It's that time of year - Caldecott Predictions

On Monday, January 10, 2011, the American Library Association will announce all of their Youth Media Awards at their Midwinter Conference in San Diego.  Last year, the announcements were made from Boston and I woke up at 5 a.m. (on my day off) to listen to as they were reported as well as watch the Twitter feed.  I was thrilled to have read WHEN YOU REACH ME by Rebecca Stead prior to the announcement of it's selection as the Newbery Medal winner.  And I was shocked that I actually recognized the winner of the Caldecott Medal - Jerry Pinkey's THE LION & THE MOUSE.  However, I have to admit that I hadn't paid much attention to what might end up on the short list for the awards that year.

This year, I started paying attention to the buzz around mid-year as to what books might be considered.  As a result, I tried to read as many of the picture books being released this year and began choosing my favorites about a month ago.  And thanks to the Midwinter Conference being closer to home, I am hoping to be present for the Award's Press Conference.

Here are the five books that I expect to be in the running for the prestigious Randolph Caldecott Award or one of the Caldecott honor medals given "shall be awarded to the artist of the most distinguished American Picture Book for Children published in the United States".

by Bill Thomson
This wordless picture book is simply amazing.  It was recently selected as a 2010 Cybils Finalist.  If you have read any of my recent blog posts, you'll know that I have a huge bias towards this story about 3 children who discover a bag of chalk.  I will continue to send it positive thoughts and good vibes for this book to be a winner. 

by Philip Christian Stead, Illustrated by Erin Stead
Initially, I could not find this book in any of my local books stores.  However, just the other day, I ran across this book and fell in love.  Well maybe not as much as I am in love with CHALK but still this beautiful, gentle story about a friendship between a man and various animals at the zoo ranks high on my list.  This book also made the list of finalists for a Cybils 2010 Award.

by David Wiesner
I love Wiesner's books.  There is something that is usually a tad different in each of his stories.  This story about Art - a talented artist and Max - well let's just say Max has his own thoughts about art - is entertaining on one level but can be used on so many other levels.  Wiesner has been a recipient of the Caldecott, and the Caldecott Honor medals in the past.

by Marla Frazee
Marla Frazee is not new to the world of the Caldecott Medals.  Last year, her book ALL THE WORLD, received an honor medal.  With classic Frazee illustrations, this story about an infant who directs the lives of his parents is a fun reminder to families just who is in charge.  

Written by Mo Willems, Pictures by Jon J. Muth
Many people are familiar with Mo Willems from his Pigeon stories or Elephant & Piggie stories which are filled with fun and humor.  In this story of a friendship between a dog and a frog, we get to see another side to Willems' writing.  Muth's illustrations were wonderful and I loved the one where the dog puts on a "froggy" smile.

So do you have a prediction about which 2010 picture book will walk away with a shiny gold medal?