2011 Caldecott Medal Predictions
We had it easy last year.
We had Jerry Pinkney, a multiple Caldecott honor recipient (yet without the big medal) release a book that all but growled at readers to take notice. It was a clear combination of a deserving illustrator and an exceptional book.
2011 isnâ€™t quite as easy.Â We have some familiar names, sure, but not the same Pinkney-like combination that’s easy to point to and say â€œthatâ€™s itâ€. The following selections are not necessarily what I think should win, but my prediction of the names theyâ€™ll call on the big day.
Here are my picks for 2011 Caldecott glory.
2010 Caldecott Medal Prediction: Chalk by Bill Thomson
Ask Chris Van Allsburg and David Wiesner: Caldecott has a soft spot for precision. And Chalk, with its photorealistic artwork, has precision in spades. The fact that itâ€™s wordless only helps, as the cinematic illustrations take on the full storytelling load. While Thomson has put out beautiful books in the past, Chalk makes the reader sit up and take notice more than anything heâ€™s done before.
Caldecott Honor Prediction: A Sick Day for Amos Magee by Philip Stead, illustrated by Erin Stead
This is the sort of book that you want to get behind. This is the sort of book you want to celebrate. This is the sort of book that I could see committee members fighting for. And have you seen Erin Steadâ€™s process for creating these illustrations? Awesome.
I think Amos Mcgee is just too endearing to deny.Â Iâ€™m predicting an honor.
Caldecott Honor Prediction: Art & Max by David Wiesner
Hey, I didn’t say I was going to go out on a limb here. Similar to how people say actor Denzel Washington is so talented that he deserves an Oscar for every role, David Wiesner deserves Caldecott attention for every book he creates – and he usually gets it. I expect to see Art & Max take home an honor. And Iâ€™m not simply going on track record here, folks â€“ just look at the artwork â€“ isnâ€™t it some of the very best of the year?
Caldecott Honor Prediction: Flora’s Very Windy Day by Jeanne Birdsall, illustrated by Matt Phelan
Similar to last year’s All the World, Flora’s Windy Day feels like a consensus-builder. Birdsall’s whimsical story of a little brother swept away with the wind provides ample opportunity for Phelan’s ink, watercolor, and pastel artwork to reach grand proportions. My crystal ball says “honor”.
Which book do you think Caldecott will smile upon?
Be sure to watch the 2011 ALA Youth Media Awards on January 10 at 7:45 PST to find out.
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.
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