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In 1937, Frederic G. Melcher proposed to the American Library Association that an award be given each year for an outstanding children's picture book. Since the Newbery Medal was already being awarded for excellence in children's literature, the Caldecott Medal, named in honor of the nineteenth-century English illustrator Randolph J. Caldecott, honored the artists illustrating children's books. Like the Newbery Medal, the Caldecott award is given to one winner while several other noteworthy books are named as "Honor Books."

The Caldecott Medal continues to be "awarded to the artist of the most distinguished American Picture Book for Children published in the United States during the preceding year. The award shall go to the artist, who must be a citizen or resident of the United States, whether or not he be the author of the text." Books can be considered for both the Newbery and Caldecott Medals.

 

Extra YarnExtra Yarn
Mac Barnett
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2013 Caldecott Medal Honor Book

 When a little girl discovers a box filled with yarn, she knits a sweater for herself and her dog . . . but as the yarn doesn't seem to run out, she ends up making sweaters for all her friends, family, pets, animals---pretty much everything in town! When a rich archduke steals her special box, what will he discover inside?


     

 
One Cool FriendOne Cool Friend
Toni Buzzeo
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2013 Caldecott Medal Honor Book

On a momentous visit to the aquarium, Elliot discovers his dream pet: a penguin. It's just proper enough for a straight-laced boy like him. And when he asks his father if he may have one (please and thank you), his father says yes. Elliot should have realized that Dad probably thought he meant a stuffed penguin and not a real one . . . Clever illustrations and a wild surprise ending make this sly, silly tale of friendship and wish fulfillment a kid-pleaser from start to finish.


     

 
Me...JaneMe...Jane
Patrick McDonnell
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2012 Caldecott Medal Honor Book

When Jane Goodall was a young girl she was given a stuffed toy chimpanzee named Jubilee and she took it everywhere. Jane was amazed by nature and animals from a young age and always dreamed of going to Africa to work with and help the animals. This wonderfully illustrated book features etched cartoon-like pictures with a simple text revealing the wonderful dream that began in young Jane's life. Through this story, children will be inspired to live out their dreams and help make the world a better place.

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A Sick Day for Amos McGeeA Sick Day for Amos McGee
Philip C. Stead
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2011 Caldecott Medal Winner!

THE BEST SICK DAY EVER and the animals in the zoo feature in this striking picture book debut.

Friends come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. In Amos McGee's case, all sorts of species, too! Every day he spends a little bit of time with each of his friends at the zoo, running races with the tortoise, keeping the shy penguin company, and even reading bedtime stories to the owl. But when Amos is too sick to make it to the zoo, his animal friends decide it's time they returned the favor.


     

 
The Lion & the Mouse, Picture BookThe Lion & the Mouse, Picture Book
Jerry Pinkney
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2010 Caldecott Medal Winner!

The lion and the mouse in this elegantly-illustrated fable don't "speak"-or at least they don't speak in English. Squeeks and roars and the putt-putt of the poacher's jeep are the only sounds needed to convey Aesop's classic story of the lion that let the mouse go, and the mouse's repayment of the deed. A Caldecott Medal book. Hardcover with dust jacket.


     

 
The House in the NightThe House in the Night
Susan Marie Swanson, Beth Krommes
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2009 Caldecott Medal Winner

A spare, patterned text and glowing pictures explore the origins of light that make a house a home in this bedtime book for young children. Naming nighttime things that are both comforting and intriguing to preschoolers—a key, a bed, the moon—this timeless book illuminates a reassuring order to the universe. Recommended for ages 5 and under.


     

 
A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos WilliamsA River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams
Jen Bryant
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2009 Caldecott Medal Honor Book!

Kinetic energy bursts off the pages of this work of collages, words, color, poetry, and biography. Cut-outs, notebook paper, original illustrations, book covers, cut-out-printed-poems and other ephemera provide the backdrop for the story of doctor-poet William Carlos Williams. A poet from a young age, he continued to write even as he worked full-time as a doctor, keeping his dreams alive while making a living. The bright color and charm will keep young readers engaged as they read some of his poems included in the front/back inside covers and learn about his life. Timeline included. 34 pages, hardcover with dust jacket.


