Named in honor of nineteenth-century English illustrator Randolph Caldecott, the Caldecott Medal is awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children. In addition to the Caldecott Medal, the committee typically awards Caldecott Honors to other books worthy of attention.
This year the Medal was given to The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander and Kadir Nelson.
Caldecott Honors went to Bear Came Along by LeUyen Pham and Richard T. Morris, Double Bass Blues Rudy Gutierrez and Andrea J. Loney, and Going Down Home with Daddy Daniel Minter and Kelly Starling Lyons.
The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander and Kadir Nelson
Originally performed for ESPN’s The Undefeated, this poem is a love letter to black life in the United States. It highlights the unspeakable trauma of slavery, the faith and fire of the civil rights movement, and the grit, passion, and perseverance of some of the world’s greatest heroes. The text is also peppered with references to the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks, and others, offering deeper insights into the accomplishments of the past, while bringing stark attention to the endurance and spirit of those surviving and thriving in the present. Robust back matter at the end provides valuable historical context and additional detail for those wishing to learn more.
Bear Came Along by LeUyen Pham and Richard T. Morris
Once there was a river flowing through a forest. The river didn’t know it was capable of adventures until a big bear came along. But adventures aren’t any fun by yourself, and so enters Froggy, Turtles, Beaver, Racoons, and Duck. These very different animals take off downstream, but they didn’t know they needed one another until thankfully, the river came along. This hilarious picture book and heartfelt message celebrates the joy and fun that’s in store when you embark together on a ride of a lifetime.
Double Bass Blues Rudy Gutierrez and Andrea J. Loney
Nic is an aspiring musician whose life spans two different worlds–his suburban school where he wows his friends in orchestra, and the busy city streets of his home where he’s jostled by the crowd. Nic makes his way home from a busy day at school with a double bass on his back, the symphony of his surroundings in his heart, and a sweet surprise for the reader at the end of his journey. This is a sweet, melodious picture book about how dedication, music, and family can overcome any obstacle.
Going Down Home with Daddy Daniel Minter and Kelly Starling Lyons
Down home is Granny’s house. Down home is where Lil’ Alan and his parents and sister will join great-grandparents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Down home is where Lil’ Alan will hear stories of the ancestors and visit the land that has meant so much to all of them. And down home is where all of the children will find their special way to pay tribute to family history. All the kids have to decide on what tribute to share, but what will Lil’ Alan do?
In this rich and moving celebration of history, culture, and ritual, Kelly Starling Lyons’ eloquent text explores the power of family traditions. Stunning illustrations by Coretta Scott King Honor-winner Daniel Minter reveal the motion and connections in a large, multigenerational family.