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2020 Caldecott Medal Predictions

I’ve been 3 for 5 on my Caldecott predictions the last two years. I’m going to go ahead and call it a bit of a hot streak. With that last sentence, I’ve jinxed myself and you should not trust anything I say in the rest of this post.

But I still have to try. So here are my predictions for 2020 Caldecott glory. They might look very similar to the Mock Caldecott results at my school. What can I say? I’m with the kids.

Caldecott Medal Prediction:

Saturday by Oge Mora

I think it takes a lot for an illustrator to win a Caldecott medal/honor in back-to-back years. We now know Caldecott often calls more than once in an illustrator’s career, but back-to-back is rare. Why do I think a repeat is in the cards for Oge Mora? Because Saturday brings all the Caldecott criteria satisfying elements from 2018’s Thank You, Omu! and (dare I say) improves upon them. The level of visual storytelling Mora employs here is stunning. Perhaps it’s the cut paper style, but it also comes off as fairly subtle.

Caldecott Honor Prediction:

Another by Christian Robinson

It came out early in the year – will this book have the sustained excitement among the Caldecott committee members to pull in an honor (or medal)? I think yes. Robinson’s exceptional handle on visual storytelling is evident from the first scene, in which a stolen cat toy sets the story in motion. I’m guessing Another‘s scifi plot could also help it stand out in committee members minds.

Caldecott Honor Prediction:

Truman by Jean Reidy, illustrated by Lucy Ruth Cummins

I’ve loved this book from the first time I read it, but re-reading it with students has made me realize just how Caldecott-y it is as well. It’s visually inventive (how many tortoises could fit in that backpack?). It pulls off some of the best page turns in any picture book this year (that endless rug!). A Caldecott Honor makes perfect sense for this book.

Which books do you think will win Caldecott this year?

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. I really hope My Papi Has a Motorcycle gets some love from the Caldecott committee. Such a stunning, entirely satisfying book.

  2. I’ll be reading Another and Saturday to my students after we get back from Christmas break. So far, their front runners for our Mock Caldecott (we call it the Falconecott since our mascot is the falcon) are Elvis is King and Truman. Lots of great contenders this year. Thanks for your guidance and suggestions for this year’s Mock Caldecott program.