There are a lot of bloggers out there doing a Caldecott Challenge this year. I found this out after starting my own in May, but I’m not a part of the official movement. I am always reading and I figured since I planned to read a lot to my son anyways, it might as well be award-winning books. Plus it is always better, as a librarian, to have a wider range of books to choose from when you are recommending on to anyone, parent or child. Granted, I don’t agree with all the choices made by the award committee, but that is true with any award. I had read about 57 before I started this, which seemed like a lot, until you realize there’s a total of 307 books from 1938 – 2012. And the Caldecott Award committee is convening in January to announce the 2013 winners, which means that’ll be another 2-6 additional books. So I’m going to try hard to finish it in 2013. I started in May, originally at the top of the list (i.e. the more recent winners) and then decided to go from the bottom up. For any reviews, you can check out past book review posts by typing in “reviews” in the search bar on the blog or checking out mine on Goodreads.

Total Read in 2012: 107

Favorite books from the 1930s: 

I’ve read all but Wanda Gag’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.

1939 Honor: Wee Gillis by Munro Leaf, illustrated by Robert Lawson

Wee Gillis

1938 Honor: The Seven Simeons by Boris  Artzebasheff.

Seven Simeons drawing

Both had awesome illustrations.

Favorite books from the 1940s:

I’ve read all the books from 1940 – 42, but the rest of the decade is a little spotty due to age of the books and therefore most are in special collections.

1942 Honor: Paddle-to-the-Sea by Holling Clancy Holling; for originality


1947 Winner: The Little Island by Golden MacDonald (aka Margaret Wise Brown), illustrated by Leonard Weisgard;  for originality and illustrations

The little islandstrawberries from The Little Island

Honorable mentions going to:

1943 Honor: Marshmallow by Clare Turlay Newberry, for illustration

Marshmallow and Oliver

1940 Honor: Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans, for illustrations and rhyme


Favorite books from the 1950s: 

There are even more reading gaps in the 1950s due to the age of the books and the fact I can’t read them outside the library.

1951 Honor: Dick Whittington and His Cat by Marcia Brown, for originality and illustration (cut-linoleum prints)

Dick Whittington and His Cat

Honorable Mentions for illustrations:

1954 Winner: Madeline’s Rescue by Ludwig Bemelmans (I loved this one better than the original)

Madeline Rescue - Genevieve and puppies

1957 Honor: 1 is One by Tasha Tudor

a page from Tasha Tudor's 1 is One

Favorite books from the 1960s:

I haven’t read much from the 1960s or 70s, as I had been concentrating on the upper and lower ends of the awards and these decades are smack in the middle.

1963 Winner: The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats.

The Snowy Day illustrations

The weirdest story in the history of the Caldecott, in my opinion, comes from the book Sam, Bangs & Moonshine by Evaline Ness.

Favorite books from the 1970s:

I had read about 8 books from this decade before starting the Challenge, so that made up the bulk of my reading here in general.

1975 Honor: Jambo Means Hello: A Swahili Alphabet Book by Muriel Feelings, for originality and getting to learn fun new words in other languages

Jambo Means Hello

1979 Honor: The Way to Start a Day by Byrd Baylor, illustrated by Peter Parnall (for Parnall’s fantastic gorgeous illustrations and Baylor’s poetry)


Before the Challenge, my favorite book was

1971 Honor: In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak (I know a lot of people are uncomfortable with this book because of the child’s nudity, which is most of the reason it’s been banned, but I have always loved this book)

In the Night Kitchen - Mickey and the Bakers

Favorite books from the 1980s:

Again, I had read the most books from this decade before the Challenge, 12 this time.

1984 Honor: Little Red Riding Hood retold by Trina Schart Hyman, for her brilliant illustrations (since I recently used one of her illustrations on my Grimm Brother’s post, I’ll skip this image).

Favorite books from the 1990s:

I managed to get quite a few read from this era, in fact all of 1992, ’96 and ’97. However there are still a few that I could only find in special collections or were not available at all.

1990 Honor: The Talking Eggs: A Folktale from the American South retold by Robert D. San Souci, illustrated by Jerry Pinkney (great retelling on a folktale I’d not heard before, plus of course Jerry Pinkney’s fabulous illustrations)


1999 Winner: Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin, for a very interesting biography

Snowflake Bentley-Jacqueline Briggs Martin

Favorite books from the 2000 – 2012:

I’ve managed to read all the 2001 – 2008 , 2010 – 2012 but have two books I can’t find so that I’ve read all 12 years.

2007 Honor: Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by Kadir Nelson (as I said in my review, stunning illustrations plus the text is well done)


2010 Honor: All the World by Liz Garton Scanlon, illustrated by Marla Frazee (love the poetry and illustrations)

All the World

2011 Honor: Interrupting Chicken by David Ezra Stein (both me and my son found it funny, plus all parents who read to their kids can relate)

Interrupting Chicken

2012 Honor: Grandpa Green by Lane Smith (great story and illustrations)

Grandpa-Green 2