2013 Caldecott Medal Predictions
Last year, my Caldecott prediction batting average was .500. Given the unpredictability of this award, I should probably give up after that. Call it a prediction career. Hang up my keyboard.
But it’s no fun to stand idly by when there are guesses to be thrown about.
Here are my picks for 2013 Caldecott glory.
Caldecott Medal Prediction: Baby Bear Sees Blue by Ashey Wolff
Scanning the lay of the 2012 picture book land, Ashley Wolff’s transcendent concept book seems to have the best shot at the big award. First and foremost, Wolff’s linoleum block print and watercolor illustrations are distinguished as all get out. Secondly, to my eyes, it has more consensus-building potential than just about any book you can name. As close to a perfect picture book as you’ll find this year.
Caldecott Honor Prediction: Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett; illustrated by Jon Klassen
I go back and forth on this book and the small issue of incorrectly held knitting needles¹. It doesn’t matter. It does matter. Flip flop flip. Today I say the overall strength of the artwork is too powerful to be held back by a couple needles. The seamless interplay between Barnett’s words and Klassen’s visuals clearly puts this book in the top class of 2012 releases. Sometimes I see it winning the big medal, other times I wouldn’t be surprised if it fell completely out of the running. Today I foresee a Caldecott Honor. Ask me tomorrow, and I’ll give you another opinion.
¹Backstory: there’s one illustration where the main character appears to be holding knitting needles upside down. I included it in my 2012 Children’s Lit: The Year in Miscellanea post.
Caldecott Honor Prediction: Oh, No! by Candace Fleming; illustrated by Eric Rohmann
Man, just look at the artwork. Eric Rohmann’s relief print illustrations are mesmerizing. Every time I pick this book up, the richness of the artwork jumps off the page. Candace Fleming’s lively text only adds to the party, creating a book that is tough to overlook.
Caldecott Honor Prediction: Unspoken: A Story from the Underground Railroad by Henry Cole
Henry Cole’s breathtaking pencil illustrations carry the full storytelling load in this wordless look at a specific moment in American history. It’s difficult to deny that this book contains some of the best artwork of 2012. Barring any negative affects from Blanket-gate, I see this book garnering an honor.
Caldecott Honor Prediction: Green by Laura Vaccaro Seeger
While I keep thinking this book would drop off the list, I keep going back to read it and realizing it has as good a shot as any discussed thus far. In Green, the story is the artwork. And it’s beautiful. With carefully considered die cuts, each turn of the page leads to a new discovery.
What did I miss? What do you agree with?
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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 email@example.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.
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