Who Won the Caldecott?


Locomotive –  illustrated and written by Brian Floca

Last night, I told ML the Caldecott would be announced today.  She started chanting, “Hello My Name is Ruby, Hello My Name is Ruby, Hello My Name is Ruby…”  She’ll be upset her choice didn’t win.  However, the winner was one of the books she and her friend named an honor book… And the book her friend chose to win was named an honor book.  They will be excited winners from their Mock Caldecott received recognition.

The Caldecott Committee has specific criteria it must consider, which I did not ask ML and Calvin to follow.  Instead my instructions were, “Here are some books. Decide which book has the best pictures.”  If you’re interested in the real committee’s task, I’ve copied the criteria at the end of the post.  In addition to the medal, the committee can create a list of books they agree deserve to be honored.  This year’s Caldecott Honor books are:
  1. In identifying a “distinguished American picture book for children,” defined as illustration, committee members need to consider:
    1. Excellence of execution in the artistic technique employed;
    2. Excellence of pictorial interpretation of story, theme, or concept;
    3. Appropriateness of style of illustration to the story, theme or concept;
    4. Delineation of plot, theme, characters, setting, mood or information through the pictures;
    5. Excellence of presentation in recognition of a child audience.
  2. The only limitation to graphic form is that the form must be one which may be used in a picture book. The book must be a self-contained entity, not dependent on other media (i.e., sound, film or computer program) for its enjoyment.
  3. Each book is to be considered as a picture book. The committee is to make its decision primarily on the illustration, but other components of a book are to be considered especially when they make a book less effective as a children’s picture book. Such other components might include the written text, the overall design of the book, etc.

My Caldecott Award and Honor Choices

Which of the three books below will I chose as my Mock Caldecott Medal Winner?  I’ve studied my long list.  Looked at the books over and over… and then some more.  Contemplated and finally decided to ignore all opinions, including Calvin and ML’s and choose from my heart.




I would like Stardines illustrated by Carin Berger to win the medal.  The quirky illustrations using diorama, cut paper and collage compliment Jack Prelutsky’s wacky poems.  Each time I looked at Bluebird by Bob Staake, the more I appreciated the artistry.  It almost didn’t make my long list.  I’m glad it did.  There’s a reason David Wiesner has won three Caldecott medals.  He’s that talented and his latest book Mr. Wuffles is worthy of a fourth.  I just couldn’t give it to him with so many other artists deserving to be recognized.  I know it’s not supposed to work that way.

ML and I are eager to hear the committee’s decision.  It’s the first thing she’ll want to know when I pick her up Monday from school.

Mock Caldecott 2014 List

Below are the books, I am hoping ML and her friend, Calvin will look at this weekend for their Mock Caldecott Award.  I’m still waiting on a few to come from other library branches.  So they may not have a chance to win.

One really cool aspect of our multimedia world is many illustrators have videos showing them creating their work.  This post includes links to these.  And a quick note if I know the mediums used to create the illustrations.


Hello, My Name is Ruby by  Philip Stead – Mixed media… chalk pastel, colored pencils, and colored ink  us.macmillan.com/hellomynameisruby/PhilipStead


If You Want to See a Whale written by Julie Fogliano and illustrated by Erin Stead – Pencil and linoleum prints erinstead.com/about/


Journey by Aaron Becker – Watercolor www.storybreathing.com/the-making-of-journey/


Little Red Writing by Joan Holub and Melissa Sweet – Watercolor, pencil and collage


Locomotive by Brian Floca – Pen and ink, watercolor, acrylic, and gouache.  Scroll to the bottom of the following like to watch 3 short videos on the process and a view of a book dummy www.fcps.edu/fairfaxnetwork/mta/floca.html


Mr. Tiger Goes Wild by Peter Brown –   still trying to determine mediums http://vimeo.com/80293481#at=60


Mr. Wuffles by David Wiesner – Water color and ink line www.hmhbooks.com/wiesner/wuffles-process.html


Papa’s Mechanical Fish by Candace Fleming and illustrated by Boris Kulikov – mixed media


Stardines by Jack Prelutsky and illustrated by Carin Berger – shadow boxes, diorama and cut-paper  www.youtube.com/watch?v=NuRxHvNb7Xg


That Is Not a Good Idea by Mo Willems – pencil and watercolor with additional digital color and compositing


Tortoise & the Hare by Jerry Pinkney – Watercolor www.jerrypinkneystudio.com/frameset.html

Looking forward to seeing if one of the Stead books are chosen or a book with Mr. in it’s title.  I feel more confident in predicting which books I think the Caldecott committee will pick for the award and honors; than I do guessing what ML and Calvin will choose.  It’s going to be fun hearing two first-graders opinion.

We Met Three Time Caldecott Winner – David Wiesner


The first David Wiesner book I read was Tuesday.  Dr. Amber Prince introduced me to his work in one of her Teaching Reading classes.

The Three Pigs was ML’s first introduction.  Last week, I brought home all the David Wiesner books I could find on the shelf.  ML was particularly fond of Tuesday and Sector 7.

I purchased his most recent book, Mr. Wuffles, for ML’s birthday.  She opened the book and said, “Mommy, you know I don’t like comic books.”  We didn’t have time to read it that evening, but as she closed the books she saw the photo on the book jacket of legs and a cat.  It peaked her interest.

So Monday night, we “read” Mr. Wuffles.  I say “read” because aliens do most of the speaking.  The text looks similar to Wingdings in Microsoft Word.  We enjoyed making up our own pronunciation.  ML was wrong.  She might not like comic books, but she loves David Wiesner’s books.  Even the ones that look similar to comic books.

Her favorite is  Sector 7.  A book about a child whisked away by a cloud from the Empire State Building Observation Deck during a field trip.  The cloud takes the child to Sector 7 where clouds are shaped and sent throughout the world.  The child modifies the blueprints resulting in artistic clouds; mostly fish and sea creatures.  We thought about other ideas for  clouds.  ML drew pictures of her ideas and gave them to David Wiesner. . . a pumpkin, a peace sign, a cherry, an apple with a worm, a flamingo, a peacock, a flower, a heart and a sun.  He enjoyed all of them but was especially impressed with the detailed peacock.

A lady asked David Wiesner, “I read Sector 7 every year to my students and have them design a cloud with batting.  They struggle coming  up with ideas.  What can I do to help them?”  He seemed as confused as I.  I wanted to answer the question for him.  “What do you mean they have trouble coming up with ideas?  My daughter drew 9 ideas in 15 minutes last night.”


P.S.  David Wiesner showed a painting from when he was 5 to illustrate he wasn’t a child prodigy.  Many children and most adults stop doing art.  He encouraged us to try it again.  Tonight, before I go to bed I’ll sketch something.  ML draws something everyday.  I want to encourage that for years.