haven’t read yet, but Water is Water is one of my favorite non-fiction ones. So anxious to read all the rest too.

  14. Sad about the Sandwich Eating Bear…who doesn’t love a good sandwich???? And woot woot for Christian Robinson and Market Street…(although I think I liked Leo a little more.)
    Still, I’m over the moon that six of the finalists here are in my top ten for the year!
    I feel so validated! Happy New Year!

  15. Jorge Arroyave says:

    Drum dream girl is such an amazing book. While you are reading the story you can feel the courage and passion of the little girl. The ilustrations transport you to a dream, a magic place full of colors and movement. Definitely my favorite book.

  16. Sara Linn says:

    I voted because I am interested in children’s books. I was disappointed to FINALLY get the actual ballot provided, only to find only a half dozen of the titles were available for me to vote for. There one at lease one if not two titles I would have voted for, but they were not on the truncated ballot I was presented. But, I am responding here because, I DID NOT REQUEST CONTINUED NOTIFICATION FROM YOUR SITE. Please don’t sent me anymore emails.

  17. Katie Bircher Katie Bircher says:

    Thanks to the CC bloggers for facilitating such great discussion about all of these contenders!

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