Monday 26 January 2015

Countdown to Caldecott

On February 2, 2015, at 9 AM, the children’s literature world will be watching. What is happening, you might ask? The American Library Association’s Youth Media Awards will be announced in Chicago. Now, most of you will not be in Chicago that day, so you can follow along online here

Why is this such a big deal? Some people call it the “Oscars of Children’s Lit” .  This is the day that the winners of the 2015 Caldecott, Newberry, Corretta Scott King,  Printz, and more are announced. For details, visit this link

The room in Chicago will be filled with thousands of librarians, booksellers, media, and book lovers of all stripes.  The only people who know ahead of time who the winners are, are the winners themselves and the committees that chose the winners.  It is all very exciting, and this year, even more exciting to me because I get to help choose one of those winners. This year, I have the great honour of being a member of the 2015 Caldecott Committee!

Since January of last year, I have been reading, looking at picture book art, and evaluating books. I read just over 500 picture books last year, and many of those books I read and looked at multiple times. Some of those books I spent hours poring over the art, comparing the books to other books published in 2014. I read reviews, I read the books to children, I talked about the books with artist friends, I shared the books with high school and college classrooms. I immersed myself completely in the world of picture books, always with the Medal terms & criteria in mind.

Members of the 2015 Caldecott Committee
Now I head to Chicago to sequester myself in a room with 14 other committee members, to discuss the books and to choose a winner, which will be announced to the world on February 2! Watch online, follow me on Twitter @annavalley, or just Google “Caldecott winner” on February 2 to find out which book is deemed the most distinguished American picture book for children!

--Angela J. Reynolds,  Head of Youth Services

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