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Calling Caldecott 2019 ballot #1 results

The first round of voting is complete! Thanks to everyone who weighed in.

As regular Calling Caldecott readers know — but it bears repeating for new folks — 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. Here at Calling Caldecott, we also require voters to choose three books. Below you will see the votes — and the points — for the first ballot of our mock Caldecott. (Many thanks, as always, to Laura Girmscheid, who takes a great deal of data and presents it to us with these vote tallies.)

Here are the results of the first Calling Caldecott ballot:

1st choice
(4 points)
2nd choice
(3 points)
3rd choice
(2 points)
Total points
Adrian Simcox Does Not Have a Horse 8 14 16 106
Alma and How She Got Her Name 11 7 11 87
A Big Mooncake for Little Star 25 20 24 208
27 23 21 219
The Day You Begin
15 10 13 116
Drawn Together 42 37 24 327
Dreamers 47 47 33 395
The Field
5 4 2 36
Fox + Chick: The Party 5 6 8 54
Hello Hello 2 7 7 43
Hello Lighthouse 33 34 27 288
Hey, Kiddo 3 10 8 58
A House that Once Was 10 16 19 126
4 4 12 52
Julián Is a Mermaid 33 31 28 281
Nothing Stopped Sophie 0 3 6 21
Otis and Will Discover the Deep 3 1 6 27
A Parade of Elephants 5 9 11 69
The Prince and the Dressmaker 2 7 14 57
Seeing into Tomorrow 3 9 3 45
The Stuff of Stars 4 7 14 65
Thank You, Omu! 5 14 13 88
They Say Blue 7 5 5 53
The Wall in the Middle of the Book 13 19 25 159
Water Land 4 5 4 39
We Are Grateful Otsaliheliga
44 11 6 221


As always, Lolly looked at all of the numbers and made a bar graph based on the final scores:

Calling Caldecott 2019 ballot 1 results chart

Unlike the real committee, who would most likely need more than two ballots to find their winner, we will stop at our next ballot, this second one coming up tomorrow morning at 9 a.m. We can’t mirror the actual committee’s process exactly, and it’s almost time for the Real Committee to convene and choose the actual 2019 Caldecott winners and honorees. 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.

And here’s where we will sound like a broken record: please please please do not engage in ballot-stuffing. This can mean a lot of things, including drumming up support via email or asking all your social media followers to vote for That One Book You Think Should Win. We certainly welcome discussions in the comments in which you try to persuade everyone to see the merits of that one book you love; real committee members may throw their support behind one book and make a well-worded, well-thought-out case for a particular book, which could make all the difference in the world for those undecided committee members. But that distribution of the voting link to everyone you know or everyone who follows you on social media in order to build support for the one book you love? That throws things way out of whack with regard to voting. Please, let’s not. And please remember: this is a mock vote. It has no real-world effect.

So, do your best drumroll sound effects now. Let’s take a look at the books on our second and final ballot:

Calling Caldecott 2019 ballot 2 books

A Big Mooncake for Little Star by Grace Lin

Blue by Laura Vaccaro Seeger

Drawn Together illus. by Dan Santat

Dreamers by Yuyi Morales

Hello Lighthouse by Sophie Blackall

Julián Is a Mermaid by Jessica Love

We Are Grateful Otsaliheliga illus. by Frané Lessac

If you look back at the bar graph, you see that the real committee would definitely need to move on to a second ballot (because there is not enough separation between the first-place book and the second-place one) and that all seven of these books in our mock vote received more than 200 points (our cut-off point for this second ballot — chosen because there was a definite drop-off below that number and because it gave us enough books to move on to a second ballot). Two books — Dreamers and Drawn Together — received more than 300 points each (and Dreamers has a 68-point lead over Drawn Together), so they seem to be the frontrunners … for now! Who knows what the second round of results will bring?

This second and final ballot will decide our mock winner and honor books. Return tomorrow, Wednesday, January 23, at 9 a.m. EST for a link to the final Calling Caldecott ballot.

Thanks to everyone who voted! See you tomorrow.


About Julie Danielson, Martha Parravano, and Lolly Robinson

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



  1. Well all I can say is that although some books I really really loved did not make the second round (and two of those beloved masterworks can ever so so close………….The Wall in the Middle of the Book and A House That Once Was would have gone in if ten were chosen. But eight is fair and sensible for sure.

    The eight we have here are supreme masterpieces, every one. One book (name not needing to be mentioned but a glorious repudiation of that man in the White House) everyone surely knew would finish with big numbers, and others like Blue, and We Are Grateful are so deserving as is Hello Lighthouse, Drawn Together and two sleepers that exceeded what I was thinking but I consider BOTH among the top books of this year (Julion is a Mermaid and A Big Mooncake for Little Star which are so beautiful). Banner results! 🙂

  2. Ugh 7. My wife just reminded me how to add.

  3. Elisa Gall says:

    I did a Mock Caldecott with local library professionals and we had the same problem with Dreamers & Drawn Together votes being so close! After a few ballots, we ended up giving up and changing our voting structure just to land a winner (which ended up being Drawn Together). It’ll be interesting to see what happens next weekend.

  4. Having met monthly since September, our Mock Caldecott committee here at Bowling Green State University did final balloting yesterday. It was gutwrenching letting some of the books go, but we’re deeply satisfied with the results: Our winner was DRAWN TOGETHER. Honors went to DREAMERS, HELLO LIGHTHOUSE, and SO TALL WITHIN.

  5. I love reading about mock votes across the country. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Allison Grover Khoury says:

    Sadly, we are not having our mock voting this year. However, our students really like The Wall in the Middle of This Book and We Don’t Eat our Classmates (which wasn’t on the lists here). They have been intrigued by Dreamers. I am fascinated by the voting rules for the real awards as they are described each year. I always find it hard to believe that this system works. I am looking forward to our next round of voting and the awards next week. Many thanks again for all the reviews and reviewers and all the hard work put in to administering this blog. I enjoy it every year.

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