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The Caldecott Medal

For the most distinguished American picture book

The Caldecott Medal was named in honor of nineteenth-century English illustrator Randolph Caldecott. It is awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children. The award is for distinguished illustrations in a picture book and for excellence of pictorial presentation.

2023 -- Hot dog, illustrated and written by Doug Salati

This hot dog has had enough of summer in the city! Enough of sizzling sidewalks, enough of wailing sirens, enough of people's feet right in his face. When he plops down in the middle of a crosswalk, his owner 2:44 PM 1/10/2024hails a taxi, hops a train, and ferries out to the beach.

-- Review
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2022 -- Watercress, illustrated by Jason Chin and written by Andrew Wang

While driving through Ohio in an old Pontiac, a young girl's Chinese immigrant parents spot watercress growing wild in a ditch by the side of the road and the whole family wades into the mud to gather as much as they can. At first, she's embarrassed. But when her mother shares a bittersweet story of her family history in China, the girl learns to appreciate the fresh food they foraged—and the memories left behind in pursuit of a new life.

-- Review
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2021 -- We are Water Protectors, illustrated by Michaela Goade and written by Carole Lindstrom

When a black snake threatens to destroy the Earth And poison her people’s water, one young water protector Takes a stand to defend Earth’s most sacred resource.

-- Review
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2020 -- The Undefeated, illustrated by Kadir Nelson and written by Kwame Alexander

A poem offering deeper insights into the accomplishments of the past, while bringing stark attention to the endurance and spirit of those surviving and thriving in the present.

-- Review
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2019 -- Hello Lighthouse, illustrated and written by Sophie Blackall

Watch the days and seasons pass as the wind blows, the fog rolls in, and icebergs drift by. Outside, there is water all around. Inside, the daily life of a lighthouse keeper and his family unfolds as the keeper boils water for tea, lights the lamp's wick, and writes every detail in his logbook.

-- Review
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2018 -- Wolf in the Snow, illustrated and written by Matthew Cordell

In this spare, nearly wordless picture book, a girl and a wolf cub each get lost in the snow and rescue each other. Cordell uses pen and ink and watercolor wash to capture the frenzied snowfall and the brave girl’s frantic, frightful journey. Fairy tale elements and a strong sense of color and geometry offer an engrossing, emotionally charged story.

-- ALA Review
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2017 -- Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, illustrated and written by Javaka Steptoe

Like Jean-Michel Basquiat’s work, Steptoe’s illustrations radiate energy and immediacy. A patch-worked canvas of scavenged wood, painted and collaged with photos, and images of human anatomy, evokes the improvisatory nature of Basquiat’s art. “Radiant Child” resonates with emotion that connects Steptoe with Basquiat and Basquiat with young readers.

-- ALA Review
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2016 -- Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear, illustrated by Sophie Blackall, written by Lindsay Mattick

Finding Winnie is an incredible account of the friendship and love shared between a soldier and the real bear who inspired Winnie-the-Pooh. Blackall beautifully interprets this multi-dimensional family story through her distinctive Chinese ink and watercolor art, capturing intimate and historical details perfect for a child’s eye.

-- ALA Review
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2015 -- The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend, written and illustrated by Dan Santat

In four delightful “visual chapters,” Beekle, an imaginary friend, undergoes an emotional journey looking for his human. Santat uses fine details, kaleidoscopic saturated colors, and exquisite curved and angular lines to masterfully convey the emotional essence of this special childhood relationship.

-- ALA Review
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2014 -- Locomotive, illustrated by Brian Floca

All aboard! Accompany a family on an unforgettable weeklong train trip from Omaha to Sacramento in 1869. Brian Floca’s dramatic watercolor, ink, acrylic and gouache illustrations incorporate meticulously-researched portraits of the train, the travelers and the crew as they traverse the American landscape on the new transcontinental railroad.

