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Calling Caldecott 2018 ballot #1 results

The three of us watched the voting in real time Friday and over the weekend, and we woke up early today to check numbers before the balloting closed at 9 a.m. This is a really exciting time for us, but it can also be heartbreaking to see some of our favorites not getting enough votes to remain in consideration.

The real Caldecott Committee is required to vote for three books on each ballot, specifying 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place. When the votes are in, they are tallied and weighted: 1st choice books receive 4 points; 2nd place books receive 3 points; and 3rd place books receive 2 points. Below you will see the votes, and the points, for how the first ballot of our mock Caldecott fell out. (Many thanks to Laura Girmscheid, the keeper of surveys and one of those people who can actually make Excel do what she wants it to, who took a massive amount of data and presented us with these vote tallies.)

Here are the results of the Calling Caldecott first ballot:

1st choice
(4 points)
2nd choice
(3 points)
3rd choice
(2 points)
Total points
After the Fall (How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again)
60 51 25 443
All the Way to Havana
3 9 12 63
The Antlered Ship
13 15 14 125
Before She Was Harriet
2 10 12 24
Big Cat, Little Cat
18 23 19 179
Big Machines
14 8 6 92
Blue Sky, White Stars
17 12 8 120
The Book of Mistakes
21 24 11 178
12 14 18 126
Dazzle Ships
7 18 20 122
A Different Pond
15 24 14 160
7 7 14 77
Grand Canyon
7 29 27 169
Her Right Foot
9 15 12 105
How to Be an Elephant
2 9 18 71
Little Fox in the Forest
16 11 22 141
The Little Red Cat Who Ran Away and Learned His ABC’s (the Hard Way)
8 12 10 88
Out of Wonder
9 22 34 170
A Perfect Day
9 13 17 109
5 8 9 62
The Three Billy Goats Gruff
1 5 14 47
When’s My Birthday?
3 8 10 56
29 32 29 270
Wolf in the Snow
35 31 37 307
The Wolf, the Duck, and the Mouse
11 30 28 190


Looking at all these numbers, Lolly found her head spinning, so she made a bar graph based on the final scores:

Obviously, one book stands out. But does it have enough votes to win outright? The real committee needs a book to receive at least eight first-place votes to be declared the winner. Well, by that calculation, sure! But when we take into account the fact that there are fifteen people on the real committee, what really matters is the percentage of first-place votes: more than 50%. (That’s why eight people on the real committee must agree on the first-place book — eight being more than half of the committee.) Since After the Fall received 60 first-place votes, we could stop IF we had fewer than 120 total voters  — and we had a lot more than that. So despite After the Fall’s clear lead, the real committee would need a second ballot.

Which means we go on to a second ballot, too! Eyeing the chart above, there are clearly a few ways we could go. Four books look like they stand out above the others …. but not so, SO far above. And we like to include as many books as we can, within the constraints of the numbers (something Robin Smith liked to do, and an idea we wholeheartedly endorse). So we let our cut-off be 150 total points, and that allows nine books to move on.

Drumroll, please … here are the books on our second and final ballot:

After the Fall (How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again) by Dan Santat

Big Cat, Little Cat by Elisha Cooper

The Book of Mistakes by Corinna Luyken

A Different Pond illustrated by Thi Bui and written by Bao Phi

Grand Canyon by Jason Chin

Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets illustrated by Ekua Holmes and written by Kwame Alexander, Chris Colderley, and Marjory Heath Wentworth

Windows, illustrated by E. B. Goodale and written by Julia Denos

Wolf in the Snow by Matthew Cordell

The Wolf, the Duck, and the Mouse illustrated by Jon Klassen and written by Mac Barnett

Thanks to everyone who voted. This is an intriguing list! We love these books; we like that there is an (almost) equal number of men and women illustrators; we like that there is nonfiction included; we like that there is poetry; and we like that it’s not just a sea of white faces.

Unlike the real committee, who would most likely need more than two ballots to find their winner, we will stop at this second ballot — we can’t mirror the actual committee’s process exactly, and we need to finish up before people leave for ALA Midwinter (where the real committee will convene). So, this second and final ballot will decide our winner and honor books. With a smaller pool of books now, the votes will need to be redistributed — and anything can happen. So it’s once again time to vote — and to make a case below in the comments for the ones you think are most worthy. A well-worded case for a particular book could make all the difference for those who are undecided.

And remember: return on Tuesday (February 6) at 9 a.m. EST for a link to the final Calling Caldecott ballot.


About Julie Danielson, Martha Parravano, and Lolly Robinson

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

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