January is a month of wild speculation in the children's literature world. With the ALA Youth Media Awards on the verge of being announced, everyone is trying to guess what books will win this year's Caldecott and Newbery medals. The answer will come on January 18 at an early morning press conference held by the Association of Library Service to Children (a division of the American Library Association).
Who will walk away the winners this year? After receiving 5 Caldecott honors, will Jerry Pinkney finally earn the Caldecott medal for The Lion and the Mouse? Will Jacqueline Kelly earn the Newbery medal for her debut novel, The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate?
While we wait anxiously with the potential winners to find out whose telephone will ring on January 18, here are a few things we know for certain:
The winning books, whichever ones they happen to be, will be completely sold out within hours of the announcement. They will be purchased by nearly every school, library and bookstore (with a children's department) in the country. With very few exceptions, they will never go out of print.
The winners receive a phone call from the entire 15 member committees shortly before the official announcement at the press conference. If the ALA Midwinter meeting is on the East Coast (this year it's in Boston), a winner who lives in California can expect to get a phone call around 3 a.m. I love hearing the stories that authors and illustrators tell about when they got "the call."
I'm curious to know which past winners are your favorites. Since so many schools and libraries buy the winning books, you may have read more than you realize.
Here are my favorite Caldecott winners. This list changes every time I put it together:.
2008: The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
2007: Flotsam by David Wiesner
2005: Kitten's First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes
2004: The Man Who Walked Between the Towers
2002: The Three Pigs by David Wiesner
1996: Officer Buckle and Gloria by Peggy Rathmann
1994: Grandfather's Journey by Allen Say
1992: Tuesday by David Wiesner
1991: Black and White by David Macaulay
1986: The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
1980: Ox-Cart Man, illustrated by Barbara Cooney; text: Donald Hall
1968: Drummer Hoff illustrated by Ed Emberley; text: adapted by Barbara Emberley
1965: May I Bring a Friend? illustrated by Beni Montresor; text: Beatrice Schenk de Regniers
1964: Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
1955: Cinderella, or the Little Glass Slipper, illustrated by Marcia Brown; text: translated from Charles Perrault by Marcia Brown
1954: Madeline's Rescue by Ludwig Bemelmans
1943: The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton
1942: Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey
I'm more of a picture book person (as you can probably tell from the list above) but I do have several favorite Newbery medal winners.
2009: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
2008: Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Medieval Village by Laura Amy Schlitz
2007: The Higher Power of Lucky by Susan Patron
2002: A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park
1999: Holes by Louis Sachar
1984: Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary
1982: A Visit to William Blake's Inn by Nancy Willard
1979: The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
1978: Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
1972: Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O'Brien
1968: From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg
1949: King of the Wind by Marguerite Henry
1945: Rabbit Hill by Robert Lawson
1944: Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes
Be sure to tune in on January 18 via Twitter and/or a live webcast to find out this year's winners.
Want to find out more about how the winners are selected.? ALSC has put together a great list of answers to frequently asked questions about the awards.
What are your favorite Caldecott and Newbery medal books and why? Have you ever tried (successfully or unsuccessfully) to read all the winners? Got any predictions for this year? I'd love to hear about it.