-- ALA Review
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2013 -- This Is Not My Hat, written and illustrated by Jon Klassen

In this darkly humorous tale, a tiny fish knows it’s wrong to steal a hat. It fits him just right. But the big fish wants his hat back. Klassen’s controlled palette, opposing narratives and subtle cues compel readers to follow the fish and imagine the consequence.

-- ALA Review
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2012 -- A Ball for Daisy, by Chris Raschka

The story of an irrepressible little dog whose most prized possession is accidently destroyed. Raschka's signature swirling, impressionistic illustrations and his affectionate story will particularly appeal to young dog lovers and teachers and parents who have children dealing with the loss of something special.

-- Review
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2011 -- A Sick Day for Amos McGee, by Erin E. Stead

In this tender tale of reciprocity and friendship, zookeeper Amos McGee gets the sniffles and receives a surprise visit from his caring animal friends. Erin Stead’s delicate woodblock prints and fine pencil work complement Philip Stead’s understated, spare and humorous text to create a well-paced, gentle and satisfying book, perfect for sharing with friends.
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2010 -- The Lion & the Mouse, by Jerry Pinkney

The screech of an owl, the squeak of a mouse and the roar of a lion transport readers to the Serengeti plains for this virtually wordless retelling of Aesop’s classic fable. In glowing colors, Pinkney’s textured watercolor illustrations masterfully portray the relationship between two very unlikely friends.
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2009 -- The House in the Night, illustrated by Beth Krommes, written by Susan Marie Swanson

Richly detailed black-and-white scratchboard illustrations expand this timeless bedtime verse, offering reassurance to young children that there is always light in the darkness.
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2008 -- The Invention of Hugo Cabret, by Brian Selznick

From an opening shot of the full moon setting over an awakening Paris in 1931, this tale casts a new light on the picture book form. Hugo is a young orphan secretly living in the walls of a train station where he labors to complete a mysterious invention left by his father.
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2007 -- Flotsam, by David Wiesner

A bright, science minded boy goes to the beach equipped to collect and examine flotsam--anything floating that has been washed ashore. Bottles, lost toys, small objects of every description are among his usual finds. But there's no way he could have prepared for one particular discovery: a barnacle-encrusted underwater camera, with its own secrets to share... and to keep.

-- Review
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2006 -- The Hello, Goodbye Window, Illustrated by Chris Raschka, written by Norton Juster

The kitchen window at Nanna and Poppy's house is, for one little girl, a magic gateway. Everything important happens near it, through it, or beyond it. Told in her voice, her story is both a voyage of discovery and a celebration of the commonplace wonders that define childhood. It is also a love song devoted to that special relationship between grandparents and grandchild.

-- Review
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2005 -- Kitten's First Full Moon, by Kevin Henkes

In this beautiful picture book, Kevin Henkes, captures the sweet, sometimes slapstick struggle of Kitten, who sees her first full moon and thinks it's a bowl of milk in the sky. Any child who has yearned for anything will understand how much Kitten wants that elusive bowl of milk. Readers will giggle as she tries to lick the faraway moon and gets a bug on her tongue, or leaps to catch it and falls down the stairs. In an effective refrain, the narrator repeats, "Still, there was the little bowl of milk, just waiting." The winning combination here is the simplicity and humor of the story, paired with gorgeous black-and-white illustrations. (Preschool)

-- Review
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2004 -- The Man Who Walked Between the Towers by Mordicai Gerstein

The story of Philippe Petit's secretive planning and execution of a daring tightrope walk between Manhattan's World Trade Center towers in 1974.

-- Review
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2003 -- My Friend Rabbit by Eric Rohmann

-- Review
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2002 -- The Three Pigs by David Wiesner

Once upon a time three pigs built three houses, out of straw, sticks, and bricks. Along came a wolf, who huffed and puffed... So, you think you know the rest? Think again. With David Wiesner at the helm, it's never safe to assume too much. One by one, the pigs exit the fairy tale's border and set off on an adventure of their own. Weisner's trademark crafty humor and skewed perspectives will tickle readers pink.

