Mock Caldecotts 2018

Know what I miss the most about school librarianship, other than story times? Mock Caldecotts. This is the time of year for them, and I love to read about the educators out there who talk to students about the 2017 picture books they love, delve into detailed discussions about them, and prep them for mock-voting in early 2018. Engaging children in these close picture-book readings is so good for their growing brains (but if we delve into all the reasons why, we'd be here all day).

We here at Calling Caldecott want to hear about your mock Caldecott lists, if you're so inclined to share. We have already seen some popping up. Educators and bloggers Mr. Schu (John Schumacher) and Colby Sharp are collaborating on a list with Mr. Sharp's fifth-grade students. You can read about that here. School librarian Travis Jonker of 100 Scope Notes explains his system and showcases his 2018 list here.

I'm going to make an example here of another one — Nashville elementary-school librarian (and Calling Caldecott contributor) Emmie Stuart's. She has just sketched out her 2018 Mock Caldecott timeline for the next three months. She keeps the students' choices on a silver tray — a place of honor, she calls it — leading up to voting day. She has circulating copies of these books, but her non-circulating copies (the ones where they can take the dust jackets off and explore more) live on this tray, unless they're being read. Here's this year's stack (two titles not pictured):

The complete list (since it's hard to read titles in that photo) is EggLittle Fox In the ForestRobinson; Windows; NowThe Book of MistakesThe Antlered Ship; Mighty Moby; Big Cat, Little CatThe Little Cat Who Ran Away and Learned His ABC's (the Hard Way); Wolf in the SnowThat Neighbor Kid; All the Way to Havana; Blue Sky, White StarsAfter the Fall (How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again); Red and Lulu; Big Machines: The Story of Virginia Lee Burton; and How to Find an Elephant. 

Before the week of February 5th, Emmie will have read at least 18 books with her students. They will then review the titles all that week and vote on Friday, February 9th. "Voting day is one of my favorite days of the year," she says, "because I get to eavesdrop on children discussing great picture books. I love watching them deliberate over the illustrations and get a thrill each time I see them feel covers or check the endpapers."

Which books are on your mock-Caldecott lists? What's your game plan this year? Do your students get fired up about it? We hope you'll share in the comments.

I'll close with some photos of the Caldecott area in Emmie's library, as well as a student discovering a surprise under a dust jacket.

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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Julie Danielson

Susie, I'll ask Emmie where she got it. (Probably ALA?) More soon!

Posted : Feb 06, 2018 07:14

Susie Alexander

At Once Upon a Storybook, we celebrate the new Caldecotts by having a Caldecott Soiree after the winners have been announced. We lay out a red carpet and have the kids (and adults!) dress in their finest! Miss Susie the Storylady reads all of the Honors and unveils the Caldecott Award Medalist with great fanfare! It is our fanciest event of the year, and it's one we look forward to the most! BTW, where can I get one of those awesome Caldecott posters with the book covers of all the previous winners???

Posted : Jan 28, 2018 08:50

gail bashein

I'm inspired to start a Caldecott program here. I have always read likely contenders in the months leading up to the awards, but I'd like to be more organized this time around. One issue is the availability of the books -- with a limited budget, we have purchased only four of the titles so far. I borrow the others from my local public library, but demand is often high and the wait can be long. I'm hoping for funding to help purchase at least a few others to make it a worthwhile contest.

Posted : Nov 21, 2017 05:52

Sam Juliano

Julie, as the classroom administration of the Mock Caldecott is a work in progress (for my classes until late January for this later-than-usual-real-committee -Caldecott announcement) I have come upon other titles that I have added to the lengthy nomination list. One of these titles , "The Rooster Who Would Not Be Quiet" by Carmen Agra Deedy and Eugene Yelchin in my opinion so well deserves an essay in the Calling Caldecott lineup, though I understand and appreciate that you all have worked hard at providing an expansive list for your writers. Yelchin's oil pastels, colored pencil, gouache and acrylic stylized art is gorgeous and is flawlessly attuned to Deedy's deadpan humor. It is fast becoming one of my own favorites, and I see it has scored on year end lists from some fo the major outlets, a devlopment I do applaud. To boot the kids really love it. A very special picture book, methinks. I have also added these splendid books: Good Night Planet (Liniers) Martha's marvelous alert has resulted in many new fans, inclusing moi. I dare say based on the extent of enthusiasm, this book will be one of the final winners. Nothing is certain, but this is a gut feeling. Over and Under the Pond (Kate Messner; Christopher Silas Neal) This is their fabulous collaboration, and I do believe this is the best one. Another title that I'd gleefully welcome a qualification essay on myself, but I know the pool is bursting now. :) I Have a Balloon (Ariel Bernstein; Scott Magoon) Mega kid-friendly with vivid colors and much humor. Soldier Song (Debbie Levy; Gilbert Ford) Wonderful introduction to one fo our nation's most endlessly fascinating subjects. Love Ford's silhouette-laden art, much as I did his lovely "Mr. Ferris and His Wheel." La La La (Kate DiCamillo; Jaimie Kim) Gorgeous incandescent work for Kim, an arresting work. Damian Chazelle, Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling have some competition here! I did include "The Only Fish in the Sea" (Phillip Stead/Matthew Cordell) but wanted to say what an effective and spirited romp it is, a worthy sequel to "Special Delivery" and confirmation Cordell had TWO great books out in 2017, not that Stead doesn't. :) How to Find an Elephant (Katie Banks; Boris Kulikov) Another wonderful work from Kulikov, a personal favorite. Smoot: A Rebellious Shadow (Michelle Cuevas; Sydney Smith) Another gem from this illustrator - just got my copy and am adding after Thom's alert yesterday. Yes, counts as Canadian though. Listen (Leda Schubert; Raol Colon) Colon has the magnificent "Miguel's Brave Knight" with Margerita Engle, and he also has this lovely book about the musical icon Pete Seeger. Where's Rodney? (Carmen Bogan/Floyd Cooper) Cooper is another who scored big twice this year, with the Calling Caldecott examination of "The Ring Bearer" imminent.

Posted : Nov 17, 2017 06:36

C. Landau

My Mock Caldecott picks for 2018: How to Make Friends with a Ghost by Rebecca Green On a Magical Do-Nothing Day by Beatrice Alemagna City Moon by Rachael Cole, illustrated by Blanca Gómez When's my Birthday? by Julie Fogliano, illustrated by Christian Robinson Smoot: A Rebellious Shadow by Michelle Cuevas, illustrated by Sydney Smith Now by Antoinette Portis Little Fox in the Forest by Stephanie Graegin La La La by Kate DiCamillo, illustrated by Jaime Kim Triangle by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Jon Klassen Life by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Brendan Wenzel Another favorite: Town is by the Sea by Joanne Schwartz, illustrated by Sydney Smith (not eligible for the Caldecott but it's too beautiful not to include in a list filled with other beautiful books) =) I'm a public librarian and I appreciate all of the the Caldecott-related programming and display ideas listed here. Thanks for sharing!

Posted : Nov 15, 2017 12:58

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