The Caldecott Medal, named after Randolph Caldecott, is the highest award in the picture book industry. Each year, the selection committee chooses one book from those published in the previous year as the Caldecott Medal winner. Depending on the number of potential, quality books, one or more Caldecott Honor books may be chosen as runners up. For our December Docent Enrichment, thirty-five Mazza Docents and volunteers participated in our Mazza Caldecott Read-In: an annual event where we take part in a mock Caldecott Award selection.
Facilitators were Dr. Melissa Cain, UF professor in College of Ed and Children’s Literature specialist and Kathy East, retired Wood County District Library Children’s Literature specialist and former Caldecott Award Selection Committee member.
Five groups read a sampling of books published in 2017 that are considered distinguished picture books. Each group then decided on one finalist among their sample and used their persuasive skills to convince the other groups that that book should be the chosen winner.
After the presentations, individuals voted on their top pick for the Caldecott Medal winner. Here’s how the voting turned out:
• Two Caldecott Honor books: Birds Make Nests by Michael Garland and Life written by Cynthia Rylant, Illustrated by Brendan Wenzel
• Caldecott Medal winner: After the Fall: How Humpty Dumpty got Back Up Again by Dan Santat
If you want to see how our group compares to the actual Caldecott Selection Committee, the 2018 Youth Media Award announcements will take place from the Colorado Convention Center on Monday, February 12, at 8:00am.