-- Review
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2001 -- So You Want to Be President? by Judith St. George, David Small

Tired of books about the presidency that present themselves as history books? This is a book about the presidency that's serious fun. The basic theme is that anyone can be president: a fat man (William Howard Taft) or a tiny man (James Madison), a relative youngster (Teddy Roosevelt at 42) or oldster (Ronald Reagan at 69). It's fun, but the underlying purpose is clearly serious: to remind kids that the American presidents have been a motley group of individuals, not a row of marble busts. Ironically, that message makes the presidency far more interesting (and appealing) than it seems in some of the more traditional books. (Ages 8 and older)

-- Review
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2000 -- Joseph Had a Little Overcoat by Simms Taback

When Joseph's favorite overcoat gets old and worn, he makes a jacket out of it. When the jacket is more patches than jacket, Joseph turns it into a vest. When the vest's number is up, Joseph makes a scarf. This thrifty industry continues until there's nothing left of the original garment. But clever Joseph manages to make something out of nothing! (Ages 4 to 8)

-- Review
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1999 -- Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin, Mary Azarian

Most children are captivated by snow, but how many go on to make it their lifework? This beautiful biography tells the true story of a Vermont farm boy who was mesmerized by snowflakes. Wilson Bentley was fascinated by the six-sided frozen phenomena, and once he acquired a microscope with a camera, his childhood preoccupation took on a more scientific leaning. Bentley spent his life taking countless exquisite photographs (many that are still used in nature photography today), examining the tiny crystals and their delicate, mathematical structures. The lovely illustrations and equally fresh text will inspire and comfort youngsters (and grownups too) who wish they could capture snowflakes all year long. (Ages 4 to 8)

-- Review
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1998 -- Rapunzel by Paul O. Zelinsky

Zelinsky's lush versions of Hansel and Gretel, Rumpelstiltskin, and Swamp Angel all earned him Caldecott Honors. His gorgeous, Italian Renaissance styled illustrations are characterized by warm golden tones and the mesmerizing sensation of trompe l'oeuil. Children will be captivated by the magical story and evocative pictures and adults will delight in the fresh feel of a well-loved legend. Ages 4 and older.

-- Review
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1997 -- Golem by David Wisniewski

Golem is the Hebrew word for shapeless man. According to Jewish legend, the renowned scholar and teacher Rabbi Loew used his powers to create a Golem from clay in order to protect his people from persecution in the ghettos of 16th-century Prague. David Wisniewski's cut-paper collage illustrations are the ideal medium for portraying the stark black-and-white forces of good and evil, pride and prejudice, as well as the gray area that emerges when the tormented clay giant loses control of his anger. (Ages 8 and older)

-- Review
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1996 -- Officer Buckle and Gloria by Peggy Rathmann

Officer Buckle is a roly-poly bloke, dedicated to teaching schoolchildren important safety tips, such as never put anything in your ear and never stand on a swivel chair. The problem is, Officer Buckle's school assemblies are dull, dull, dull, and the children of Napville just sleep, sleep, sleep. That is, until Gloria the police dog is invited along! Children will be highly entertained by the laugh-out-loud, adorable illustrations, while learning the value of teamwork and a pawful of nifty safety tips. (Ages 4 to 8)

-- Review
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1995 -- Smoky Night by David Diaz (text by Eve Bunting)

That buildings will burn and neighbors will feud may be difficult realities for children to accept. Smoky Night attests to this through its child's eye view of the Los Angeles riots. Though not a bed-time story, Smoky Night offers a blunt vision of violence that may work well to arm young readers against shock they are destined to face later.

