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caldecott award

YouthMediaAwardsThe moment we’ve all been waiting for has come! Well, maybe we haven’t all been waiting for this, but if you are a children’s librarian or into children’s books, the American Library Association’s annual announcement of the best books and audiobooks in children’s and teen literature is pretty exciting stuff. So let’s get to it! DCPL Youth Services Librarians and staff recently had its own Mock Caldecott election, for which we chose Extra Yarn illustrated by Jon Klassen, so I was highly anticipating these results. The Caldecott is given to the illustrator with the most notable children’s picture book and this year marks the 75th anniversary of the award.

And the 2013 Caldecott Award goes to:

This Is Not My Hat illustrated and written by Jon Klassen


The honor books are:

Creepy Carrots! illustrated by Peter Brown, written by Aaron Reynolds


Extra Yarn illustrated by Jon Klassen, written by Mac Barnett

extra yarn

Green illustrated and written by Laura Vaccaro Seeger


One Cool Friend illustrated by David Small, written by Toni Buzzeo


Sleep Like a Tiger illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski, written by Mary Logue


Love these choices! I’m not too surprised with these winners and am thrilled that a few of my personal favorites were chosen, including, of course, Extra Yarn, illustrated by Jon Klassen. He cleaned up this year by taking home an honor award and the top prize for This Is Not My Hat.  A follow up to his 2011 picture book, I Want My Hat Back, This Is Not My Hat is a must-read not just for its beautiful illustrations but for the very humorous storytelling with an ending that leaves readers a lot to ponder. You can check out some of his charming illustrations at http://jonklassen.tumblr.com/

I also loved that Creepy Carrots was chosen. With a description like this (from Simon and Schuster) how could it not be award winning? :

The Twilight Zone comes to the carrot patch in this clever picture book parable about a rabbit who fears his favorite treats are out to get him.

It’s funny and witty, and of course, creepy and makes for a great read-aloud!

What do you think of the Caldecott committee’s choices this year? Are there any books that you felt were more deserving?

The Newbery Award is given to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children and this year’s award went to Katherine Applegate’s The One and Only Ivan.


And the Newbery Honor Books are (click on the picture to take you to the catalog listing):





The Caldecott and Newbery are the highest of the awards but there are many other notable awards including the Coretta Scott King Award, Printz, Belpré and more. For a full list of winners, click here.


Jan 21 2013

DCPL Mock Caldecott Winners

by Nancy M

untitledThis past year, DeKalb County Public Library Youth Services Librarians and staff have been reading, reviewing and voting on picture book titles leading up to our first ever Mock Caldecott election. The Caldecott Medal is a prestigious children’s award that has been given out since 1938 to the illustrator with the most distinguished picture book. Recently, we all came together for our final vote and here are the results:

The 2013 DCPL Mock Caldecott Medal goes to…

extra yarnExtra Yarn illustrated by Jon Klassen and written by Mac Barnett



Our Honor Books are:

bootandshoeBoot and Shoe written and illustrated by Marla Frazee



indexChloe written and illustrated by Peter McCarty



indexCindy Moo illustrated by Jeff Mack and written by Lori Mortensen



indexBear Has a Story to Tell illustrated by Erin Stead and written by Philip C. Stead


It was a tight election and there were many beautiful picture books to choose from in 2012. This was our third and final vote and you can check out our past finalists here. Here are some more picture books that did not make our final vote but are definitely worth a read. Click on the title to be taken to the DCPL catalog.









The real Caldecott Medal will be awarded on Monday, January 28 along with many other American Library Association children’s and young adult book awards including the Newbery Medal and the Coretta Scott King Book Award. You can view the winners here and check back to DCPLive that week for a listing and to share your thoughts.


Nov 2 2012

DCPL Mock Caldecott Round 2

by Nancy M

DCPL Youth Librarians and staff have been busy reading and selecting picture books for our Mock Caldecott election.  There have been many wonderful picture books published so far this year and hopefully the following list will guide you to finding something great to share with your children. We recently had our second round of voting and the chosen ones not only met Caldecott criteria, but displayed what we felt were exceptional artwork and storytelling.  Here are the winners from the 2 groups of voters:

Team 1

First Place: Chloe written and illustrated by Peter McCarty




Second Place: Bear Has a Story to Tell by Philip and Erin Stead




Third Place: Too Tall Houses by Gianna Marino




Team 2

First Place: Bear Has a Story to Tell by Philip and Erin Stead




Second Place: Boot and Shoe by Marla Frazee




Third Place: The Duckling Gets a Cookie!? by Mo Willems




Of course not every book can make it to the final round, but here are some more of what we believe are the cream of the crop in 2012 picture books.  You can click on the picture to take you to the catalog listing.







Jul 9 2012

Mock Caldecott: Round 1

by Nancy M

As mentioned in a previous post, the Library’s youth services staff are participating in a Mock Caldecott election. We’ve been busy reading and have found a lot of great picture books that have been published in 2012; we can’t wait to see what the rest of the year will provide.

The Youth Services staff are split into two groups so we have two sets of winners.  Here are the results of our first round:

Team 1

First Place:

Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett; Illustrated by Jon Klassen

Second Place/Third Place Tie :

Green written and illustrated by Laura Vaccaro Seeger

Jazz Age Josephine by Jonah Winter; Illustrated by Marjorie Priceman

Team 2

First Place:

Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett; illustrated by Jon Klassen

Second Place:

Laundry Day written and illustrated by Maurie J. Manning

Third Place:

And Then It’s Spring by Julie Fogliano; Illustrated by Erin E. Stead

What do you think of our choices? Have you read any of these books yet? Let us know what you think and if we are missing something great!


May 14 2012

Mock Caldecott

by Nancy M

This year, DeKalb County Public Library Youth Services staff will be participating in our very own Mock Caldecott election. The Caldecott medal, awarded by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, is given each January to the artist with the most distinguished American picture book for children. While it would be great if we predicted next year’s winner, our primary goal is to seek out great picture books that are being published in a given year, so we can better serve our patrons with outstanding book recommendations.

We will have several rounds of elections before we choose a winner in January. In the meantime I will be posting lists of exceptional 2012 picture books that DCPL has in its collection. If you have any recommendations, please share!

Extra Yarn

Written by Mac Barnett; illustrated by Jon Klassen

Just Ducks!

Written by Nicola Davies; illustrated by Salvatore Rubbino.

Boy + Bot

Written by Ame Dyckman; illustrated by Dan Yaccarino

And Then It’s Spring

Written by Julie Fogliano; illustrated by Erin Stead.


Written and illustrated by Holly Hobbie

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imagesThis past Monday the American Library Association announced the year’s best in children’s books and media. This much anticipated event includes a couple of the most well-known and prestigious awards- The Newbery and Caldecott Medals. The Newbery Medal is awarded to the author with the most outstanding contribution to American literature for children and has been awarded since 1922. The Caldecott Medal, awarded since 1937, is given to the artist with the most distinguished American children’s picture book.

And so, without further ado, the winner of this year’s Newbery Medal is:

Stead When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

And the winner of the Caldecott Medal is:

lion The Lion and the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney

For a complete list of youth awards given this year, check out the American Library Association’s website.


On Monday, the American Library Association gave the John Newbery Award for the most distinguished contribution to children’s literature to Neil Gaiman for The Graveyard Book.

I was pleasantly surprised by this year’s choice because the Newbery doesn’t often go to fantasies and because of the frequent tendency for Newbery books to be ‘good’ books, as in good-for-you. Even Mr. Gaiman seemed surprised, saying that “there are books that are best sellers and books that are winners.” Popularity is not a consideration for the Newbery award (and rightly so), but there’s been a lot of debate in the library world recently about the obscurity of the most recent winners.

As a child I resisted reading ‘good’ books, preferring escapism to character-building.  As an adult, I know that I missed out on some excellent stories the child-me would have loved. As a librarian,  I’m trying to get those excellent stories to children who are just as reluctant as I was to read a ‘good’ book.  So I’m happy that this year’s Newbery choice means the good and the popular are on the same page.

I always love looking at the Caldecott books and this year the award for the most distinguished picture book for children goes to The House in the Night, illustrated by Beth Krommes and written by Susan Marie Swanson.

The ALA makes lots of other awards as well, including the Odyssey Award for audiobooks.  One of this year’s Odyssey Honor nominees is Martina the Beautiful Cockroach: A Cuban Folktale, written and narrated by local author and DCPL favorite Carmen Agra Deedy. Congratulations to Ms. Deedy, Mr. Gaiman, Ms. Krommes and all the other winners and nominees!