2012 Caldecott Award Winners Announced

I was so excited for this year's announcements of the Randolph Caldecott Medals. I've been following book blogs, tweets and illustrators more closely this year in an effort to up my inspiration levels on my own work. I think that could be my full-time job...but it probably wouldn't bring in much revenue. ;-)

I also participated in a Mock Caldecott panel for the first time at my local library run by 2 of its librarians who actually have served as Caldecott judges a total of 3 times between them. It was a wonderful evening spent with librarians, teachers and a few of us illustrators looking at beautiful books. It caused me to go right out and buy 8 of my favorite books. I was certain one of MY favorites would be chosen as the Caldecott Medalist for 2012.

But alas, my opinion wasn't quite the same as the committee's. And from my gleaning of other Mock Caldecott Predictions running up to this announcement, the winner probably came as a bit of a surprise to others as well.

Chris Raschka's "A Ball for Daisy" was announced this morning as the 2012 Caldecott Medal winner. While I think it is an adorable dog and a cute story, it wasn't quite the book I thought would win. I do enjoy this book infinitely better than Raschka's "The Hello, Goodbye Window" which also won the Caldecott back in 2006.  I do love Raschka's Daisy character in this year's winner. She's lively and ful of personality. And it does take real talent to tell so much with so few strokes.  Props to Raschka...not many illustrators can claim 2 Caldecott Medals.

Thankfully, the committee did agree with me (because of course they asked for MY opinion...haha) on the other award winners. “Blackout,” illustrated and written by John Rocco,"Grandpa Green" illustrated and written by Lane Smith, and “Me … Jane,” illustrated and written by Patrick McDonnell, were 3 of my favorite books.

I had hoped "Me...Jane" would win the gold medal in all honesty, but that's probably because the book spoke more to me personally and touched on my personal love of line and watercolor. I loved all the details and the design added into the book beyond the ink and paint. It was beautifully done.

Congratulations to all the winners. You are amazing and inspiring artists.

Here's my shortlist of books I also loved from this year (these are the ones I went out and bought)...

Grandpa Green
Along a Long Road
Red Sled  
Blue Chicken  
Balloons over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy's Parade  


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I'm a freelance illustrator working in the children's book industry. I love kids and raising my own 4 children. They are the inspiration and the passion behind all I do in art and in life. See my website at JulieOlsonbooks.com

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