Okay, here’s a thought for you. Perhaps this is a conversation better suited to Calling Caldecott but I’ve been thinking about those picture books that folks love in a given year but that they know in their heart of hearts will never win a Caldecott Award. And not because their illustrators aren’t American residents, but because there’s just something about the books that don’t feel Caldecottish.
Hindsight is 20/20 but looking back at my past Caldecott predictions in previous years I look at the titles I loved that didn’t get any attention and I sigh. These have included:
In a Blue Room by Jim Averbeck, illustrated by Tricia Tusa
Chicken Little by Rebecca and Ed Emberley
A Curious Collection of Cats by Betsy Franco, illustrated by Michael Wertz
Dinotrux by Chris Gall
Tsunami! by Kimiko Kajikawa, illustrated by Ed Young
One Beetle Too Many by Kathryn Lasky, illustrated by Matthew Trueman
All in a Day by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Nikki McClure
My Garden by Kevin Henkes
Mama Miti by Donna Jo Napoli, illustrated by Kadir Nelson
The Boys by Jeff Newman
Oh No! by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Dan Santat
At one time or another I thought all of these had a chance, but somehow they didn’t. Now I look at this year’s crop of books and some that I adore I know for a fact will never get a chance. A person can always be surprised, of course. Still, is there any picture book you’ve seen this year that is made of awesome but that you’re 99.9% certain won’t win an ALA accredited award?