Ten Caldecott Award Books to Remember

caldecott award books to remember

Yesterday, Locomotive by Brian Floca won the Caldecott Award!

Raisin got an autographed copy of this book for his birthday last year, and it is fantastic. I believe it was a great choice for the award. I loved the illustrations of course: sweeping views of steam trains and the scenery of America. But the rhythmic writing properly fit the story of a train trip across the country. Besides, I also learned a lot about how early trains work!

This week for List It Tuesday, I have decided to revisit some other Caldecott winners I love. I am starting with the oldest and coming forward to the newest.

Make new friends but keep the old, right?

I fully realize that this short list omits many great books. There are also the Honor books to consider (which I did not for this post).

  1. Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey. This 1942 winner is, I think, the first best book to be discovered in the Caldecotts. It shows everything a perfect picture book should be: a story written for children, with goregeous pictures that help to tell the story. It’s a great story (a town coming together for ducklings to cross the road) but it also is a perfect classic that is timeless for each subsequent generation. I love Jack, Kack, Lack, Mack, Nack, Ouack, Pack, and Quack!
  2. Cinderella, or the Little Glass Slipper, illustrated by Marcia Brown; text: translated from Charles Perrault by Marcia Brown. This 1955 winner has simply gorgeous illustrations, with pen outline and crayon or colored pencil coloring. She makes it look simple, but on closer look you realize it is much more difficult to imitate. It has perfect coloring and style for a fairy tale!
  3. The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats. This classic won in 1963, and it is still adored each winter by many children. Keats captures the love of enjoying a simple day in the snow. It is lots of fun to join with Peter as he plays in the snow!
  4. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. The very next year brought this other class children’s book, an adventure to a new land where a child reigns. I love the timeless feel to this book as well.
  5. Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Stieg. This 1970 winner is an odd story: a pebble collecting goat finds a magic pebble and uses it to wish himself into a rock. It makes life a bit difficult for his parents who do not know that he has become a rock. The clever way he returns to being a goat is quite amusing, and the silliness of the story and illustrations make this a delightful book for kids still!
  6. The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg. It’s a testament to the long-lasting universal nature of this Christmas story that it is still so well loved almost 3 decades later! It won the award in 1986.
  7. Rapunzel by Paul O. Zelinsky. This 1998 winner has such gorgeous illustrations that it has made the Rapunzel story one of my favorites, simply because I can enjoy Zelinsky’s work in this picture book!
  8. Joseph Had a Little Overcoat Simms Taback. The winner in the year 2000, this is a great story about resourcefulness. I love the die-cuts in it as well.
  9. The Three Pigs by David Wiesner. This 2002 winner is a metatext in which the three pigs escape in to a different story. I love the twists in it, I love the way the author/illustrator has thought outside of the box, and I love the question “what if?” he proposes to us as he changes the traditional story.
  10. The Hello, Goodbye Window illustrated by Chris Raschka and written by Norton Juster. This 2006 winner perfectly captures a child’s day at Grandma’s house! I love the match between illustrations (crayon) and the tone given in the text (I take a nap and nothing happens until I wake up!). It’s well worthy of the award as well. 

Which Caldecott Award winners would you name as your top ten favorites?

 I am linking up with  List it Tuesday at Many Little Blessings and Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers!

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  • What a great idea for a post, Rebecca! I love your choices. “Make Way for Ducklings” would be at the top of my list, too! In addition to the lovely story and the fun of the rhyming names, I think it’s a great thing for young readers to be exposed to the stories and illustrations of the past, to broaden their understanding and ignite their imaginations. I love to see children’s faces when I tell them that their mom and dad (or grandma and grandpa!) probably heard this story when they were in first grade!
    Thanks again for sharing!

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