Thursday, March 22, 2007

Celebrating Randolph Caldecott with a New Book Meme

Randolph Caldecott was born on this day in 1846 in Chester, England. He is best known for his illustrations for children's books. You can read more about him at the Randolph Caldecott Society site.

The Caldecott Medal was named in his honor. 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. First awarded in 1938, the list of winners and honorees is an amazing testament to the talent and skill that is directed towards the production of children's books.

In honor of Ralph Caldecott's birthday, I propose this new meme. Review the list of Caldecott winners from 1938 to the present and list your five favorite titles (based on illustrations, not the text), whether Medal winners or honorees. Then, name one book that didn't make this list that you feel was deserving of the nod.

Here are my answers.
Favorite Titles
  • Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans (1940 honor book)
  • The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats (1963 Medal winner)
  • Grandfather's Journey by Allen Say (1994 Medal winner)
  • The Gardener illustrated by David Small, text by Sarah Stewart (1998 honor book)
  • Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type illustrated by Betsy Lewin, written by Doreen Cronin (2001 honor book)
Book That Missed the List
A book William and I have great fun reading that did not make the list is The Boy, The Bear, The Baron, The Bard by Gregory Rogers. I love the ink and watercolor illustrations and the glimpse of another time provided in this wordless picture book. I also love Actual Size by Steve Jenkins (I get chills every time I place my hand over the gorilla's) and Mouse Paint by Ellen Stoll Walsh. Finally, I am completely enamored of the illustrations in Russell Freedman's The Adventures of Marco Polo. Okay, that's four. So sue me, I couldn't stop at just one.

Now, it's your turn! Leave your lists in the comments or better yet, leave me a note and complete this meme on your blog. If you read this, consider yourself tagged.

P.S. - While you're thinking about this, consider whether or not the next round of Cybils should include a category for illustrations. I certainly would love to see it.

P.P.S - And while you are here, take a gander at my idea for the Caldecott 2008 announcement. Ain't it grand?!


  1. I have mine up:

  2. We collect first edition Caldecott books, and have found that many librarians and educators are not aware of their value and collectibility. The appeal is in the artwork, however there is something to say for a book which captures children's imagination today, the same as it did 30, 40, or 50 years ago.

    For example, a first edition Where The Wild Things Are can sell for over $15,000! For a complete list, see: