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And the winner of the 2018 Calling Caldecott mock vote is…

. . . Dan Santat’s After the Fall (How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again)

After the Fall received a whopping 456 total points, garnering 77 first-place votes. And for our purposes, making it the clear winner.

(How would that translate to numbers on an actual Caldecott committee ballot? As decisive as the numbers look on our second and final ballot, the actual Caldecott Committee would need to vote at least one more time. According to the Caldecott manual, “There is a formula to determine the winner. A book must receive at least 8 first choices at four points per vote for a total of at least 32 points, and it must have an 8 point lead over the book receiving the next highest number of points.” If we look at the first-place votes in our second ballot and imagine them spread out over just 15 people, After the Fall would have received approximately 5 first-place votes. And in that case, the actual committee would need to run a third ballot…and perhaps a fourth… etc.)

But back to us! Here are the full results of our mock vote:

1st choice
(4 points)
2nd choice
(3 points)
3rd choice
(2 points)
Total points
After the Fall (How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again)  77 30 29 456
Big Cat, Little Cat  20 25 27 209
The Book of Mistakes  21 23  23 199
A Different Pond 16 27 23 191
Grand Canyon  13 22 28 174
Out of Wonder  5 16 16 106
Windows  42 38 34 350
Wolf in the Snow  35  37 41 333
The Wolf, the Duck, and the Mouse  13  23 18 157


And here’s a visual picture of the results:

Now, on to the choosing of the honor books. Again, from the Caldecott manual:

“Immediately following determination of the winner of the Caldecott Medal, and following appropriate discussion, the committee will entertain the following:

  • Whether honor books will be named.
  • Whether the committee wishes to choose as honor books the next highest books on the original winning ballot or to ballot again.
  • If the committee votes to use the award-winning ballot, they must then determine how many honor books to name.
  • If the committee chooses to ballot for honor books, only books that received points on the award winning ballot may be included. The same voting procedure is followed as for the award winner.
  • If the committee has chosen to ballot for honor books, following that ballot, the committee will vote how many books of those receiving the highest number of points are to be named honor books.”

This year, if the real committee were working with our results and used the “next highest books on the original winning ballot,” the decision seems like a fairly stark one: to choose the two next highest vote getters, Windows and Wolf in the Snow, with 350 and 333 total points, respectively. And because needs must, and we here at Calling Caldecott call it a day after the second ballot, these wonderful books are indeed our honor books, too!

There we have it. Congratulations to all!

(On the real committee, remember, another ballot for honor books could be called, and that could yield entirely different results — or very similar ones…)

We want to thank everyone who participated in Calling Caldecott this year. Thanks to our heroic Guest Posters: Thom Barthelmess, Betsy Bird, Sam Bloom, Edith Campbell, Eric Carpenter, Amy Seto Forrester, Amanda Foulk, Elisa Gall, Patrick Gall, Jonathan Hunt, Travis Jonker, Allison Grover Khoury, Megan Dowd Lambert, Erika Long, Michelle H. Martin, J. Elizabeth Mills, Rachel G. Payne, Celia Pérez, Tarie Sabido, Dean Schneider, Emmie Stuart, Roger Sutton, Misti Tidman, and Brian Wilson. They brought fresh eyes and fresh voices to our coverage, and we are truly grateful. Thanks too to everyone who commented this fall and to everyone who voted this past week.

We will have further coverage from the ALA Midwinter conference, which begins this Friday — including, of course, a report on the Actual Winners, which will be announced at Monday morning’s Youth Media Awards press conference.

Can’t wait! Talk to you then. And again, thank you all.

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

About Julie Danielson, Martha Parravano, and Lolly Robinson

Julie Danielson, Martha Parravano, and Lolly Robinson are authors of the Calling Caldecott blog.



  1. Thom Barthelmess says:

    Congratulations all around.
    And thanks to you Julie, Lolly, and Martha for all of your direction and insight. We so appreciate the dedication and care you’ve brought to the endeavor.

  2. Hooray! AFTER THE FALL also won our Mock Caldecott here at BGSU!

  3. woohoo! I have been in love with AFTER THE FALL since I snagged a copy back in June! Lots of great books this year, but I kept going back to ATF. Hoping for same result on Monday 🙂

  4. Congratulations to all who brought this home with class, passion and expertise. It has been quite a ride this year. Kudos to Lolly, Martha and Julie. The three books that ended up in the Horn Book winner’s circle are of course supreme masterpieces.

  5. Excellent! Thanks so much Jules, Lolly and Martha!

  6. Thank you for moderating the Caldecott conversation this year, Lolly, Martha and Julie.
    The Caldecott Club at Portland Jewish Academy just voted. Our club had 14 3rd and 5th graders this year. Our Medal went to:
    Honors went to: After the Fall, Her Right Foot and Big Cat Little Cat

    We will be gathering for doughnuts and the announcement live on Monday morning! Hooray for ALA Award day!!

  7. Allison Grover Khoury says:

    Yes, I agree with all the other comments: thank you 3 so much for a great year. I love the results, while still hoping for others. I am eagerly awaiting the announcements tomorrow morning.

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