Picture Book Project

The Queen of Mock Caldecotts:

Choosing the Most Distinguished





Every year one picture book is selected as the “most distinguished American picture book published during the preceding year.”  The fifteen members of the committee read as many of the new book published during the year as they possibly can. They study them carefully, making the best choices they know how.  They prepare themselves to defend their favorites and to listen carefully and thoughtfully to the other members of the committee. 


The information below comes directly from the Caldecott home page:

http://www.ala.org/Content/NavigationMenu/ALSC/Awards_and_Scholarships1/Literary_and_Related_Awards/Caldecott_Medal/Caldecott_Medal.htm   It is probably easier to simply go to http://www.ala.org and then search for Caldecott Medal, or go to link on my website: http://www.unm.edu/~lhendr/cimte443/


1. A "picture book for children" as distinguished from other books with illustrations, is one that essentially provides the child with a visual experience. A picture book has a collective unity of story-line, theme, or concept, developed through the series of pictures of which the book is comprised.

2. A "picture book for children" is one for which children are a potential audience. The book displays respect for children's understandings, abilities, and appreciations. Children are defined as persons of ages up to and including fourteen and picture books for this entire age range are to be considered. 

3. "Distinguished" is defined as 


1. In identifying a distinguished picture in a book for children, committee members need to consider: 

b. Committee members must consider excellence of presentation in recognition of a child audience. 

2. The only limitation to graphic form is that the form must be one which may be used in a picture book. The book must be a self-contained entity, not dependent on other media (i.e., sound or film equipment) for its enjoyment.

3. Each book is to be considered as a picture book. The committee is to make its decision primarily on the illustration, but other components of a book are to be considered especially when they make a book less effective as a children's picture book. Such other components might include the written text, the overall design of the book, etc.  

Note: The committee should keep in mind that the award is for distinguished illustrations in a picture book and for excellence of pictorial presentation for children. The award is not for didactic intent or for popularity.