This year, more than any other, it is hard for me to contain my excitement as I read about Mock Caldecott competitions being held in schools and public libraries. With Mock Caldecott competitions, kids are invited to select a winning book from a list of excellent picture books published within the past year. What a fantastic way to get children talking to each other about books. What a fantastic opportunity to have students think critically about what makes a good picture book. What lucky children and librarians to be part of such fun celebrations of excellent children’s literature.
I will soon graduate from library science graduate school, and I hope that 2016 will be the year that I get to hold a school-wide Mock Caldecott competition of my own.
Until then, I use Caldecott season to increase my own children’s enthusiasm for books and reading.
First, a little background information…
The Caldecott award is the Oscar for picture books. The Newbery award is the analogous award for chapter books. Both are awarded each year by the American Library Association (ALA), along with several other ALA awards worth paying attention to including the Pura Belpre, the Coretta Scott King, the Geisel, the Sibert and others.
The Caldecott, Newbery and other ALA award winners will be announced on February 2, 2015, and — this is the best news — you can watch the Caldecott, Newbery and other ALA award winners announced LIVE with your kids. (Details will be available soon at this ALA website.)
If you are a teacher or librarian, this is a great opportunity to hold a Mock Caldecott (or Mock Newbery) award competition. Put your students in charge of selecting the mock award winners, and then watch live on February 2nd as the official winners are announced.
Here are a couple thoughtful posts that explain the nuts and bolts of setting up a Mock Caldecott competition:
Mock Caldecott 2014: What I Learned Last Year Edition by Travis Jonker, 100 Scope Notes
Mock Caldecott (Stage 1) by Matthew Winner, The Busy Librarian
As a parent, I make a point of reading as many of the Caldecott contenders as possible with my kids. I also select the Newbery contenders that my 9-year-old son might enjoy, check these books out from the library and give him the opportunity to read them. Last year he read ~5 of the books I checked out for him, including Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo which happened to win. This year, on February 2nd, the kids and I will once again be watching the award announcements live during breakfast and cheering for our favorites.
Our Mock Caldecott List:
- Sam and Dave Dig a Hole by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen v.
- Kid Sheriff and the Terrible Toads by Bob Shea and Lane Smith
- The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus by Jen Bryant and Melissa Sweet v.
- Gravity by Jason Chin
- Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker by Patricia Hruby Powell and Christian Robinson v.
- Separate Is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation by Duncan Tonatiuh
- My Teacher is a Monster! by Peter Brown v.
- Hug Machine by Scott Campbell
- The Iridescence of Birds: A Book About Henri Matisse by Patricia McLachlan and Hadley Hooper v.
- Emily’s Blue Period by Cathleen Daly and Lisa Brown
- Quest by Aaron Becker v.
- Draw! by Raúl Colón