     

 
Joseph Had a Little OvercoatJoseph Had a Little Overcoat
Simms Taback
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2000 Caldecott Medal Winner

Joseph had a little overcoat, but it was full of holes--just like this book! When Joseph's coat got too old and shabby, he made it into a jacket. But what did he make it into after that? And after that? As children turn the pages of this book, they can use the die-cut holes to guess what Joseph will be making next from his amazing overcoat--while they laugh at the bold, cheerful artwork and learn that you can always make something, even out of nothing. Recommended for ages 4 to 8.


     

 
Snowflake BentleySnowflake Bentley
Jacqueline Briggs Martin
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1999 Caldecott Medal Winner

From the time he was a small boy, Wilson Bentley saw snowflakes as small miracles. And he determined that one day his camera would capture for others the wonder of the tiny crystal. This timeless book gives children insight into a soul who had not only a scientist's vision and perseverance but also a clear passion for the wonders of nature. Recommended for ages 4 to 8.

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Softcover


     

 
Alphabet CityAlphabet City
Stephen T. Johnson
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1996 Caldecott Medal Honor Book

From the A of a construction sawhorse to the Z of a tenement fire escape, this truly unique alphabet book is guaranteed to satisfy the eye and the imagination. Using New York as an inspiration, Stephen Johnson has captured each letter of the alphabet as it occurs naturally in city surroundings. The artwork is stunningly realistic and the letters – some strikingly clear, others more elusive – will encourage readers you and old alike to look at the city in a whole new way. This sophisticated, wordless alphabet book is sure to appeal to young and old alike. Recommended for ages 1 and up.


     

 
Tops & BottomsTops & Bottoms
Janet Stevens
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1996 Caldecott Medal Honor Book

Bear decides to enter into a gardening partnership with the wily Hare. Hare tells Bear to choose which half of the crop he wants at harvest time -- the tops or bottoms. Bear chooses the tops, so Hare plants all root vegetables. The next time, Bear picks the bottoms, so Hare plants broccoli, lettuce and celery. Then Bear chooses both tops and bottoms, but Hare still outsmarts him and grows corn, keeping the ears and leaving roots and tassels for Bear. Hare is then able to buy some of his land back and open a vegetable stand. Recommended for ages 4 to 8.


     

 
John HenryJohn Henry
Julius Lester
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1995 Caldecott Medal Honor Book

The birds, bears, rabbits, and even a unicorn came to see him. He grew so fast, he burst right through the porch roof, and laughed so loud, he scared the sun! Soon John Henry is swinging two huge sledgehammers to build roads, pulverizing boulders and smashing rocks to smithereens. He's stronger than ten men and can dig through a mountain faster than a steam drill. Nothing can stop John Henry, and his courage stays with us forever. Julius Lester's folksy retelling of a popular African-American folk ballad has warmth, tall tale humor, and boundless energy. Jerry Pinkney illustrates the story with "rich colors borrowed from the rocks and the earth, so beautiful that they summon their own share of smile and tears." Recommended for ages 4 and up.


     

 
Grandfathers JourneyGrandfathers Journey
Allen Say
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1994 Caldecott Medal Winner

Through compelling reminiscences of his grandfather's life in America and Japan, Allen Say gives us a poignant acount of a family's unique cross-cultural experience. He warmly conveys his own love for his two countries, and the strong and constant desire to be in both places at once. Recommended for ages 5 to 8.


     

 
Working Cotton, SoftcoverWorking Cotton, Softcover
Sherley Anne Williams
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1993 Caldecott Medal Honor Book

The bus arrives at the field in the dark of morning, workers gather around the fire, and "everyone speak in smoky whispers." Shelan's family's day in the fields begins. Too small to carry her own sack, Shelan piles cotton in the middle of the row for her mamma to collect; she admires her daddy who picks cotton so fast you can hardly see him do it; and she imagines how much cotton she could pick if she were as old as her sister. "It's a long time to night." Recommended for ages 4 to 8.


     

 
TuesdayTuesday
David Wiesner
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1992 Caldecott Medal Winner

The unpredictable events of a particular Tuesday unroll before the reader with the precision and clarity of a silent movie in this nearly wordless, very creative story. On this particular Tuesday night, some frogs wake up to find themselves floating in the air! They enjoy their night of freedom, sitting on their flying lily pads, exploring the nearby houses while the inhabitants are asleep. But with the first rays of the sun, they all fall back to the ground and go back to their quiet lives in the pond. Could anything else as exciting happen? When the next Tuesday rolls around, we are left with the image of pigs rising into the air! Recommended for ages 4 to 8.


