Take this post with a huge grain of salt: in the last five years, I’ve predicted 25 winners and gotten it right exactly four times. But it’s fun to keep trying, so here I go again.
I’ve put together a PowerPoint slideshow that could be used for a mock Caldecott award. This one includes 20 titles, with more information about each one. Let me know if you are interested, and I will send it to you!
Published by Chronicle Books
Will Sophie Blackall win her third Caldecott in five years? It seems unlikely, yet I love this book too much to keep it off the list. Her illustrations and story–a letter from a boy to an alien–capture what it means to be human, no matter what part of Earth you inhabit.
Published by Orchard Books
The link for this title takes you to my reviews for both this book and I Am Every Good Thing by Derrick Barnes and Gordon C. James. In a year when racism in America took center stage–again–it seems appropriate to recognize these two books. I particularly loved Bryan Collier’s brilliant (in all senses of the word) collage illustrations inspired by his grandmother’s handmade quilts.
Published by Neal Porter Books
The more I look at these illustrations, the more I am blown away by the amazing details Eric Rohmann captured in his paintings. The story unfolds in a surprisingly dramatic fashion, enhanced by the close-up illustrations.
Published by Roaring Brook Press
This book really grew on me as the year went on, not only for its message of standing up for what you believe in (specifically the protests at Standing Rock), but for the watercolor illustrations featuring traditional Ojibwe clan symbols and the many forms and colors of water.
Published by Norton Young Readers
Here’s another book I came to appreciate more since its January release. I went from initially deciding not to review it to putting it on my Caldecott prediction list. I love the illustrations created from over 250 handcrafted stamps, as well as the story of hard work and resilience demonstrated by two generations of a farming family.