2nd Annual Mock Caldecott Medal

Group of librarians holding up picture books

The 2nd Annual Mock Caldecott Medal, Or How San José Librarians Spent Their Friday Morning

On a (thankfully) dry Friday morning, SJPL staff gathered together to discuss a topic close to our own and our patrons' hearts—great illustrated books—with a Mock Caldecott discussion.

The Caldecott Medal is an annual award presented by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association. It is awarded to an American illustrator whose picture book has been published in the United States the preceding year. In addition to awarding the medal to one illustrator, the committee also cites a number of runner-ups, which are called Caldecott Honor books.

Award Criteria

Our panel reviewed and discussed twelve pictures books using the same criteria that the actual Caldecott uses:

  • Excellence of execution in the artistic technique employed
  • Excellence of pictorial interpretation of story, theme, or concept
  • Appropriateness of style of illustration to the story, theme, or concept
  • Delineation of plot, theme, characters, setting, mood, or information through the pictures
  • Excellence of presentation in recognition of a child audience.

Group discussing picture books

And the winner is ...

After lively discussion, our mock committee voted by paper ballot and awarded our 2019 Mock Caldecott Medal (drum roll please):

Julian is a Mermaid book cover

Julián Is A Mermaid, written and illustrated by Jessica Love

While riding the subway home from the pool with his abuela one day, Julián notices three women spectacularly dressed up. Their hair billows in brilliant hues, their dresses end in fishtails, and their joy fills the train car. When Julián gets home, daydreaming of the magic he's seen, all he can think about is dressing up just like the ladies in his own fabulous mermaid costume: a butter-yellow curtain for his tail, the fronds of a potted fern for his headdress. But what will Abuela think about the mess he makes -- and even more importantly, what will she think about how Julián sees himself?

Honor Books

They also chose two Caldecott Honor Books:

Dreamers book cover

Dreamers, written and illustrated by Yuyi Morales

An illustrated picture book autobiography in which award-winning author Yuyi Morales tells her own immigration story.

A House that Once Was book cover

A House That Once Was, written by Julie Fogliano and illustrated by Lane Smith

A boy and a girl explore an abandoned house and imagine who might have lived there and what it may have been like when it was a home.

Additional Reviews

The other exceptional picture books they reviewed were:

Real 2019 Caldecott: January 28

The real 2019 Caldecott Medal will be announced at the American Library Association Youth Media Awards on Monday, January 28, 2019. It will be broadcast live at 8:00 AM (PT) from the Washington State Convention Center. Tune in to see the winners!

Who do you feel like should win this year's award? Check out our predictions last year!

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