100 Scope Notes
Inside 100 Scope Notes

2014 Caldecott Comment Card

It was an honor to be a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. I’m thrilled with our choices. Now that the winners have been announced, I want to know what you think. Go ahead and share in the comments. What choices are you happy with? What did we miss?

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. Congratulations to unzip your lips and finally get to share thoughts on beautiful books again! Thrilled by the recognition, WOW to wordless picture book treasures recognized this time. There are a few books that I loved that didn’t get recognized but I’m not going to worry or question, thrilled by the list… Thank you again for the time and dedication this past year, quite grateful! Ok, Mr. Tiger Goes Wild… The Invisible Boy… and Bluebird… those were special ones which I was hoping to see some recognition.

  2. Kelly M/ @muellerspace says:

    Book I’m happiest about: Journey (I started tearing up when that was announced).
    Book you missed: Bluebird

    Not really unhappy about any. Thanks for your hard work!

  3. *Kimbra Power-Barefoot Librarian

    *Flora and the Flamingo
    *The Dark

    Well done Team Caldecott… what an exciting experience! One you’ll never forget…
    #kpower in Shanghai…yawn!
    Off to bed, but well worth the wait… can’t wait to share the results with the kids in the library tomorrow!

  4. Sara Ralph says:

    Book I’m happiest about: Locomotive – it is nice to see the Caldecott go to a nonfiction book!

    Book I’m unhappiest about: None! I think all of these are great books.

    The Book You Missed…
    Mr. Tiger Goes Wild

    What were you thinking??? We’ll never know.

    Seriously, thank you for all your hard work and service.

  5. Congrats on all your hard work!

    Happiest about: both Journey and Flora
    Unhappiest about: Mr. Wuffles (just not my favorite)
    Really missed: Mr. Tiger Goes Wild (very surprised to not see it there!)

    • What Caryn said! Mr. Wuffles is beautiful to look at, but the story isn’t as clear as a wordless one should be, in my humble opinion. Loved Journey, though. And I feel bad for Mr. Tiger Goes Wild and That is Not a Good Idea by Mo Willems.

  6. Nicole Barnes says:

    Love Journey and Flora! :)
    My students will be surprised that Mr. Tiger Goes Wild didn’t win.
    Thanks for all your hard work!

  7. Happiest: All
    Unhappiest: None
    You Missed: Nino Wrestles the World.

  8. Cheryllovestoread says:

    Happiest: Journey (my 5yrold grandson’s top pick)
    Saddest: None. All were worthy contenders!
    Missed: Mr Tiger Goes Wild (grandson’s runner up pick)

  9. Happiest: Mr Wuffles. Really rewards multiple readings. First time I read it, I thought it was lovely but a trifle. After reading & sharing it more than a dozen times, I think it richly deserves an Honor.
    Unhappiest: None!
    Missed: The Story of Fish & Snail

  10. Congratulations on all your great work!

    Happiest about: Flora and the Flamingo (very, very happy)
    Outraged by: None
    Missing: Mr. Tiger Goes Wild

  11. I can’t believe Mr. Tiger wasn’t honored! The other books are all good choices

  12. Happiest about: Journey
    Unhappiest: none. All good picks
    Missed: The Dark!

    Thanks for all of your hard work.

  13. Happiest: Journey
    Unhappiest: none
    missed: none

  14. Meggan Conway says:

    Happiest about Mr. Wuffles. Missed: Mr. Tiger Goes Wild.

  15. Happiest: JOURNEY
    Unhappiest: None; the selections were great this year!
    Missed: LUCKY DUCKLINGS by Eva Moore, illustrated by Nancy Carpenter

  16. You guys did amazing work! Thanks for being on the committee and devoting your year to these books!

    Happiest: I love them all, but Journey is a favorite.
    Unhappiest: None. My students and I adored all four.
    Missing: Mr. Tiger is a favorite of mine and my students.

  17. Thanks for all your hard work on the Caldecott committee Travis! I am so thrilled for you that you had this experience.

    My biggest disappointment is strange to say, but I was really hoping JOURNEY would actually win the medal instead of an honor. I know that’s nitpicking, but, there you have it.

    If I wished there was one book up there that didn’t make the list I’d have to say THE STORY OF FISH AND SNAIL.

  18. Happiest: JOURNEY!
    Unhappiest: None of these made me unhappy. I wish there were more ladies in the mix, but I also know that isn’t how one decides. You did an amazing job.
    Missing: I really don’t feel like I know enough about art to second guess you guys!

    Thanks for your service!

  19. Happiest! Locomotive! So, so happy this amazing work was recognized.
    Unhappy: None. These are all wonderful books!
    Missing: I wish Building Our House would have been honored. I’m quite partial to that book.

    Thank you for all your work, and always for your 100scopenotes!

  20. I think I was happier with your committee’s choices than any other. (Don’t tell!) :) My favorite of the honorees would have to be Flora and the Flamingo, but Mr. Wuffles was close.

    As far as a book missing, a couple of my favorites were Sophie and the Squash, and The Dark. But that’s okay. The art in your choices was more outstanding.

