• The Caldecott Medal

    Information taken from the site: http://www.ala.org/alsc/awardsgrants/bookmedia/caldecottmedal/aboutcaldecott/aboutcaldecott 

    Click the link to see a list of all the Caldecott Medal Award Winners!

    In 1937, René Paul Chambellan designed the Caldecott Medal. The bronze medal has the winner's name and the date engraved on the back. When the Caldecott Medal was accepted in 1937, the Section for Library Work with Children invited the School Libraries Section to name five of its members to the awards committee each year. For this reason the Caldecott Medal inscription reads: "Awarded annually by the Children's and School Librarians Sections of the American Library Association." This is a combination and simplification of the actual names of the sections.


    Origins of the Caldecott Medal

    Each year the Newbery Medal is awarded by the American Library Association for the most distinguished American children's books published the previous year. However, as many persons became concerned that the artists creating picture books for children were as deserving of honor and encouragement as were the authors of children's books, in 1937 Frederic G. Melcher suggested a second annual medal. This is to be given to the artist who had created the most distinguished picture book of the year and to be called the Caldecott Medal in honor of Randolph J. Caldecott, the nineteenth-century English illustrator. The idea for this medal was also accepted enthusiastically by the Section for Library Work with Children of ALA and was approved by the ALA Executive Board.

    The Caldecott Medal "shall 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. Members of the Newbery Medal Committee will serve as judges. If a book of the year is nominated for both the Newbery and Caldecott Awards the committee shall decide under which heading it shall be voted upon, so that the same title shall not be considered on both ballots." In 1977 the Board of Directors of the Association for Library Service to Children rescinded the final part of the 1937 action and approved that "any book published in the preceding year shall be eligible to be considered for either award or both awards." Separate committees to choose the Newbery and Caldecott Awards were established in 1977.

    Award Criteria for the Caldecott Medal

    1. In identifying distinguished picture book for children:
      1. Committee members need to consider:
        • Excellence of execution in the artistic technique employed.
        • Excellence of pictorial interpretation of story, theme, or concept; of appropriateness of style of illustration to the story, theme, or concept; of delineation of plot, theme, characters, setting, mood, or information through the pictures.
      2. Committee members must consider excellence of presentation in recognition of a child audience.
    2. The only limitation to graph form is that the form must be one which may be used in a picture book (e.g., motion-picture photography is not at present possible, though still photography is). 
    3. Each book is to be considered as a picture book. The committee is to make its decision primarily on the illustrations, but other components of a book are to be considered especially when they make a book less effective as a children's picture book. Such other components might include the written text, the overall design of the book, etc.
Last Modified on June 3, 2019