Crazy About Caldecotts!

For picture book illustrators, the Holy Grail of Awards is the Randolph Caldecott Medal. The 2016 Caldecott Awards will be announced on Monday, January 11, 2016, along with the Newbery, the Coretta Scott King Awards and a host of other children’s book awards. For the illustrator, winning a Caldecott Medal virtually guarantees that your book will be in publication for a very long time. For parents and educators, the Caldecott Medals are a great way to start conversations with children about different art styles and types of illustrations. I’ll write about that again when we learn the 2016 winners!

For now, here are the current popular favorites we may hear announced from the podium on Monday. Some of the illustrators represented here are perennial favorites, not because the committee is skewed to established illustrators, but because these artists are just that good!


Last Stop on Market Street, illustrated by Christian Robinson. Elizabeth Bird compared these illustrations to the work of Ezra Jack Keats: high praise indeed!


In a Village By the Sea, illustrated by April Chu.


Waiting, written and illustrated by Kevin Henkes. Henkes won the 2004 Caldecott Medal for Kitten’s First Full Moon. In addition, as an author, he has two Newbery Medal Honors books.


Trombone Shorty, illustrated by Bryan Collier. Collier has had three books previously named as Caldecott Honor Books: Martin’s Big Words, Rosa, and Dave the Potter.


Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear, illustrated by Sophie Blackall.


Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl’s Courage Changed Music, illustrated by Rafael Lopez. Lopez has won many awards for his book illustrations, including the 2010 Pura Belpre’ Award for Book Fiesta. Could this be the year, he earns a Caldecott?