I was working on my annual Caldecott predictions post (coming on the 19th) and I was reminded of something I’ve always wanted to look into – the number of Caldecott Medal winning books created by one person, rather than an author/illustrator team.
It felt to me like the like the trend has been toward the solo author illustrator (which I will heretofore call a Lone Wolf¹). Was I right?
Let’s slide down the fire pole into the data cave…
First up, the overall breakdown of Caldecott Medal winners created by a Lone Wolf (44) or by a separate author/illustrator (33)². This fell in line with my assumption going in. But I wanted to know if the Lone Wolf is becoming more prevalent, so I looked at recent winners vs. past winners. Here’s what I saw:
When we split things roughly in half – the early days (1938-1974) and the more recent days (1975-present) – we can see that the population of Lone Wolves has indeed grown.
What does this mean? I’m not quite sure. Perhaps the overall number of books created by one author/illustrator has risen, so more have won Caldecott. What do you think?
¹For example, take a look at the 2014 Caldecott books – all Lone Wolves.
²This got tricky at times, what with retellings of folktales and such. My rule of thumb is if one person adapted/retold the story and created the illustrations: Lone Wolf.