Caldecott Medal and Honor Books
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.
Randolph Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children:
“The Undefeated,” illustrated by Kadir Nelson
Three Caldecott Honor Books also were named:
“Bear Came Along,” illustrated by LeUyen Pham, written by Richard T. Morris and published by Little, Brown and Company, a division of Hachette Book Group
“Double Bass Blues,” illustrated by Rudy Gutierrez, written by Andrea J. Loney and published by Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Penguin Random House LLC
“Going Down Home with Daddy,” illustrated by Daniel Minter, written by Kelly Starling Lyons and published by Peachtree Publishers.
Hello Lighthouse, written and illustrated by Sophie Blackall.
The 2019 Honor books are:
Alma and How She Got Her Name, written and illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal
The Rough Patch, written and illustrated by Brian Lies
A Big Mooncake for Little Star, written and illustrated by Grace Lin
Thank You, Omu!, written and illustrated by Oge Mora
2018 Medal Winner
“Wolf in the Snow,” illustrated and written by Matthew Cordell, and published by Feiwel and Friends, an imprint of Macmillan.
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.
“HOOOOOWWLLLL!!” said Caldecott Medal Committee Chair Tish Wilson. “Committee members were astonished that a deceptively simple book could be such a dramatic story of survival.”
2018 Honor BooksBig Cat, Little Cat, illustrated and written by Elisha Cooper, published by Roaring Brook Press, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishing Holdings Limited Partnership
Simple and joyful domestic routines underscore the deeply entwined lives of two feline companions and the impact of loss on one. Cooper uses expressive black-and-white line art with strategic, evocative washes of color to convey the reassuring circular nature of life.
Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut, illustrated by Gordon C. James, written by Derrick Barnes, published by Bolden, an Agate Imprint, a Denene Millner Book
Sometimes a haircut is so much more than just a haircut. Sometimes a haircut makes you royalty. A love-letter to the contemporary barbershop experience and the empowerment it affords, Gordon C. James’s impressionistic oil paintings capture every bit of the bravado, swagger, and joy of this African-American institution.
A Different Pond, illustrated by Thi Bui, written by Bao Phi, and published by Capstone Young Readers, a Capstone imprint.
An early morning fishing trip between father and son provides food for that evening’s dinner and time to reflect on a similar pond in Vietnam. Bui’s evocative thick black ink brushstrokes with graphic novel panels create a cinematic experience, powerfully capturing facial expressions, mood, and quiet moments. Based on the experiences of both the Vietnamese American illustrator and author, this story depicts the immigrant experience as well as universal themes of family, love, and survival.
Grand Canyon, illustrated and written by Jason Chin, a Neal Porter Book, published by Roaring Brook Press, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishing Holdings Limited Partnership. An Asian-American father and daughter explore this nation
2017 Medal Winner
Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, illustrated and written by Javaka Steptoe and published by Little, Brown and Company, a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc.
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.
2017 Honor Books
Leave Me Alone! illustrated and written by Vera Brosgol, and published by Roaring Brook Press, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishing Holdings Limited Partnership.
At the end of her rope, Granny is desperate for time alone to finish knitting sweaters for a house filled with dozens of rambunctious children. Brosgol’s expressive watercolor and cartoon art presents a genre-breaking journey taking Granny from the traditional forest setting to the mountains to the moon and beyond.
Freedom in Congo Square, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie, written by Carole Boston Weatherford and published by Little Bee Books, an imprint of Bonnier Publishing Group.
As they work throughout the week, slaves look forward to their afternoon of music, hope, and community in Congo Square, New Orleans. Christie’s folk-art inspired paint and collage images powerfully capture the emotions of this little-known historical event. Vibrant color and brilliant use of line heighten the impact of the rhyming couplets.
Du Iz Tak?, illustrated and written by Carson Ellis and published by Candlewick Press.
A diverse community of anthropomorphic bugs is intrigued by an unfurling sprout. Carson Ellis deftly depicts the mysteries of life in an imaginary, natural world. Through intricate details and the witty humor of a made-up language, “Du Iz Tak?” is a treasure trove of visual and linguistic literacy.
