Subscribe to The Horn Book

Prepare to Be Amazed!

If you love picture books (and we assume you do, since you’re here), then you most likely are familiar with 100 Scope Notes, the blog of school librarian Travis Jonker. Over the years, Travis has written a series of posts about various aspects of Caldecott history. Today we take a break from discussing 2017 picture books to let Mr. Jonker be our carnival barker for the day with a round-up of those posts — a veritable cabinet of Caldecott wonders! –J.D.

* * * * * * *

Step right up! Step right up!

Caldecott fans young and old, experience an array of curiosities intended to engage the mind and dazzle the senses!

Behold the Caldecott Infographic:


Witness how the award was handed out back in the 1900s:



Gape at the Most Experimental Caldecott Winners of All Time (read why here):



Learn the publisher that has the most Caldecott medals to its name:


Identify the month that most Caldecott winners are published:


Question whether or not an artist should be on the Caldecott committee!


Gaze at Caldecott books that were created by a single author/illustrator:


Hold your breath as we create a Caldecott Frankenstein’s Monster (learn how here):


And shield your eyes from the dangers that lurk in the pages of past Caldecott winners. Here’s but one example, a child riding a bike WITHOUT A HELMET.



See it all, and then be proud! You lived to tell the tale.

Travis Jonker About Travis Jonker

Michigan elementary-school librarian Travis Jonker is the author of the 100 Scope Notes blog. Follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.



  1. Susan Dailey says:

    Thanks so much for the posting, Travis! I find this kind of information fascinating and fun! I presented a workshop called “Celebrating Caldecott” during the 75th anniversary year. Here’s some trivia I discovered–but it’s not presented with the panache you showed.

    1. 75 different illustrators have won the Caldecott, if you count the 5 married couples individually. 39 won a Caldecott Honor before they won the award. The first was Robert Lawson, who won for “They Were Strong and Good” in 1941, but had honor books in 1938 & 1939. (The first 2 years the award was given.)
    2. The only illustrator that I could find who won for her/his debut book is Erin E. Stead in 2011.
    3. There are several family connections. In addition to the married couples who won as a team, 3 other couples had Caldecott or honor books as individual illustrators—Arnold & Anita Lobel, Gerald McDermott & Beverly Brodsky McDermott, Ted & Betsy Lewin. There are also 2 father/son medalists—Jerry & Brian Pinkney, John & Javaka Steptoe.
    4. When I put the presentation together in 2013, there were only 2 Caldecott winning books that were no longer in print—“Mei Li” (1939) by Thomas Handforth and “Nine Days to Christmas” (1960) by Marie Hall Ets. I checked Baker & Taylor today and found that “Nine Days to Christmas” is being reissued this month. I also found that there were only 10 Caldecott winning books that weren’t listed in “Children’s Core Collection.”

  2. Travis, thanks for such a delightful treasure box of trivia. I thoroughly enjoyed all of your infographics and can’t wait to share them with my students as we launch our Mock Caldecott. They’re perfect for some Caldecott – math integration. Bar graphs, pie charts, statistics, oh my!

  3. Susan Dailey says:

    Travis, I have a question for you and others who have served on the Caldecott Committee. Did you go into the discussion at ALA Midwinter with one book you wanted to win the Medal? Or did you have a few favorites? If you can share without breaching privacy, did you end up voting for your favorite(s) or was your mind changed during discussions?

    Also, I’ve used the analogy that choosing a Caldecott is like choosing a wedding dress. There are many wonderful choices, but you can only pick one. That means the final decision might come down to a small detail like preferring the lace on one dress over another. Do you think that’s a fair analogy?

Comment Policy:
  1. Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  2. Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  3. Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through (though some comments with links to multiple URLs are held for spam-check moderation by the system). If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.

We accept clean XHTML in comments, but don't overdo it and please limit the number of links submitted in your comment. For more info, see the full Terms of Use.

Speak Your Mind