    Others have mentioned Mr. Tiger Goes Wild. I read that book after just having read Carnivores, which completely ruined it for me. If Mr. Tiger would have *really* gone wild, he would have eaten all his herbivore neighbors.

  21. Happiest: Journey
    Unhappiest: None, all were fine choices
    Missed: Mr. Tiger Goes Wild
    Great job! Thanks for serving!

  22. :) = Journey & Mr. Wuffles, my students will be thrilled!
    :( = none
    missed = Mr. Tiger (not to beat a dead horse!). But I do think it is A PERFECT BOOK IN EVERY WAY. I was rooting for it so hard.

    THANKS FOR YOUR HARD HARD WORK! And for putting up with comments that disagree with the tough decisions that your committee made. :)

  23. I’ve never been one to fill out forms properly but I do want to thank you and the other committee members for your dedication and hard work, Travis. There were so many outstanding titles in 2013, I honestly don’t know how you did it. I have read and reviewed every single book you selected. They all were a part of our Mock Caldecott at school. They are all loved by students. There are illustrators who have never won who I hope will be recognized in the future but I would be afraid to list names or book titles. I would never want to forget one I admire equally as much.

  24. Happiest: Flora and the Flamingo
    Unhappiest: none!
    Missing: Building Our House

  25. Happiest: Mr Wuffles!
    Unhappiest: None! I am feeling smug because all four were on my library’s mock short list, which has never happened before and will probably never happen again! ;-)
    You Missed: Well, I did like Mr. Tiger, but I won’t complain. I also really loved Grandma and the Great Gourd, but I’m not 100% sure of its eligibility.

    Terrific choices! Congratulations to you and the rest of the committee for a job well done.

  26. Happiest: Journey
    Unhappiest: None-all were great choices.
    Missed: Since it was a year of wordless books, Fossil by Bill Thomson

    Thanks for all your hard work!

  27. Fantastic work, Mr. Jonker! We can favorite and call snubs on things all we want, but will never imitate the true, hard work of the committee. It sure is fun, though!

    The biggest surprise for me was three honors! I thought for sure there would either be only one or all five.

    You got it right. The whole shebang. Thank you for creating this legacy.

    (Although THE MIGHTY LALOUCHE would have looked really great with a sticker on top!)

  28. I really don’t know how the committee does it! So many wonderful books. I have a difficult time narrowing down my top 20 for our Mock Caldecott. In the end it is art, and art is so personal. I loved Flora and the Flamingo from the moment I read it. Was it all that pink? Or the fact that little Flora reminded me of my own daughter who is now 25?

  29. Personally, I don’t bet in races especially when we all kind of know each other. I just wanted to say THANKS for the choice of a non-fiction title. I clapped when I saw your name on the committee. Wish we had met in person in Philadelphia.

  30. Colby Sharp says:

    I’m happiest about: Flora and the Flamingo

    I’m unhappiest about: I’d have loved to have seen 1 or 2 more honors

    The book you missed was: Bluffton – If Newbery can find a way in their criteria to name Flora & Ulysses – maybe Caldecott can find a way someday to honor a graphic novel.

    I think your team did an amazing job. I love that Newbery and Caldecott have joined the 21st century.

  31. Elisa Gall says:

    Thanks for all of your work this past year. Here are my responses:

    Really Happy About: MR. WUFFLES!
    Unhappy About: I trust the process-no real disappointments here.
    Surprised Not to See: HANK FINDS AN EGG by Rebecca Dudley

    Onward to 2015!!

  32. Happiest: ALL OF THEM
    Unhappiest: none
    missed: none

    Thank you for your service!

  33. Happiest: The art in LOCOMOTIVE really is astounding.
    Unhappiest: Not a bad choice in the lot.
    Missed: I really liked ON A BEAM OF LIGHT, but I’m not going to complain very loudly.

    Tremendous work! Thanks for putting so much of your life into this!

  34. Travis, your committee did an outstanding job. Kudos! All four books are amazing, but I believe you picked the right one for the gold. Hooray for Team Nonfiction!

    I’m kind of wishing you could have somehow come to a consensus on 12-15 honors instead of just 3, but that’s pretty greedy, isn’t it? Anyway… thanks once again for your hard work!

  35. Happiest: Journey
    Surprised but thrilled: Flora and the Flamingo
    If I could have had one more on that list: Mr. Tiger Goes Wild

    Travis – You and your committee did some great work! Thanks for your dedication and commitment.

  36. Kary Henry says:

    First of all, congratulations on being on the committee and for your great choices! I was thrilled to see Journey and Flora and the Flamingo on the list but wish Mr. Tiger Goes Wild had been recognized as well! Journey was my overall pick.

  37. Barb Outside Boston says:

    Happiest: Journey (although of the 4 you picked I thought it most deserved the Medal)
    Unhappiest: Locomotive (the Indian issues)
    Missed: Mr Tiger (neck and neck with Journey, in my mind)

    But overall I am very happy with the choices! I was live streaming it in my school library and clapping along with the ‘real’ audience–thanks for all your hard work!

  38. Was rooting for Locomotive for the Medal. Hooray and choo-choo! Also delighted that Mr. Wuffles received an honor. Two gorgeous books!

