Each January, the American Library Association hands out its Youth Media Awards to authors, illustrators, and creators. Top among those awards are the Newbery and Caldecott Medals, two of the biggest prizes in the world of books for children and teens! Librarians, classrooms, book reviewers, and many others are finalizing their predictions as to which book or books they think will come out on top.
The Caldecott award is given …to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children.” (https://www.ala.org/alsc/awardsgrants/bookmedia/caldecott). Essentially it comes down to who created the best pictures used in a picture book. Past winners of this medal include We Are Water Protectors by Carole Lindstrom and illustrated by Michaela Goade (2021 winner) and Watercress by Andrea Wang and illustrated by Jason Chin (2022 winner).
There’s been buzz about a lot of titles in contention for the Caldecott. Here are a couple of our staff favorites:
Blue: A History of the Color as Deep as the Sea and as Wide as the Sky by Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond and illustrated by Daniel Minter – Blue dives into the history and cultural significance of the color blue from Ancient Afghan painters to what we know it as today.
Farmhouse by Sophie Blackall – take a glimpse into the daily life of the family that lives in this detailed farmhouse.
Knight Owl by Christopher Denise – Owl always wanted to be a knight since he was hatched. Now he has his opportunity! Does he have what it takes to become one?
The Newbery award is given “…to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.” (https://www.ala.org/alsc/awardsgrants/bookmedia/newbery) Recent winners of this award include When You Trap a Tiger by Tae Keller (2021 winner) and The Last Cuentista by Donna Barba Higuera (2022 winner).
For this category, these books stand out among staff:
The Last Mapmaker by Christina Soontornvat – dive into this Thai-inspired fantasy adventure where Sai must deal with the secrets of her past in order to chart the course for her future.
Thirst by Varsha Bajaj – Minni (living in the poorest section of Mumbai) knows that water is scarce in her neighborhood and even sees it being stolen one night. She is surprised to find out however, that it runs freely though faucets in the high-rise building she just started working in. Now she has to decide if she should expose the water-mafia boss or keep her head down and say nothing.
Have you read any of these books? Do you have other stand out favorites? Winners in these categories and many others will be announced on Monday, January 30, 2023.