It's Time to Vote! — Calling Caldecott 2020 ballot is now open

It's that time again! Time to weigh in officially on our UNofficial mock Caldecott vote. This year we once again mimic the Real Committee's actual process in some ways, and not in others. This year, we asked our readers to submit mock nominations in November and December — seven in all, just as the Real Committee does. From our readers' nominations we assembled our 2020 ballot. (The Real Committee discusses every book that has been nominated, even if it's a book only one committee member nominated; we at Calling Caldecott weren't quite as restricted in how we constructed our ballot.)

The actual 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. We will do the same here at Calling Caldecott with your 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place votes. (And you must vote for three books, otherwise your ballot won't count.)

We will be diverging from the Real Committee's process in one important way, and that is that instead of holding a second ballot as we have in years past, we will be holding only one. (The Real Committee, of course, must abide by a strict system of balloting in order to arrive at their winner; see the Caldecott Manual, linked here, for a complete explanation. They will likely vote multiple times.) There are a few reasons we decided to have just one ballot this year. Perhaps the most compelling one is that our mandate at Calling Caldecott is modeling picture book description and book discussion. We love taking deep dives into picture books, and we love discussing illustrations. But we're not as wild about the competition part of mock ballots, so it made sense to us to place less emphasis on the endgame. So here at Calling Caldecott we will practice voting using the Caldecott award's weighted system, and then we will move on and wait for the ACTUAL committee to pick the REAL winner and honor book. 

Here are the 25 books on our 2020 Calling Caldecott mock ballot:

  1. Another, ill. by Christian Robinson
  2. Bear Came Along, illus. by LeUyen Pham
  3. The Bell Rang, illus. by James Ransome
  4. Daniel’s Good Day, illus. by Micha Archer
  5. Field Trip to the Moon, illus. by John Hare
  6. Fry Bread, illus. by Juana Martinez-Neal
  7. Going Down Home with Daddy, illus. by Daniel Minter
  8. Hey, Water!, illus. by Antoinette Portis
  9. Infinite Hope, illus. by Ashley Bryan
  10. The Little Guys, illus. by Vera Brosgol
  11. My Papi Has a Motorcycle, illus. by Zeke Peña
  12. Nine Months, illus. by Jason Chin
  13. A Place to Land, illus. by Jerry Pinkney
  14. River, illus. by Elisha Cooper
  15. Saturday, illus. by Oge Mora
  16. Sea Bear, illus. by Lindsay Moore
  17. The Shortest Day, illus. by Carson Ellis
  18. A Stone Sat Still, illus. by Brendan Wenzel
  19. Truman, illus. by Lucy Ruth Cummins
  20. Two Brothers, Four Hands, illus. by Hadley Hooper 
  21. The Undefeated, illus. by Kadir Nelson
  22. ¡Vamos!, illus. by Raúl the Third
  23. Vroom!, illus. by Barbara McClintock
  24. What Is Given from the Heart, illus. by April Harrison
  25. You Are Home, illus. by Evan Turk

So, give this list a ponder and then head to the ballot here to choose, in order, the THREE 2019 books you feel are most worthy of Caldecott recognition. It's not an easy task, choosing only three — and spare a thought for the actual Caldecott committee members who must do this for real!

The ballot will be open from now until 9 am EST on Wednesday January 22. Later that afternoon we will announce our winner and honor books. Please please please remember that this is a mock vote only, has absolutely no bearing on the real world, and that we do it so that we can all feel part of the actual process. It's about process, not outcome. So please, as we ask every year, refrain from engaging in or promoting ballot-stuffing. It's utterly, 100% pointless and counterproductive. 

The big awards announcement — the real one — is a week from today. (More about that after next Wednesday.) It's almost time. Woot!


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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John Re

Where is A Map Into the Workd by Yang? You missed the winner 😎

Posted : Jan 22, 2020 02:15

Amy Kellman

Hard to pick one. I'm torn between A Place to Land and The Shortest Day.

Posted : Jan 21, 2020 05:57

Allison Khoury

Hi Friends! That was hard, but can I just say that I loved all these books. Thank you for choosing such amazing books for us to study and enjoy. Thanks also to the illustrators and authors for all their hard work creating these beautiful books for our children.

Posted : Jan 21, 2020 02:17


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