Results of the 2022 Calling Caldecott Mock Vote

The votes are in!

The results of our 2022 Calling Caldecott Mock Vote yielded a winner and two honor books.

Watercress, illustrated by Jason Chin and written by Andrea Wang, is our winner.




Our two honor books are Mel Fell, illustrated and written by Corey R. Tabor, and Unspeakable, illustrated by Floyd Cooper and written by Carole Boston Weatherford.





Three wonderful, deserving books! Great job, Calling Caldecott people!

Let's break down the ballot results. Watercress was the clear winner, earning a whopping 12 more first-place votes (19 in total) than the next two books (Mel Fell and Unspeakable both got 7 first-place votes), and with a solid showing in 2nd and 3rd place votes as well. Watercress had a total of 115 points, with Mel Fell and Unspeakable almost tied with 84 and 80 points, respectively. Those kinds of numbers — the gap between Watercress and the rest of the field — might even translate to a winner being declared on the first ballot in the real world.

Here's what the Caldecott manual says: "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." There's of course no direct correlation here with that formula (this mock vote had about 100 participants, whereas the Real Caldecott committee has fifteen members), but you get an idea of the distance the winner has to put between itself and the rest of the field — and Watercress certainly had that distance.

All three books got significantly more points than the rest of the titles on our mock ballot. Some years, we agonize here about how to decide on the number of honor books — where to draw the cutoff line if the votes are close — but this time it was very clear. Although we always lean toward wanting to recognize as many books as possible, and thus to include as many honor books as possible, this year the numbers did not support more than two honor books.

However! Shout-outs go to several more books that received very solid support — i.e, a lot of second- and third-place votes. These include Victo Ngai's Wishes, Christian Robinson's Milo Imagines the World, and the Fan Brothers' It Fell from the Sky. Their strong showing in 2nd and 3rd votes suggests to us that it was very hard to choose this year among the many worthy choices. Supporters of these books should take heart! Not to mention that, on a hypothetical Caldecott committee, with that solid support a devoted and persuasive committee member might be able to convince their fellows to deepen the honor book pool. There are fewer hard and fast rules when it comes to choosing Caldecott honor books, so that outcome would at least be a possibilty.

Finally. We love running this mock vote and seeing how the results pan out. We share everyone's excitement and are thrilled for the books that win our mock vote. It's also exciting to choose books here and then tune in to the YMA Announcement livestream (on Monday!) to see what REALLY wins. Because, of course, nothing real-world-y has happened yet. ALL eligible 2021 books still have a shot at being on the (virtual) table and being announced as Caldecott winners or honor books on Monday. 

Meanwhile, we congratulate our winners (hoooray!), we thank you all for participating, and we will be back tomorrow with a wrap-up post before heading along with you to the YMAs on Monday. (The announcements will be live-streamed starting at 8 a.m. CST. Here is the link to the video stream.) After which, we'll be back with our take on the REAL winners.



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.
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.



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