     

 
Color ZooColor Zoo
Lois Ehlert
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1990 Caldecott Medal Honor Book

Shapes and colors in your zoo, lots of things that you can do. Heads and ears, beaks and snouts, that’s what animals are all about. I know animals and you do too; make some new ones for our zoo. Nine animals, nine shapes, and sixteen shades of color everyone can have fun discovering them all by turning Color Zoo's full-color pages and watching a lion turn into a goat, an ox into a monkey, a tiger into a mouse. . . . Recommended for ages 1 to 5.


     

 
The Boy of the Three-Year NapThe Boy of the Three-Year Nap
Dianne Snyder
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1989 Caldecott Medal Honor Book

The laziest person in the village is certainly the boy of the three-year nap. As he lounges and dozes in the garden, he dreams of somehow gaining a fortune without lifting a finger. During those rare moments of wakefulness, he watches a rice merchant build a mansion next door, and hatches a plan to marry the beautiful daughter. What better way for a penniless, lazy boy to become wealthy? And what better way to trounce a trickster than to turn the tables on him? In this traditional Japanese folktale, Dianne Snyder relates a humorous match of wit for wile to show that laziness does not pay...or does it? Recommended for ages 4 to 8.


     

 
The Polar ExpressThe Polar Express
Chris Van Allsburg
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1986 Caldecott Medal Winner

Late one Christmas Eve after the town has gone to sleep, the boy boards the mysterious train that waits for him: the Polar Express bound for the North Pole. When he arrives, Santa offers the boy any gift he desires. The boy modestly asks for one bell from the harness of the reindeer. The gift is granted. On the way home the bell is lost. On Christmas morning, the boy finds the bell under the tree. The mother of the boy admires the bell, but laments that it is broken---for you see, only believers can hear the sound of the bell. Recommended for ages 5 to 8.


     

 
King Bidgood's in the BathtubKing Bidgood's in the Bathtub
Audrey Wood
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1986 Caldecott Medal Honor Book

This rollicking tale tells the story of an unruly king who refuses to leave his bathtub and rule his kingdom. One by one, the Knight, the Queen, the Duke, and eventually all the members of the King's Court attempt--and fail--to persuade King Bidgood to leave his sumptuous bath. Why King Bidgood finally leaves his bathtub makes a delightful surprise ending to this exuberant tale. Recommended for ages 4 to 8.


     

 
Ox-Cart ManOx-Cart Man
Donald Hall
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1980 Caldecott Medal Winner

Life on the farm from year to year. The farmer packs the ox cart with all the goods that were grown, and made by his family to be sold at the market. He kisses his family good-bye and takes the full ox cart to market to sell all his goods, only to begin the process all over again for the next year. Recommended for ages 3 to 8.

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Noah's ArkNoah's Ark
Peter Spier
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1978 Caldecott Medal Winner

The bee and the fox, the sheep and the ox - two of each kind trudged aboard Noah’s famous vessel. The story of Noah and his ark, his family and all their many guests, is here retold almost entirely in pictures of great charm and intricate detail. Peter Spier uses his own translation of a seventeenth-century Dutch poem about this most famous menagerie.

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Castle, SoftcoverCastle, Softcover
David Macaulay
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1978 Caldecott Medal Honor Book

Castle. The word itself conjures up mystery, romance, intrigue, and grandeur. In the 13th century, when England was attempting to conquer Wales, the English built impressive fortresses with adjoining towns. In the long run, these towns proved to be more effective in bringing about the desired conquest than the castles themselves. With typical zest and a wry sense of humor punctuating his drawings, David Macaulay traces the step-by-step planning and construction of both castle and town. He takes you from the hiring of a skilled master engineer to the actual test of castle defenses when hundreds of Welsh soldiers launched a direct attack. Generous illustrations full of explicit details and unusual perspectives masterfully combine with the straightforward text to guide you though his engrossing exploration. Recommended for ages 9 to 12.

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Hardcover


     

 

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