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Lone Wolves Update: How Many Caldecott Winners Have One Creator?

A few years back I investigated Caldecott “Lone Wolves” – Caldecott Medal winning books created by a single author/illustrator.

How often does it happen? Because it seems to happen a lot. I decided to go back in and update my numbers.

Let’s look at the data . . .

For the chart above, I broke things down by decade. Blue is the number of books made by a Lone Wolf (author/illustrator), red is the number of books made by a separate author and illustrator.

You’ll notice that things are pretty even until the 90s. So I made another chart just using the data from 1990 to present:

This is where the Lone Wolves really start to take over.

Here’s the overall breakdown:

Why do Lone Wolves seem to be on the rise in recent decades? Is it simply that more books have a single creator, and thus more of them win Caldecott? What do you think?

NOTE: Compiling the data got tricky at times, what with retellings of folktales, husband/wife teams and such. My rule of thumb is if one person adapted/retold the story and created the illustrations: Lone Wolf.

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. Fascinating data here. I can imagine it took you some time to compile! I would have guessed that Lone Wolves outnumbered collaborations more recently, but I would not have guessed they did so three to one. Thanks for taking the time to educate us!