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The 2018 Caldecott Winners

How is everybody doing this morning? Whew. Exciting day, right? Here’s a zippy-quick post to note that this morning the winners of the 2018 ALA Youth Media Awards were announced. And we here at Calling Caldecott were most eager, of course, to find out which books the Caldecott committee chose. (Here is the full list of all the winners if you want to see which picture books won in categories other than the Caldecott.)

The Caldecott winners are… drumroll, please…

As you can see, the winner is Wolf in the Snow, written and illustrated by Matthew Cordell. Four Honor books were chosen:

As a reminder, here were our 2018 mock results. This is my first year blogging at Calling Caldecott, but I have read it since its inception. And I can say this is yet another year where the mock results were once again not predictive of the winners — except in the case of Wolf in the Snow, which you all chose as an Honor book.

There were also four Honor books last year. I, for one, am happy to see that many. Spread the love, I say. It was a good year for picture books.

What do you all think?

From the February 2018 issue of The Horn Book Herald: ALA Youth Media Awards Edition.

Julie Danielson About Julie Danielson

Julie Danielson writes about picture books at the blog Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast. She also writes for Kirkus Reviews and BookPage and is a lecturer for the School of Information Sciences graduate program at the University of Tennessee. Her book Wild Things!: Acts of Mischief in Children’s Literature, written with Betsy Bird and Peter D. Sieruta, was published in 2014.



  1. I watched the transmission from Denver with my students this morning. There were loud cheers when WOLF IN THE SHOW was anointed the Gold Medal winner, since the book has also won our Mock Caldecott two weeks ago. So may in the book industry are surely thrilled, not only because WOLF is a tour de force, picture book masterpiece, but also because Matthew Cordell, always gracious and humble to a fault is a Prince of a guy. This prize couldn’t have been bestowed upon a nicer fellow, and I hardly know him as well as so many others both here and everywhere. Since he also won a Boston-Horn Book honor last year, I’m sure his win is also most welcome in this place.

    The complete absence of AFTER THE FALL (surely an Honor was expected at least) will have many scratching their heads, as will the unexpected Honor for GRAND CANYON, a magnificent non-fiction entry. This is the third or the fourth year in a row where the Horn Book poll winner did not follow up with the Gold Medal, in fact in a few instances not with any medal at all. I’m not complaining at all, as I adore WOLF and all the Honor choices, just somewhat surprised. Other books like WINDOWS, THE ANTLERED SHIP, OUT OF WONDER, LITTLE FOX IN THE FOREST and ALL THE WAY TO HAVANA are ubiquitous in their absence, all prediction round-ups considered, but nothing beats the Santat omission in the Category of the Unexpected.

    But this is Matthew Cordell’s day and for book lovers a sure time to celebrate!

  2. Congratulations to the winners! These are all great books. (I’m still a little sad that men continue to win the medal about 80% of the time, but that’s another discussion for another day.)

  3. Congratulations to all the winners, as well as the immensely talented illustrators whose work was not chosen. Keep sailing your ships!

  4. I’m overjoyed that “Wolf In The Snow” won! I’ve been rooting for it ever since I first read it!

  5. Eric Carpenter says:

    Is there a chance that the committee looked at AFTER THE FALL as well as DAD AND THE DINOSAUR and came to the determination that because of similarities in artistic technique that neither is “individually distinct” which is part of the definition of “distinguished”?
    The term “individually distinct” does not seem to be defined anywhere in the manual, so does this mean it is up to the chair and committee to come to an understanding of this term prior to or during discussion?
    I’d love to hear from someone with past caldecott committee experience on what this term mean and if it could (hypothetically) be used to ding a multiple books by a single artist in a given year.
    I think it is more likely that this year’s committee simply found five other books to be more distinguished than After the Fall, but we’ll never know.

  6. Allison Grover Khoury says:

    I like all the books that won and congratulated all the winners. I had some other favorites I was rooting for as well. I agree we still have noticeably more men than women winning. I am so excited about Crown winning so many awards. I don’t expect that this blog will necessarily call the winners in our mock vote each year as so many of us are influenced, whether we like it or not, by the responses of the students we share the books with. I find my students love a great story supported by good art. That is not part of the Caldecott criteria (obviously).
    Thanks again for another fine year of books and thoughtful reviewing and commenting!!!!! I really enjoyed every read. You are a great team.

  7. Cindy Olson says:

    The more I think about the winners, the more elated I am. What a great year for books!! Obviously, the Caldecott is all about the art, BUT, wow, what a range of subject matter. Kids can learn SO much from these books. A wolf-friendly fairytale with a shout out to the Yellowstone wolves, Barbershop culture, Vietnamese immigration, geologic time, and even the cycle of life. I’m over the moon. In addition to the beautiful art, the books had lovely bookmaking special touches–second covers, beautiful end papers, die cuts, oh my. All fun things to point out and pour over with the kids. Great job committee!

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