The Randolph Caldecott Medal Should Be Renamed The Jerry Pinkney Medal
I have gathered you here today to lay out the case for why the Randolph Caldecott Medal, awarded to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children, should be renamed the Jerry Pinkney Medal.
Reason #1: Shouldn’t an American illustration award be named after an American?
I mean no disrespect to Randolph Caldecott. His contributions to children’s literature and specifically to the picture book form are immense. But if Randolph Caldecott were alive today, dude couldn’t even win his own award – only American citizens and residents are eligible, and Caldecott was a Brit. Renaming the award the Pinkney is more in line with the criteria for the award itself.
Reason #2: Jerry Pinkney has earned Caldecott recognition more than almost anyone else.
As you can see here, Pinkney has the most Caldecott Honor wins ever (tied with Maurice Sendak) and is second to Marcia Brown (again, tied with Sendak) for the most overall Caldecott recognition. Doesn’t it make sense to rename the award after someone who has displayed such greatness? You know what they renamed the NBA Finals MVP trophy? The Bill Russell. Because Russell won more NBA Finals than anyone else.
Do you agree or disagree? Let me know in the comments.
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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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