The other day on twitter, Kelly Mueller (@muellerspace) asked me if I’d ever taken a look at how books on the annual New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Books list (click here for the 2014 list) fare in terms of Caldecott. I looked at the last ten years of data and made a few interesting discoveries.
Above is a chart of the overall number of books, by year*, selected for the NYT Best Illustrated list that went on to win either a Caldecott Honor or Caldecott Medal. Below is a list of the titles of those books.
Honor | Medal
2004: Kitten’s First Full Moon
2005: The Hello, Goodbye Window
2006: Gone Wild, Flotsam
2007: First the Egg, The Wall
2008: A River of Words
2009: All the World, The Lion & the Mouse
2010: A Sick Day for Amos McGee
2011: Grandpa Green, Me…Jane, A Ball for Daisy
2013: Journey, Locomotive
Some observations on the last ten years of data:
- There has been only one year (2012) where none of the books on the Best Illustrated list won a Caldecott Honor or Medal. So 90% of the time at least one of the Best Illustrated books has won a Caldecott Honor or Medal.
- On average 1.5 books on the Best Illustrated list each year go on to win a Caldecott Honor or Medal.
- Seven times out of 10 a book on the Best Illustrated list has gone on to win the Caldecott Medal. Yes, 70% of the time a book on the Best Illustrated list has won the gold in the last decade. That’s an impressive figure.
- The best illustrated list contains the Caldecott Medal winner almost as much as it contains Caldecott Honor winners, with a total of seven Caldecott Medal books and eight Caldecott Honor books.
It makes me wonder about this year’s Best Illustrated list. In my opinion, of the 10 titles, Draw! and The Baby Tree have the best chance to nab Caldecott as well.
What do you think?
(*Due to the fact that the Caldecott Medal is always awarded in January for the previous year’s books, it doesn’t match up with the year of the Best Illustrated list. For example, Kitten’s First Full Moon was on the 2004 Best Illustrated list, but won the 2005 Caldecott Medal.)