Sunday, September 20, 2009

Early Newbery and Caldecott predictions

Okay, I probably won't be on here much for the next couple of weeks (so all 4 of you who are reading this, take note) because I'm now up to my eyeballs in critiques. First for my own writing group (which always takes priority) and then for an SCBWI conference in early October.

But I wanted to post some early Newbery and Caldecott predictions. Because even though I never ever manage to predict the gold medal winners, I have on more than one occasion actually picked some books that ended up with silver medals (honors). For those who don't know, the Caldecott Award is named for the 19th-century illustrator Randolph J. Caldecott and is awarded every year in January by the ALA (American Library Association) to the artist who has illustrated the most distinguished American picture book of the previous year. Last year's winner was The House in the Night by Susan Marie Swanson, illustrated by Beth Krommes (Houghton Mifflin).

The Newbery (and please note the spelling: it's not Newberry) is named for an 18th-century bookseller (woo hoo!) named John Newbery, and awarded by the ALA for the most distinguished contribution to American children's literature from the previous year. Last year's winner was The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (HarperCollins). These are the big two awards among librarians and booksellers. There are a host of other awards including the Bel Pre award and the Sibert Medal, etc. The Printz award (for young adult books) has been gaining ground in more recent years, and the Theodore Seuss Geisel Award for Beginning Readers is starting to pick up speed. But the two awards that make book collectors salivate are the Caldecott and the Newbery.

So, as of today, here's my list:

Caldecott Award Predictions

Jerry Pinkney for The Lion and the Mouse (a wordless picture book with stunning illustrations) just out this month from Little, Brown.

Leo and Diane Dillon, illustrators of Mama Says by Rob Walker (Scholastic, April 2009).

Marla Frazee, illustrator of All the World by Liz Garton Scanlon (Beach Lane Books/Simon & Schuster, Sept 2009).

Newbery Award Predictions

The Magician's Elephant by Kate DiCamillo, with illustrations by Yoko Tanaka (Candlewick, Sept 2009). Mentioned in my earlier post.

Love, Aubrey by Suzanne LaFleur (Random House, June 2009).

Beautiful and sad. And it won't win because she's a new author. But one can always hope.

When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead (Wendy Lamb Books, July 2009). Also previously mentioned here.

There you have it. I may not hit any of them but it's worth a shot.


  1. Cool predictions! Good luck with all of your critiques and I'll see you in October:-)

  2. I am sure there are more than four of us. We are simply the vocal minority. Thanks for the heads-up on the wordless picture book. It is a wonderful genre.


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