The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books Image
Seal Image The Bulletin
of the Center for Children's Books

The Bulletin Dozen is a monthly theme-based list of titles available only on-line. Since we're awfully fond of bakers here at the Bulletin, we thought we'd adopt their philosophy of generosity and throw in an extra one or two when we have th em to offer--so don't expect an even dozen. Please feel free to copy, download, or link to these lists. We ask only that you cite the source. See the archive for lists from previous months.

Surprise! It's a Caldecott ...
selected by Janice M. DelNegro

The room is very crowded when the chair of the Caldecott committee makes the big announcement, and it is seldom that that announcment doesn't evoke gasps of surprise from both librarians and publishers. Over the years the Caldecott medal and honor winner s have increased in prestige and importance. They are a mark of quality, it's true, but they are also a mark of marketability, especially since publishers can, unfortunately, no longer keep a backlist of any great substance. A medal or honor winning boo k guarantees sales, not just for the winning year, but for years afterward as well. Librarians want them; teachers want them; parents want them. But do children want them? That's another question entirely, and one with which every committee struggles.

This month I would like to highlight Caldecott medal and honor winners that have found favor with both grown-ups and children. What these individually unique titles have in common is that they all combine distinguished illustration and design with a stro ng story, a narrative that more than holds its own with stellar visuals. We tell stories for many reasons, and in many ways. This selection of Caldecott medal and honor books exemplifies the importance of story, both illustrated and written. I have tri ed not to belabor the obvious or duplicate illustrators (but that proved nearly impossible in the cases of Marcia Brown, John Steptoe, William Steig, and Paul Zelinsky). Please note: since this is a longer list than usual, it is sans annotations, and it is in chronological, not alphabetical, order. While it's too soon to tell how the 1999 Caldecott medal winner and honor books will fare out in the wide world, just for the record--my money is on the guy with the camera, Snowflake Bentley.

--Janice M. Del Negro, Editor

[Back to the Bulletin Homepage]

This page was last updated on March 1, 1999.