Wednesday, February 5, 2014

And the winner is......

January is a very exciting time in the world of children's books - it's the month the American Library Association announces the Youth Media Awards.  Because we love picture books at Memorial School, our students learned all about the Caldecott Medal.

The Caldecott Medal "shall be awarded to the artist of the most distinguished American Picture Book for Children published in the United States during the preceding year. The award shall go to the artist, who must be a citizen or resident of the United States, whether or not he be the author of the text."

What a great award for our young students to learn about!  I shared previous winners with my classes. They now know to look for the gold and silver medals on the front covers of winning books and also to look for the Caldecott stickers on the spines of these special books in our library. We talked about some of the criteria the judges consider when making their decisions.

  • We looked closely at all parts of each book (front and back covers), end-papers, etc.
  • We discussed, do the illustrations tell a story?
  • We thought hard about whether the art was so special that the illustrator deserved to win.    
And then I decided to try something new - we would have our own Mock Caldecott right here at Memorial School! It was tough, but I narrowed the choices to three books:

We read all three stories and looked very closely at them as if we were Caldecott judges and then all the kindergarteners and first graders voted using a Google form on our library computers.

One of our students voting.
And, drum roll please, here are the winners of the Memorial School Mock Caldecott:

The Caldecott Medal (gold) goes to:  Journey by Aaron Becker
The Caldecott Honor (silver) goes to: The Story of Fish and Snail by Deborah Freedman

    The "real" Caldecott winners are:
All fabulous!  Locomotive by Brian Floca was awarded the Caldecott Medal.  The others, all stories without words, are Caldecott Honor books and are perfect to share with your children.  I highly recommend each of them!

This was such a fun and interesting unit.  I loved sharing some of my very favorite picture books with our young students.  I can't wait to do it again next year!
Memorial parents, it might be interesting to ask what your children thought of each of these books!      

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