2021 Picture Books on the Radar

Hello, Calling Caldecott readers! As we wave to you from our little corner of cyberspace, we are wiping off a bit of dust on the blog, since it's been a little over three months since we last saw you.

But! We are here now to share glimpses of some of the notable (and discussable!) picture books we've seen published during this first part of 2021. We have been paying close attention and hope you have been able to do the same. Yes, there's still a pandemic going on, so we know it may still be challenging to get your hands on books. But, as always, we want to ask what you have seen that you love.  

Here's where we remind you, as we often do, that we are not in the business of predicting which books will win. We are merely spectators in the gallery, admiring what we see, and sometimes we miss the books that end up getting Caldecott recognition (including three of last year's Caldecott Honors!). We think that can be a beautiful thing. This just goes to show that the committees are going to make the decisions they want, after careful thought and deliberation and care, no matter what the rest of the public says. As it should be. 

It seems like it's gearing up to be an exciting year for picture books. We don't launch into our weekly coverage until around Labor Day, but one of our regular guest posters emailed back in January to ask if they can be sure to cover a book published then. That's how you know it's going to be a good year for picture books.

Here below are just some of the top-notch picture books (ones that are eligible for the Caldecott) that we have seen thus far in 2021, arranged by order of publication date. And what are we missing? Please tell us in the comments. 





























Martha V. Parravano and Julie Danielson
Martha V. Parravano is book review editor of The Horn Book, Inc., and co-author of the Calling Caldecott blog. Julie Danielson, co-author of the Calling Caldecott blog, writes about picture books at the blog Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast.
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Kevin YoKevinO

Watercress FTW!

Posted : Sep 07, 2021 04:53

Molly Sloan

I am looking forward to getting the conversation started this fall! Will we officially start next week? I am getting messages that I have to subscribe to access this blog. Is that a new requirement? Thanks for moderating, Julie and Martha. There are many beautiful books to consider and discuss this year!

Posted : Aug 31, 2021 07:23

Free Access

Molly, sorry that I'm just now seeing this. I don't think you have to sign in to read Calling Caldecott, FYI!

Posted : Aug 31, 2021 07:23

Matthew Bowers

Lost Package illustrated by Richard Ho, Zonia's Rain Forest by Martinez-Neal, and I Sang You Down from the Stars illustrated by Michaela Goade are other favorites of mine so far this year.

Posted : Jun 04, 2021 02:31

Julie M Danielson

Martin, you are correct that Dung Ho is, unfortunately, not eligible.

Posted : Jun 03, 2021 04:47

Julie M Danielson

Thank you all for your suggestions! I have not seen a few of these, so I'm going to try to fix that. Martin, good point. I'm looking into whether or not Dung Ho is eligible.

Posted : Jun 03, 2021 12:04

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