Books, Books, and More Books

Calling Caldecott is all about the appreciation and evaluation of picture books, and today we kick off the season with a list (ever-evolving, for sure not definitive) of the 2022 Caldecott-eligible books we aim to cover:

  • John's Turn (illustrated by Kate Berube/written by Mac Barnett)
  • The Three Billy Goats Gruff (John Klassen/Mac Barnett)
  • Farmhouse (Sophie Blackall)
  • Blue (Daniel Minter/Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond)
  • Isla to Island (Alexis Castellanos)
  • The Universe in You (Jason Chin)
  • Patchwork (Corinna Luyken/Matt de la Pena)
  • Berry Song (Michaela Goade)
  • Ablaze with Color (Loveis Wise/Jeanne Harvey)
  • H Is for Harlem (April Harrison/Dinah Johnson)
  • Choosing Brave (Janelle Washington/Angela Joy)
  • Where Butterflies Fill the Sky (Zahra Marwan)
  • Hope Is an Arrow (Ekua Holmes/Cory McCarthy)
  • Action! (Meghan McCarthy)
  • Kick Push (Frank Morrison)
  • A Seed Grows (Antoinette Portis)
  • Mardi Gras Almost Didn't Happen (Carl Joe Williams/Kathy Z. Price)
  • Somewhere in the Bayou (Jarrett and Jerome Pumphrey)
  • Ain't Burned All the Bright (Jason Griffin/Jason Reynolds)
  • Hot Dog (Doug Salati)
  • Every Dog in the Neighborhood (Matthew Cordell/Philip Stead)
  • Off the Wall (Theodore Taylor III)
  • The World Belonged to Us (Leo Espinosa/Jacqueline Woodson)
  • Emile and the Field (Chioma Ebinaba/Kevin Young)

For the first time in my memory, this list is equally balanced between male and female illustrators — and it happened organically. That's big in my mind, because of the edge male artists, historically, have had over women artists when it comes to Caldecott recognition. I know it's just my li'l list...but it's encouraging nonetheless.

And I sure didn't have to try to find books by BIPoC creators worthy of Caldecott consideration. They are plentiful; they are glorious. 

I haven't seen every 2022 title yet, and I'm sure I'm missing some contenders, so please leave suggestions for further coverage in the comment section below. Remember the Caldecott criteria that require illustrators to have either US citizenship or residency. Already I'm sad not to be able to discuss — to name just a few — The Waiting Place, illustrated with photographs (yep, it would have been great to introduce photography into the Caldecott conversation) by Anna Bosch Miralpeix; Our Fort, illustrated by Marie Dorleans; A Day for Sandcastles, illustrated by Qin Leng; The Depth of the Lake and the Height of the Sky, illustrated by Kim Jihyun. If there are any sleuths out there who want to investigate eligibility, either to add books onto the list or take books off, have at it! (In Real Life, of course, the Caldecott Committee's priority consultant would research any queries the committee had about an illustrator's eligibility.)

Thanks, all!

Martha V. Parravano

Martha V. Parravano is a contributing editor to The Horn Book, Inc., and co-author of the Calling Caldecott blog.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.

Jennifer Laughran

LOVE IN THE LIBRARY, illus Yas ImamuraNO, SAID CUSTARD THE SQUIRREL, illus Sergio RuzzierONLY THE BEST, illus Erin Robinson

Posted : Sep 19, 2022 05:01

Angela Moffett

The cover for Black Gold written by Laura Obuobi and illustrated by London Ladd looks absolutely stunning! Fingers crossed the pages in between are just as glorious.

Posted : Sep 15, 2022 09:06

Jackson Beach

Did you forget about knight owl by Christopher Denise

because Claudette Tonya Engel

Nigel and the moon Antwon eady Gracey zhang

Posted : Sep 15, 2022 11:54

Angela Moffett

I'm really excited about Black Gold written by Laura Obuobi and illustrated by London Ladd. The cover is stunning!

Posted : Sep 13, 2022 06:52

Free Access

I, for one, am so happy that Chioma Ebinaba is eligible. That book blows me away.

Posted : Sep 13, 2022 04:19



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing.