Let's Dive In: The List Is Here

We're here today with our list of 2020 Caldecott-eligible books. We’ve asked the books (and our guest bloggers) to don some scuba gear, because we’re going to take some deep dives here at the blog — humor me with my weak aquatic metaphor; I’m only on my first cup of coffee today — by looking at each one of these outstanding books.

As noted the other day, this list is not definitive. It is a list that is mostly set but asks kindly for some wiggle room to expand. Or maybe even shrink. That is, some titles may be added, and some may fall off. As we like to point out each year, we (I'm speaking here for both Martha and Lolly) don't want to get so married to one list that we refuse to welcome new titles or hang on to books that we, for one reason or another, no longer feel are relevant. Please do let us know if books you don't see here, especially those scheduled to be published later in 2019, become ones you'd like to read about on Calling Caldecott. And, as always, if there are any topics/issues you'd like to see us discuss here — anything related to picture books, illustration, the Caldecott Award itself, scuba diving, etc. — please do tell us. (Although I, for one, actually know nothing about one of those topics.)

There are many reasons we’d write about a book here at Calling Caldecott. Maybe we think it's outstanding in one way or another. Perhaps lots of people are talking about this book. Maybe the artistic medium is especially intriguing to us. Maybe the picture book is groundbreaking in one way or another. Most of all, however, we are guided by the Caldecott criteria, asking ourselves: Which distinguished books do we think might rise to the top of the real committee's list? We certainly can’t read their collective mind (and we aren’t interested in even trying to do so), but we, along with our talented guest bloggers, can talk about the books we think are outstanding/notable.

So, here is the list! It is presented alphabetically by title, but we will write about the books, as best as we can, in order of their publication date. This gives you some time to go find a copy of the book, if you’re so inclined, and weigh in via the comments (if you’re also so inclined). We will do our best, even though we sometimes see books before they are published in their final form, to avoid writing about a book that isn’t on shelves yet. Without further ado:

  • Another by Christian Robinson
  • Bear Came Along, written by Richard T. Morris and illustrated by LeUyen Pham
  • The Bell Rang by James E. Ransome
  • A Big Bed for Little Snow by Grace Lin
  • Daniel’s Good Day by Micha Archer
  • Double Bass Blues, written by Andrea J. Loney and illustrated by Rudy Gutierrez
  • Field Trip to the Moon by John Hare
  • The Fisherman and the Whale by Jessica Lanan
  • Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story, written by Kevin Noble Maillard and illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal
  • Gittel’s Journey: An Ellis Island Story, written by Lesléa Newman and illustrated by Amy June Bates
  • Going Down Home with Daddy, written by Kelly Starling Lyons and illustrated by Daniel Minter
  • Good Boy by Sergio Ruzzier
  • Hey, Water! by Antoinette Portis
  • The Little Guys by Vera Brosgol
  • My Heart by Corinna Luyken
  • My Papi Has a Motorcycle, written by Isabel Quintero and illustrated by Zeke Peña
  • Nine Months: Before a Baby Is Born, written by Miranda Paul and illustrated by Jason Chin
  • A Place to Land: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Speech That Inspired a Nation, written by Barry Wittenstein and illustrated by Jerry Pinkney
  • River by Elisha Cooper
  • Saturday by Oge Mora
  • Sea Bear: A Journey for Survival by Lindsay Moore
  • A Stone Sat Still by Brendan Wenzel
  • Two Brothers, Four Hands: The Artists Alberto and Diego Giacometti, written by Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan and illustrated by Hadley Hooper
  • The Undefeated, written by Kwame Alexander and illustrated by Kadir Nelson
  • ¡Vamos! Let's Go to the Market by Raúl The Third
  • Vroom! by Barbara McClintock
  • What Is Given from the Heart, written by Patricia C. McKissack and illustrated by April Harrison
  • When Aidan Became a Brother, written by Kyle Lukoff and illustrated by Kaylani Juanita
  • You Are Home: An Ode to the National Parks by Evan Turk



Julie Danielson
Julie Danielson
Julie Danielson writes about picture books at the blog Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast. She also writes for Kirkus Reviews and BookPage and is a lecturer for the School of Information Sciences graduate program at the University of Tennessee. Her book Wild Things!: Acts of Mischief in Children’s Literature, written with Betsy Bird and Peter D. Sieruta, was published in 2014.
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Jennifer Laughran

oh and HUNGRY JIM by Laurel Snyder - with wonderful illustrations by Chuck Groenink

Posted : Sep 17, 2019 08:02

Jennifer Laughran

ROAR LIKE A DANDELION by Ruth Krauss, illustrated by Sergio Ruzzier

Posted : Sep 17, 2019 02:25

Brian Wilson

There's a wonderful book called The Full House and the Empty House by LK James that is fascinating and unique.

Posted : Sep 11, 2019 10:49

Cynthia K. Ritter

I'd love to hear discussion about Home in the Woods by Eliza Wheeler!

Posted : Sep 11, 2019 05:23

Sam Juliano

One more suggestion: "The Scarecrow" (Beth Ferry; Eric and Terry Fan) Wholly sublime.

Posted : Sep 11, 2019 03:21

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