It’s the Mock Caldecott, Falcons!

Once again it is time to read and vote on picture books for the Mock Caldecott. In case you forgot, every January the American Library Association (ALA) holds the Youth Media Awards to celebrate children’s book authors and illustrators. One award that is given is called the Caldecott Award. As a school we evaluate on vote on picture books published in the year to see if we can guess the winning Caldecott book. We’ve come close but have yet to guess the winner.

What are the Youth Media Awards?

You’ve probably heard about the Newberry, given to children’s book authors, and the Caldecott, given to children’s book illustrators. There are other Youth Media Awards as well. These include:

  • Coretta Scott King Award for African American authors and illustrators
  • Michael L. Printz Award for young adult literature
  • Pura Belpre Award for Latino writers and illustrators
  • Robert F. Sibert Award for information books
  • Schneider Family Book Award for books about the disability experience for children and adolescents
  • Theodor Seuss Geisel Award for beginning readers
  • and a few more awards

How the Youth Media Awards are Handed Out

There aren’t any nominations, the committees that choose the books are made up of ALA members and have their own way of selecting them. The main criteria are that the book has to be published in the previous year, in this case, books published in 2021, and be exemplary. The committees spend a few days discussing books and determining which ones should be chosen for each award. There is usually one main winner and a few more honor winners. You will notice on past winning books that the winner and honor awards are usually different colors.

Mock Caldecott at St. Philip the Apostle School

Leading up to the awards at the end of January, libraries and schools across the country participate in mock youth media awards. Most schools choose to look at books for either the Newberry or the Caldecott. Remember, the Newberry Award is given to a children’s book author, and the Caldecott is given to a children’s book illustrator. At St. Philip the Apostle School we hold a Mock Caldecott so that every student from TK to 8th grade can look at the same books.

This year we have 23 books in contention. With the aid of blogs like Watch. Connect. Read. and School Library Journal’s 100 Scope Notes Ms. Natalie has chosen these books based on their storytelling through illustrations. Each class that participates in the Mock Caldecott is instructed to consider the books based on the following criteria:

  • Identify the type of artwork used to illustrate the story.
  • How well do the illustrations tell the story.
  • How well do the illustrations help you understand what the characters think and feel?
  • How well do the illustrations match the story’s theme or mood?
  • Are the illustrations easy for the indended audience to understand?

Because there are no nominations, it is likely that the book that St. Philip students choose isn’t the book the ALA Caldecott committee chooses. In fact, it is possible that the book chosen to win the Caldecott isn’t even a book that our students looked at. But don’t be sad if that happens, all that means is we have another wonderful book to read as a school.

Mock Caldecott Instructions

Wait for your class with Mrs. Kamal or Ms. Natalie to receive full instructions. Once it is time, and you have finished reading one of the books, use the following link to rank the book based on the criteria discussed in class. Winners will be announced on January 24, along with the ALA Youth Media Award winners.

Action! How Movies Began

Berry Song

Blue: a history of the color as deep as the sea and as wide as the sky

Emile and the Field



Hot Dog

John’s Turn

Kick Push: be your epic self

Knight Owl

Lizzy and the Cloud

Love in the Library

Nigel and the Moon

Out of a Jar

Over and Under the Waves

Pigeon & Cat

Powwow Day

The Great Zapfino

The Sun is Late and So is the Farmer

The Year We Learned to Fly

Tiny Dino

To The Front! Clara Barton Braves the Battle of Antietam

Where Butterflies Fill the Sky

Witch Hazel

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