We Dive In ...

Yes it's time to take the plunge. Today we present our tentative (sure to evolve as the year unfolds!) list of eligible 2023 books we hope to cover on Calling Caldecott this season.

Here goes:

  • An American Story (Alexander/Coulter)
  • The Tree and the River (Becker)
  • In the Night Garden (Berger)
  • Rock, Rosetta, Rock! Roll, Rosetta, Roll! (Bolden/Christie)
  • The Hospital Book (Brown)
  • We Are Here (Charles/Collier)
  • Evergreen (Cordell)
  • Night in the City (Downing)
  • Mine! (Fleming/Rohman)
  • Spanish Is the Language of My Family (Genhart/Parra)
  • Fungi Grow (Gianferrari/Sudyka)
  • I'm From (Gray/Mora)
  • A Walk in the Woods (Grimes/Pinkney/Pinkney)
  • Remember (Harjo/Goade)
  • Big (Harrison)
  • On the Tip of the Wave (Ho/Chien)
  • The Skull (Klassen)
  • Once Upon a Book (Lin)
  • My Powerful Hair (Lindstrom/Littlebird)
  • Tomfoolery (Markel/McClintock)
  • The Book of Turtles (Montgomery/Patterson)
  • Christo and Jeanne-Claude Wrap the World (Neri/Haidle)
  • There Was a Party for Langston (Reynolds/Pumphrey brothers)
  • Stars of Night (Stelson/Alko)
  • Jump In! (Strickland)
  • Little Land (Sudyka)
  • A Flag for Juneteenth (Taylor)
  • The Indesctructible Tom Crean (Thermes)
  • Game of Freedom (Tonatiuh)
  • Nell Plants a Tree (Wynter/Miyares)


Assuming some or most of these books attract the attention of the Real Committee — this collection of titles presents a few intriguing challenges. What do you notice? Several seasoned illustrators — previously recognized by the Caldecott, even — but also a substantial number of newcomers. One very unusual situation — a book begun by one illustrator and finished, after that artist's demise, by his son. Many storybooks but also much nonfiction — biography, natural science, history. At least one book that is long enough to possibly be considered an illustrated book rather than a picture book — how will the Real Committee categorize it? Artistic mediums ranging from watercolors and collage to quilting.

We will also have coverage of graphic novels and board books (exact titles yet to be determined) — and these genres surely present extra challenges to the committee. How do you compare a board book aimed at babies to a full-length graphic novel aimed at middle schoolers? 

We — my coauthors Julie Hakim Azzam and Kitty Flynn and I and our talented and knowledgeable guest contributors — will be grappling with these and many other issues as the season progresses. 

Meanwhile, do you already have books you consider front-runners for the Caldecott Medal? Are they on this list? If not, sing out! We want to know about your favorites. (Remember that many splendid picture books are not eligible by reason of the illustrator's nationality or residency, boo hiss. It doesn't matter if the author is American or not; the illustrator must either be a citizen or a resident. And it's not always easy to be sure about that information.)

Leave any and all comments below -- your frontrunners, books we may have missed, corrections if you see any errors in the books listed, etc....

Martha V. Parravano

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

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Melissa Anderson

This week I got a copy of THE WALK by Winsome Bingom and E B Lewis. And that book is equally powerful as well as stunning. It’s one of the best books I’ve read this year.

Posted : Sep 16, 2023 03:02



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