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My (Censored) Caldecott Diary: Part I of III

I was a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee.

During that year, I kept a Day One journal. Now, I’m going to share it with you – typos (I blame auto-correct), lame journal jokes (unfortunately, no one to blame but myself there) and all.

In classic journal form, I update it in bursts and there’s way more mundane stuff than interesting stuff. If you’re looking for juicy details about specific books, you won’t find them here. But I do hope this will provide a glimpse into what it’s like to be on the committee.

Today is Part I – all my journal entries from January 1, 2013 – May 1, 2013.

I blacked out anything private/that could get me in trouble – sorry about that.

Page 1

Page 2

Page 3

Page 4

Page 5

Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12  Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21

Look for Part II, coming in September.

About Travis Jonker

Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at scopenotes@gmail.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.


  1. LibLaura5 says:

    I love this–it feels so familiar!

  2. I feel like I’m reading through redacted government documents, trying to manage my disappointment at missing out all of the best parts.

    On the other hand, I think being on the Caldecott Committee would be a blast.

  3. This is super fascinating! Looking forward to part 2. : )

  4. Sam Bloom says:

    This is great! I totally know who some of the crossed-out peopleare, but some of the others are mysteries. I’m dying to know the crossed out bits from March 8!

  5. What a great perspective from someone on the inside of the Caldecott selection committee. I love that you’re sharing your experience and am looking forward to part 2 and 3. ill have to check out the book references as I’m sure I’ll learn something new from them. Thanks

  6. I could “read” some of those redacted lines! Very interesting!

  7. TS Davis says:

    It makes me happy to think that someone prepped SO MUCH for being on this committee. People always (*allllways*) complain about the outcome, but knowing someone put so much into it, and seeing how much work it is will hopefully educate and cause people to think twice. Thanks for what you did that year, and hope you enjoyed it.

    • On my Caldecott Committee, there were so many members who put in at least this amount of preparation and a few who made me look like a slacker. I think that each committee may have a member or two who tries to slide by, but that is so readily apparent in discussion that most are forced into a basic level of competence just to save a shred of dignity. From members I know, most approach it in the same excellent way as Travis! And that is mighty fine. The point of this post is to reassure you about the process, which I am betting Travis will say works just fine. We may not agree with choices, but I am convinced that the committee looked at hundreds of books and has excellent reasons for each choice in this consensus driven process.

  8. Rachel Fryd says:

    I love love love this – so fun to see our year from your perspective!