Time to get our lists in order

Since January, Lolly, Martha, and I have been collecting picture books that might be talked about come Caldecott time. Our first challenge is to make a list that pleases us. Just us. Some of the two dozen titles are there because they will be fun to argue about; some because one of us was wowed by the art; and still other books gain a spot on the list because other people are talking about them. Right now, the list is still in flux. There are already too many titles for us to talk about here because other books will undoubtedly come to our attention over the next few months.

Because lists tend to get passed around, we need to make one thing clear: THIS IS NOT A SHORT LIST FOR THE CALDECOTT MEDAL. No such list exists. This is simply a list of books we want to gab about to show (we hope) how the process works on the real committee. We have no idea what is rising to the top in the minds of the committee members, and we will never know all the books discussed by the committee that don't make the final cut.

Here is our list so far. (It's only September, remember.) What we need from you, our online collection of really smart people, is suggestions. What might we have missed? After you read through our list, look through your shelves. In the comments, tell us which books YOU hope might win the Caldecott. (And, while you are there, let us know if we have something on the list that seems ineligible for one reason or another.)

Bluebird by Bob Staake

Building Our House and Big Snow by Jonathan Bean

Bunnies on Ice by Johanna Wright

Busy-Busy Little Chick illustrated by Brian Pinkney, written by Janice N. Harrington

Daisy Gets Lost by Chris Raschka

The Dark illustrated by Jon Klassen, written by Lemony Snicket

Flora and the Flamingo by Molly Idle

Grandma and the Great Gourd illustrated by Susy Pilgrim Waters, retold by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

Have You Seen My New Blue Socks? and Bear and Bee by Sergio Ruzzier

Inside Outside by Lizi Boyd

Lifetime illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal, written by Lola M. Schaefer

Little Red Writing illustrated by Melissa Sweet, written by Joan Holub (and/or Brave Girl, also illustrated by Melissa Sweet)

Locomotive by Brian Floca

Mr. Tiger Goes Wild by Peter Brown

Mr. Wuffles! by David Wiesner

My Name Is Ruby by Phillip C. Stead

Nino Wrestles the World by Yuyi Morales

Odd Duck illustrated by Sara Varon and written by Cecil Castellucci

On a Beam of Light: A Story of Albert Einstein illustrated by Vladimir Radunsky, written by Jennifer Berne

Water in the Park illustrated by Stephanie Graegin, written by Emily Jenkins

Xander’s Panda Party illustrated by Matt Phelan, written by Linda Sue Park


So—have at it. Are there titles on our list that surprised you? What have we missed?

Let us know what you love this year!

Robin Smith
Robin Smith
Robin Smith is a second-grade teacher at the Ensworth School in Nashville, Tennessee. She is a reviewer for Kirkus and The Horn Book Magazine and has served on multiple award committees.
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Sam Juliano

Many of the ones listed are great choices. My favorite for the Caldecott gold is THE MATCHBOX DIARY by Paul Fleishman

Posted : Nov 19, 2013 07:45


Yes to adding Journey! I'm also a fan of Flora and the Flamingo which someone else mentioned. I'd be interested in discussing Day the Crayons Quit (or seeing you guys discuss it). I like it a lot, but I'm not sure it's Caldecott material. Am I wrong?

Posted : Sep 20, 2013 04:28

John Rocco

As someone who had the honor of watching Locomotive get created, I have to say that book is just incredible. This is a book that should be around for the next hundred years, and if a shiny gold sticker is what it takes to make that happen, then let it be done!

Posted : Sep 17, 2013 03:09


SO excited you are back. Hope Lolly is better soon. Great post with baseball metaphors by the way! I agree with the suggestions by Ed Wolfer for adding: A Splash of Red Unicorn Thinks He’s Pretty Great by Bob Shea Nelson Mandela by Kadir Nelson The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt The Boy Who Loved Math: The Improbable Life of Paul Erdos by Deborah Heiligman The Matchbox Diary by Paul Fleischman The others he mentioned I don't know, so can't comment.

Posted : Sep 16, 2013 06:22


The Mighty Lalouche!!! I add my vote to those already cast. Also, The Matchbox Diary. What about Take Me out to the Yakyu by Aaron Meshon?

Posted : Sep 13, 2013 01:16

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