Let's Do This!

Hi again! Today, we are sharing the list of books we plan to cover at Calling Caldecott in the months leading up to the big awards announcement. As we noted the other day, please remember that this list is not definitive. Books may fall off the list, and we may add some as the year advances. 

We are looking forward to our book discussions. But first! We say something to this effect every year, so apologies to our regular readers for the redundancy:

Please remember that we aren’t in the business of predicting the award winners, nor do we have any sway over which books actually win on awards day. We love to talk about picture books, and what we are doing here at Calling Caldecott is reveling in the rich discussions we get to have about the distinguished picture books that we have seen (and will see) this year. Isn't it a lovely thing to have a little corner of cyberspace where we can talk about picture books? We think so, and we are happy to provide that. This blog is about the appreciation of the picture book as the unique art form it is, no matter which books win big. After all, we don't own crystal balls. 

Got it? 

Good! Moving on ... 

Below is the list of books that (for now) we plan to cover. (It's an especially tentative list this time because of the pandemic--it's much harder to know if we've seen everything.) If you have been keeping up with picture books this year, please do tell us in the comments which ones are your favorites. Remember, as always, that ALA’s Association for Library Service to Children, which awards the Caldecott, is looking for the most “distinguished” picture book, as defined in these ways. We must also remember that the award is given to American picture books (that is, illustrated by a U.S. citizen or resident), so as hard as it is to omit those gorgeous imports you've seen this year, we must. (Sniff. My favorite picture book this year is technically an import, but maybe I'll write about that at a later date.) 

So! Gather together your stack of favorite 2020 books, whether digital or hardcover. (We know that, because of the pandemic, it’s been a challenging year for seeing books in their physical forms.) If you are so inclined, refresh yourselves on “How to read a picture book, the Caldecott edition” — one of our favorite Calling Caldecott posts from our beloved Robin Smith. And then come back soon!

Without further ado, here's our (very) preliminary list. 


  • All Because You Matter (Bryan Collier)
  • The Bear and the Moon (Cátia Chien)
  • Black Is a Rainbow Color (Ekua Holmes)
  • The Blue House (Phoebe Wahl)
  • The Camping Trip (Jennifer Mann)
  • Exquisite: The Poetry and Life of Gwendolyn Brooks (Cozbi A. Cabrera)
  • The Farmer and the Monkey (Marla Frazee)
  • A Girl Like Me (Nina Crews)
  • Hike (Pete Oswald)
  • Honeybee: The Busy Life of Apis Mellifera (Eric Rohmann)
  • How to Find a Bird (Diana Sudyka)
  • I Am Every Good Thing (Gordon C. James)
  • If You Come to Earth (Sophie Blackall)
  • In the City (Chris Raschka)
  • In the Half Room (Carson Ellis)
  • In the Woods (Rob Dunlavey)
  • Julián at the Wedding (Jessica Love)
  • The Little Mermaid (Jerry Pinkney)
  • My Best Friend (Jillian Tamaki)
  • A New Green Day (Antoinette Portis)
  • The Next President: The Unexpected Beginnings and Unwritten Futures of America’s Presidents (Adam Rex)
  • Night Walk to the Sea: A Story About Rachel Carson, Earth’s Protector (Daniel Miyares)
  • Oil (Jeanette Winter)
  • The Old Truck (Jarrett and Jerome Pumphrey)
  • The Overground Railroad (James Ransome)
  • Outside In (Cindy Derby)
  • Packs: Strength in Numbers (Hannah Salyer)
  • Prairie Days (Micha Archer)
  • A Thousand Glass Flowers: Marietta Barovier and the Invention of the Rosetta Bead (Evan Turk)
  • ¡VAMOS! Let’s Go Eat (Raúl the Third)
  • We Are Water Protectors (Michaela Goade)
  • Whoo-Ku Haiku: A Great Horned Owl Story (Jonathan Voss)
  • You Matter (Christian Robinson)
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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Elida Basquez

I am rooting for the stunning Together We Grow, written by Susan Vaucht and illustrated by Kelly Murphy.

Posted : Dec 04, 2020 04:11

Laura Harrison

Very good long list! I am rooting for two titles not mentioned: Swashby and the Sea by Beth Ferry and illustrated by Juan Martinez-Neal and Outside In by Deborah Underwood and illustrated by Cindy Derby. They are wonderful. Outside In is particularly timely and gorgeous.

Posted : Sep 19, 2020 12:40

Tina Hoggatt

I have especially loved The Camping Trip and, after seeing an early copy, The Bear and the Moon. You Matter is every kind of winsome. But there are many I haven't seen as my library has been closed for much of the pandemic.

Posted : Sep 18, 2020 09:57

Allison Khoury

THIS is an exciting list! Wonderful choices. Thanks for getting this to us. I'm so looking forward to reading the reviews.

Posted : Sep 17, 2020 09:32

Molly Sloan

Whoo boy! I'd better get busy!!

Posted : Sep 15, 2020 05:22


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