The Mock Caldecott Medal, Or How San José Librarians Spent Their Friday Night

Library workers from the San Jose Public Library Mock Caldecott panel gather while holding up their winning books

SJPL Librarians' Mock Caldecott (and Pizza)

It's a pretty wonderful thing: San José Public Librarians love what they do, and they like each other.

They like each other so much, in fact, that thirteen of them voluntarily got together on a Friday night outside of work time to do something very librarian-y (while eating pizza). They thought it would fun to put together our very own mock Caldecott Medal panel.

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.

And the winner is ...

After lively discussion, our mock committee voted by paper ballot and awarded our 2018 Mock Caldecott Medal (drum roll please):

Book Cover: After the Fall: How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again

After The Fall: How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again, Written and Illustrated by Dan Santat

In this sequel to the classic nursery rhyme, Dan Santat’s illustrations are colorful, balanced, engaging and humorous. Santat also happens to be the recipient of the real 2015 Caldecott Medal for The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend and the creator of the Disney animated series The Replacements.

Caldecott Honor Books

They also chose two Caldecott Honor Books:

Grand Canyon: Written and Illustrated by Jason Ching

Grand Canyon, Written and Illustrated by Jason Chin

This non-fiction book is packed with facts about the Grand Canyon and eye-popping, layered watercolor illustrations of the varied flora, fauna, and minerals found there. It’s truly dazzling.

Book Cover: Big, Cat, Little Cat

Big Cat, Little Cat, Written and Illustrated by Elisha Cooper

Simple but gorgeous black and white drawings complement the story of two cats who share a home and family. It delivers a sweet and powerful message about the life cycles of beloved animal family members.

Additional Reviews

The other exceptional picture books they reviewed were:

Real 2018 Caldecott: February 12

The real 2018 Caldecott Medal will be announced at the American Library Association Youth Media Awards on February 12, 2018. It will be broadcast live from the Colorado Convention Center at 8:00 AM, Mountain Time (that is 7:00 AM, Pacific Time, for those of us in California).


Some of my favorite people : ) This is great, thanks for sharing & glad you all had a wonderful time, I'm guessing Tiffany took the picture : )

Excellent guess. :)

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