Caldecott award

[ kawl-di-kuht ]
/ ˈkɔl dɪ kət /
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an annual award in the U.S. for an outstanding illustrated juvenile book.
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Origin of Caldecott award

Named after Randolph Caldecott (1846–86), English illustrator
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What is the Caldecott Award?

The Caldecott Award is an award given each year by the American Library Association (ALA) to the artist of the book that the association considers the best American illustrated children’s book of the past year.

It is formally called the Caldecott Medal or the Randolph Caldecott Medal.

The Caldecott Award is specifically awarded for excellence in illustration or other visual storytelling. It is widely considered one of the most prestigious and well-known honors for children’s books, along with the Newbery Award, which is awarded (also by the ALA) to the author of the book that the association considers the best contribution to American children’s literature of the past year.

When is the Caldecott Award given?

The Caldecott Award is usually presented during a ceremony on the last Monday in January. It is given by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the ALA. Though it is given in the first month of the year, the award is for works released in the previous year (allowing judges enough time to review all of the books).

During the ceremony, the association also presents the Newbery Award and other awards, including the Coretta Scott King Book Awards, which honor African American authors and illustrators.

The 2022 Caldecott Medal is scheduled to be presented on January 24, 2022.

More information and context on the Caldecott Award

The Caldecott Award was established in the 1930s. It is named for English illustrator Randolph J. Caldecott, who is considered to have been one the most influential illustrators of the 1800s and is credited with advancing the field of picture books.

Originally, illustrated books were included as part of the judging process for the Newbery Awards, but eventually illustrated books were given their own category so that illustrators could be recognized for their work.

Some notable artists who have been awarded the Caldecott Award include Michaela Goade (for We Are Water Protectors), Chris Van Allsburg (for The Polar Express and Jumanji), David Wiesner (for Tuesday, Flotsam, and The Three Pigs), and Maurice Sendak (for Where the Wild Things Are).

The winning artist receives a physical medal. A metallic seal depicting the medal can then be added to the cover of the book in future printings. A book whose illustrator is nominated for the Caldecott Award but does not win is labeled as a Caldecott Honor Book.

What are some terms that often get used in discussing the Caldecott Medal?

How is the Caldecott Award discussed in real life?

Many people are familiar with the Caldecott Award due to the seals that are placed on the covers of books by winning illustrators. It is officially called the Caldecott Medal or the Randolph Caldecott Medal. 


Try using Caldecott Award!

True or False?

The Caldecott Award honors outstanding authors of children’s books.

How to use Caldecott award in a sentence