Results of the 2020 Calling Caldecott Mock Vote

The votes are in! And the results yielded a mock winner and four honor books.

Our readers chose Oge Mora's Saturday as the winner.

Cover of Saturday

Bear Came Along, illustrated by LeUyen Pham; My Papi Has a Motorcycle, illustrated by Zeke Peña; Truman, illustrated by Lucy Ruth Cummins; and The Undefeated, illustrated by Kadir Nelson, received the next highest number of votes — and, in our telescoped voting process, thus are considered our honor books. 



Congratulations to these worthy books, their creators, and the participants who chose them!

Hearteningly, a number of additional titles received significant support from Calling Caldecott voters. Christian Robinson's Another; John Hare's Field Trip to the MoonFry Bread, illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal; Going Down Home with Daddy, illustrated by Daniel Minter; A Place to Land, illustrated by Jerry Pinkney; Brendan Wenzel's A Stone Sat Still; and Raúl the Third's ¡Vamos! — all made strong showings. And in the Real World, where the Caldecott committee uses multiple ballots (see excerpt from the Caldecott manual at the bottom of this post) to arrive at their eventual slate of titles, these titles may well have powered through.   

For us, the best news of all was that every single book on our ballot received at least one vote. These are all books that are loved, and that deserve love. So, hooray for the picture books of 2019! 

As you may have noticed, we are skipping our usual presentation of multiple charts and graphs, representing each book's number of votes (1st, 2nd, and 3rd, as well as their weighted value). Although the presentation of this data is instructive because it mirrors the Real Committee's process, we decided to skip it this year. Part of the reason is that we no longer have the talents of Lolly Robinson at our disposal, and our hearts just weren't in it without her. Another reason is that we truly want to de-emphasize the competition aspect of this mock vote. We don't want to encourage people to get all worked up over our results, or to give them any weight at all as predictive, when the Real Thing will be happening soon — this coming Monday, in fact! The real work of the actual 2020 Caldecott committee is what counts, and the announcement of the winners and honor books will surely provide us all with more than enough fodder for discussion. And, hopefully, reason for celebration.

Besides, as we wrote about last year's awards (in this post):

"The joy of this blog for us anyway is not predicting (we don't do that and aren't in the business of doing that), and it's not even ultimately the mock vote (though it's fun to do). It's the rich discussions we get to have from August till the new year about these distinguished books. How often do you run into people having conversations about picture books? Well, we realize that depends on what you do for a living. But still. It's a wonderful thing — we think so anyway — to take a deep dive into these books, and that's really what it's all about. It's about the appreciation of the picture book as an art form, no matter which books win big on Monday."

We will return tomorrow to talk What's Next. Meanwhile, please feel free to leave your reaction to these results in the comments, as well as your hopes for (and predictions about, if you like!) the real vote.  

* * *

As mentioned above, here is the relevant excerpt from the Caldecott manual:


  • Committee members list first, second, and third place votes for the award on a selection ballot.
  • In tabulating ballot results, the tellers assign four points to each first place vote, three points to each second place vote, and two points to each third place vote.

  • There is a formula to determine the winner. A book must receive at least 8 first choices at four points per vote for a total of at least 32 points, and it must have an 8 point lead over the book receiving the next highest number of points.

If there is a winner, the committee proceeds to considering whether or not to select honor books.
If the first ballot does not produce a winner, the committee follows procedures for re-balloting.

The committee may not proceed to another ballot without a second round of book discussion. At this point, certain choices present themselves, and certain procedures apply:

  • By consensus the committee may choose to withdraw from the discussion list all titles that receive no votes on the first ballot.

  • By consensus the committee may choose to withdraw additional titles that received minimal support on the first ballot.

  • Once withdrawn from the discussion list, a book is permanently eliminated from consideration for the award.

  • Once a second round is complete, the committee proceeds to a second ballot.

  • On a second ballot (and, if necessary, all subsequent ballots), votes are tabulated by the tellers who use the same point system and formula as in the first round to determine a winner.

  • If after a second ballot, there is still no winner, the committee is required to re-open discussion and then re-ballot, alternating between discussion and re-balloting until a winner is selected.

Selection of Honor Books
Immediately following determination of the winner of the Caldecott Medal, and following appropriate discussion, the committee will entertain the following:

  • Whether honor books will be named.

  • Whether the committee wishes to choose as honor books the next highest books on the original winning ballot or to ballot again.

  • If the committee votes to use the award-winning ballot, they must then determine how many honor books to name.

  • If the committee chooses to ballot for honor books, only books that received points on the award winning ballot may be included. The same voting procedure is followed as for the award winner.

  • If the committee has chosen to ballot for honor books, following that ballot, the committee will vote how many books of those receiving the highest number of points are to be named honor books.


Martha V. Parravano and Julie Danielson
Martha V. Parravano is book review editor of The Horn Book, Inc., and co-author of the Calling Caldecott blog. Julie Danielson, co-author of the Calling Caldecott blog, writes about picture books at the blog Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast.
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Julie Danielson

Molly, thank you for sharing what your students chose!

Posted : Jan 23, 2020 02:53

Allison Khoury

Wow! exciting results. Thank you for a wonderful year so far. Please do more posts during the year!!

Posted : Jan 23, 2020 02:41

Molly Sloan

Congratulations to the Calling Caldecott honorees! I am pleased by the choices and feel that they would all be worthy recipients of recognition from the committee. Today the students in my 3rd-5th grade Caldecott Club voted for their winners as well. I always tell them that their winners are just as important to me as the books selected by the ALA committee--perhaps more because these have been chosen by thoughtful readers in our very own school. So without further ado, the winners of the Portland Jewish Academy Caldecott Club for 2020 are: Medal Winner: The Little Guys by Vera Brosgol. Our Honor Books are: My Papi Has A Motorcycle by Isabel Quintero, illustrated by Zeke Pena and Sea Bear: A Journey for Survival by Lindsay Moore. Hurrah for picture books!

Posted : Jan 22, 2020 10:49



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