  39. Thanks for your hard work! I was really rooting for Journey (love wordless picture books) so I was glad to see it on the list.
    Unhappiest: none
    Missed: I love, love, love Niño Wrestles the World and was so hoping it would be this year’s Caldecott dark horse. Alas.

  40. Proper job! No second thoughts.

  41. Allison Jackson says:

    First, thanks to you and the committee for all your hard work!
    I think Locomotive totally deserves the Caldecott, but I think Flora and the Flamingo and Journey were equally deserving. I have to admit I’m a little disappointed that they “only” received an “Honor”.
    I think Bluebird also deserved recognition. (Isn’t it remarkable that my top 3 fave picture books were wordless?!)
    I guess I’m just happy we had so many to choose from! Thanks again for serving on the committee!

  42. Thanks again for a wonderful and difficult job well done Mr. Jonker… We really went from one extreme to another with three delightful books without words, and one with so so many… There were no in-betweens. Go Wild now ‘Mr. Tiger’… Open your eyes in ‘The Dark’ unplug ‘Doug’ and sleep sweetly ‘Bluebird’…

  43. Sharon Touchton says:

    I (along with my K-4 students) had picked Journey for Gold but we were satisfied. The kids were disappointed about Mr. Tiger Goes Wild. However, this year’s committee deserves our thanks for making some difficult, awesome selections!

  44. For folks disappointed that their favorite books didn’t win and wondering why our Caldecott Committee didn’t give more Honors than three, I did an explanation of the process on my Facebook page, Judy Freeman’s Workshops LLC. (Travis, if you want me to cut & paste it here, I’ll be glad to.) Know that if you added up all the books the 15 of us wanted to win medals this year, we would have had to name, oh,say, 40 honor books. That’s not how it works, though.

    After all is said and done and we’ve all read hundreds of books, suggested scores for all committee members to read, nominated our seven favorites, discussed all the nominations to a faretheewell, and voted for our top three, it’s the top vote-getting books and the point distribution that determines what the winners will be.

    I’m sure we are all sad that more of our favorites didn’t make the cut, but delighted with the ones that did. Did we all agree on every book? Of course not. (I love Cherry Garcia Ben & Jerry’s, I’m assuming Carl Harvey is more of a Coffee Buzz Buzz Buzz kinda guy, I personally saw Carla Kozak scarfing down some very nice vanilla, and I can’t begin to predict the flavor Travis would pick. Travis has very god taste, though.) That doesn’t mean the books that didn’t win aren’t fabulous or that a whole different stack of books wouldn’t have been named with a different committee at the helm. But these are the books that rose to the top like cream, with Locomotive rising higher than any of them, and I say Hooray!

    On any Awards committee, it’s a group consensus and decision, and you never get all of your choices, but, if you’re lucky, you do get some of them. The other books, from listening to the discussion and re-re-re-re-re-reading/evaluating/reconsidering, you do most definitely come to appreciate for their distinguished qualities. I’m so proud of our Caldecott Committee and the work we did and of the 4 books we chose.

    I think Locomotive is a real groundbreaker–there’s never been a Caldecott like it. There have been nonfiction books that won, but most of them are biographical. Open it up and start turning pages, and I’m betting you will gasp in astonishment at the double-page illustrations of that glorious train and wish you could take that trip (the sparse bathroom facilities notwithstanding).

  45. I enjoyed reading Judy’s explanation of the process, and I thank her and Travis and the rest of the committee for the many hours they put into this process.
    But I’ll go ahead and answer Travis’s original question anyway.

    Happiest: Mr Wuffles! because I love cats so much (and Wiesner so expertly caught a cat’s behavior); but Locomotive IS an awesome book.
    Unhappiest: none; I loved all these picks.
    Missing: That is Not a Good Idea! and Hank Finds an Egg

  46. Congratulations and thank you for your hard work! I am incredibly impressed and and inspired!

    The book I am happiest about: Flora and the Flamingo

    The book I am unhappiest about: NONE. I love all of your choices.

    The book you missed: Mr. Tiger Goes Wild.

  47. Erin Broderick says:

    I posed this reflection to a class of 4th graders this morning – with the hook that I would pass on their responses to an honest-to-goodness committee member! They were excited to share the student perspective. The summary of 20ish responses is that they were thrilled about Mr. Wuffles & Journey (and many were won over to Locomotive), not so enamored by Flora and the Flamingo, and SAD that Mr. Tiger and Bluebird were left unadorned. Thanks for all of your hard work!

  48. Happy about: Journey and Flora
    Sad about: Mr. Tiger Goes Wild!
    Would have loved a wild card honor for: Knock Knock

    Thrilled that Locomotive is the winner but now have to buy a copy.

  49. Francesca Mellin says:

    Our 3rd grade Mock Caldecott committee’s feedback about two of the questions:

    Happiest about: Journey, one of our contenders
    Book you missed: The Day the Crayons Quit, our winner

  50. Ruth Anne Champion says:

    Very happy about Locomotive! and Journey!

    Thank you for your dedication and hard work!