“The Caldecott Medal shall be awarded to the artist of the most distinguished American Picture Book for Children published in the United States during the preceding year. The award shall go to the artist, who must be a citizen or resident of the United States, whether or not he be the author of the text.”
In my continuing search to find quality literature to share with my children, I set a goal to read all of the Caldecott Medal winning books. I read a few each month, and finally finished the list (71 books in total) during the month of February. I read most of them with the Ant Bug, but there were quite a few that were a little too old for her to enjoy right now. I was surprised to find how many winners were books about customs from other countries or folk tales or fables.
I didn’t like all of the books, but it is important to remember that the award is for the illustrations and not necessarily for the best text.
So if you are looking for recommendations of picture books, here is my short list of the best of the Caldecott Winners. The titles below are all books we have read multiply times and always enjoy getting from the library.
1942: Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey
1968: Drummer Hoff, illustrated by Ed Emberley; text: adapted by Barbara Emberley
1986: The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
1989: Song and Dance Man, illustrated by Stephen Gammell; text: Karen Ackerman
1992: Tuesday by David Wiesner
1993: Mirette on the High Wire by Emily Arnold McCully
1996: Officer Buckle and Gloria by Peggy Rathmann
2000: Joseph Had a Little Overcoat by Simms Taback