They All Saw a Cat, illustrated and written by Brendan Wenzel and published by Chronicle Books LLC.
A cat’s walk through the world becomes a surprise-filled exploration of perspective and empathy. As the feline encounters a variety of creatures, the thoughtful composition paired with spare language and repetition focuses on each individual’s perception of it. Wenzel’s use of a range of art materials reinforces the idea that the essence of a cat might be in the eye of the beholder.
2016 Medal Winner
Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear, illustrated by Sophie Blackall, written by Lindsay Mattick and published by Little, Brown and Company, an division of Hachette Book Group, Inc.
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.
“Children will be enchanted by Winnie’s journey from the forests of Canada to the pages of the Hundred Acre Wood. Blackall offers a tour-de-force of visual storytelling,” said Caldecott Medal Committee Chair Rachel G. Payne.
2016 Honor Books
Trombone Shorty, pictures by Bryan Collier and words by Troy Andrews and published by Abrams Books for Young Readers, an imprint of ABRAMS.
In this autobiography, Trombone Shorty reminisces about his early life in the jazz music scene of his beloved hometown of New Orleans. Through Collier’s paintings and collage illustrations, the story’s authentic, heartfelt tone is masterfully realized.
Waiting, illustrated and written by Kevin Henkes and published by Greenwillow Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.
Waiting delivers an intimate story of five figurines, each anticipating the wonder of everyday moments. Using rich brown lines and a soft pastel palette, Henkes invites young readers to slow down and explore a range of emotions in a world on a windowsill.
Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement, illustrated by Ekua Holmes, written by Carole Boston Weatherford and published by Candlewick Press.
In this biography in verse, Ekua Holmes’ illustrations provide children with an intensely visual encounter with Civil Rights icon Fannie Lou Hamer. The repetition of colors and motifs within the richly layered collage create complex images that capture Hamer’s power and bravery.
Last Stop on Market Street, illustrated by Christian Robinson and written by Matt de la Peña, published by G. P. Putnam’s Sons, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA) LLC.
Readers are transported, along with a young boy and his grandmother, on a journey through the city. Robinson’s illustrations, a colorful mix of acrylic paint and collage, feel both vintage and fresh. The diversity, vibrancy, and beauty of the urban setting are celebrated as CJ and Nana share meaningful moments together.
2015 Medal Winner
The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend, illustrated and written by Dan Santat and published by Little, Brown and Company, a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc.
2015 Honor Books
Nana in the City, written and illustrated by Lauren Castillo and published by Clarion Books, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company
The Noisy Paint Box: The Colors and Sounds of Kandinsky's Abstract Art, illustrated by Mary GrandPré, written by Barb Rosenstock and published by Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of Random House Children's Books, a division of Random House, Inc., New York
Sam & Dave Dig a Hole, illustrated by Jon Klassen, written by Mac Barnett and published by Candlewick Press
Viva Frida, illustrated and written by Yuyi Morales and published by Roaring Brook Press, a Neal Porter Book
The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus, illustrated by Melissa Sweet, written by Jen Bryant and published by Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
This One Summer, illustrated by Jillian Tamaki, written by Mariko Tamaki and published by First Second
2014 Medal Winner:
Locomotive, written and illustrated by Brian Floca (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing)
2014 Honor Books:
Journey, written and illustrated by Aaron Becker (Candlewick Press)
Flora and the Flamingo, written and illustrated by Molly Idle (Chronicle Books)
Mr. Wuffles! written and illustrated by David Wiesner (Clarion Books, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing)
2013 Medal Winner:
This Is Not My Hat, written and illustrated by Jon Klassen (Candlewick Press) 2013 Honor Books:
2013 Honor Books:
Creepy Carrots!, illustrated by Peter Brown, written by Aaron Reynolds (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division)
Extra Yarn, illustrated by Jon Klassen, written by Mac Barnett (Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers)
Green, illustrated and written by Laura Vaccaro Seeger (Neal Porter Books, an imprint of Roaring Brook Press) One Cool Friend, illustrated by David Small, written by Toni Buzzeo (Dial Books for Young Readers, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group)
Sleep Like a Tiger, illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski, written by Mary Logue (Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company)