-- Review
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1994 -- Grandfather's Journey by Allen Say

Home becomes elusive in this story about immigration and acculturation, pieced together through old pictures and salvaged family tales. Both the narrator and his grandfather long to return to Japan, but when they do, they feel anonymous and confused: "The funny thing is, the moment I am in one country, I am homesick for the other." The book also has large, formal paintings in delicate, faded colors that portray a cherished and well-preserved family album. (Ages 4 to 8)

-- Review
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1993 -- Mirette on the High Wire by Emily McCully

1992 -- Tuesday by David Wiesner

1991 -- Black & White by David Macaulay

1990 -- Lon Po Po by Ed Young (translator)

1989 -- Song & Dance Man by Stephen Gammell (text by Karen Ackerman)

1988 -- Owl Moon by John Schoenherr (text by Jane Yolen)

1987 -- Hey, Al by Richard Egielski (text by Arthur Yorinks)

1986 -- Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg

1985 -- Saint George and the Dragon by Margaret Hodges, Trina S. Hyman

1984 -- The Glorious Flight : Across the Channel With Louis Bleriot, July 25, 1909 by Alice Provensen, Martin Provensen

1983 -- Shadow by Blaise Cendrars, Marcia Brown

1982 -- Jumanji by Chris Van Allsburg

1981 -- Fables by Arnold Lobel

1980 -- Ox Cart Man by Barbara Cooney (text by Donald Hall)

1979 -- The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses by Paul Goble

1978 -- Noah's Ark by Peter Spier

1977 -- Ashanti to Zulu : African Traditions by Leo Dillon, Diane Dillon (Illustrator), Margaret W. Musgrove

1976 -- Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears : A West African Tale by Verna Aardema, Leo Dillon, Diane Dillon (Illustrator)

1975 -- Arrow to the Sun : A Pueblo Indian Tale by Gerald McDermott

1974 -- Duffy and the Devil by Harve Zemach

1973 -- The Funny Little Woman (Picture Puffins) by Arlene Mosel, Blair Lent (Illustrator)

1972 -- One Fine Day. by Nonny Hogrogian

1971 -- A Story, a Story : An African Tale by Gail E. Haley

1970 -- Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig

1969 -- The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship by Arthur Ransome

1968 -- Drummer Hoff by Barbara Emberley

1967 -- Sam, Bangs, and Moonshine by Evaline Ness

1966 -- Always Room for One More by Sorche Leodhas, Nonny Hogrogian

1965 -- May I Bring a Friend? by Beatrice Schenk De Regniers

1964 -- Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

1963 -- Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

1962 -- Once a Mouse by Marcia Brown

1961 -- Baboushka and the Three Kings by Ruth Robbins

1960 -- Nine Days to Christmas by Marie Hall Ets, Aurora Labastida

1959 -- Chanticleer and the Fox by Geoffrey Chaucer, Barbara Cooney

1958 -- Time of Wonder by Robert McCloskey

1957 -- Tree Is Nice by Janice MayUdry, Marc Simont (Illustrator)

1956 -- Frog Went A-Courtin' by John Langstaff , Feodor Rojankovsky (Illustrator)

1955 -- Cinderella by Charles Perrault, Marcia Brown (Illustrator)

1954 -- Madeline's Rescue by Ludwig Bemelmans

1953 -- The Biggest Bear by Lynd Kendall Ward

1952 -- Finders Keepers by William Lipkind, Nicolas Mordvinoff, Nicolas Will

1951 -- Egg Tree by Katherine Milhous

1950 -- Song of the Swallows by Leo Politi

1949 -- White Snow, Bright Snow by Alvin Tresselt, Roger Duvoisin (Illustrator)
The Big Snow by Berta Hader, Elmer Hader

1948 --

1947 -- The Little Island by Golden MacDonald, Leonard Weisgard (Illustrator)

1946 -- Rooster Crows by Miska Petersham, Maud Petersham

1945 -- Prayer for a Child by Rachel L. Field, Elizabeth Orton Jones

1944 -- The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton
Many Moons by James Thurber, Louis Slobodkin (Illustrator)

1943 --

1942 -- Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey

1941 -- They Were Strong and Good by Robert Lawson

1940 -- Abraham Lincoln by Ingri D'Aulaire, Edgar Parin D'Aulaire

1939 -- Mei Li by Thomas Handforth

1938 -- Animals of the Bible by Dorothy P. Lathrop, Helen D. Fish (Editor)

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