The Best of the Caldecott Winners

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“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.

1941: They Were Strong and Good by Robert Lawson
1942: Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey
1943: The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton
1957: A Tree Is Nice, illustrated by Marc Simont; text: Janice Udry
1963: The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
1964: Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
1965: May I Bring a Friend? illustrated by Beni Montresor; text: Beatrice Schenk de Regniers
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
2002: The Three Pigs by David Wiesner
2003: My Friend Rabbit by Eric Rohmann
2004: The Man Who Walked Between the Towers by Mordicai Gerstein
2005: Kitten’s First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes

The 2010 Caldecott Medal was recently announced: The Lion & the Mouse, illustrated and written by Jerry Pinkney. So I guess I have one more to read!

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