Reading & Literacy

Caldecott, Newbery Winners Announced

By Amy Wickner — January 29, 2013 2 min read
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CORRECTION: An earlier version of this post misspelled Newbery.

Among numerous awards recognizing excellent work in writing, illustrating, and publishing for children and young adults, the Caldecott and Newbery Medals are by far the most anticipated. The American Library Association’s annual Youth Media Awards were held yesterday in conjunction with the association’s midwinter meeting. Awards ceremony attendees—even those listening in by livestream, as I did—will have remarked the palpable anticipation as Carolyn Brodie, president of the Association for Library Service to Children, announced the Caldecott and Newbery winners.

The Randolph Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children has been awarded annually since 1938; this is its 75th anniversary. The John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature was inaugurated in 1922. Past winners of each award are listed on the website of the ALSC, a division of the American Library Association and the organizer of the Youth Media Awards.

Award committees for each Medal name honor books in addition to the Medal winner. The Honor books for this year’s Caldecott Medal are as follows:

Creepy Carrots!, illustrated by Peter Brown and written by Aaron Reynolds (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers). Watch an interview with Brown on the inspiration for his illustrations. Extra Yarn, illustrated by Jon Klassen and written by Mac Barnett (Balzer + Bray). There is no official trailer for Extra Yarn; Barnett and Klassen held a yarn-related bookstore contest to promote the book instead. Green, illustrated and written by Laura Vaccaro Seeger (Neal Porter Books). One Cool Friend, illustrated by David Small and written by Toni Buzzeo (Dial Books for Young Readers). Buzzeo offers several downloadable resources related to this title, including a curriculum guide, reader's theater script, and activity kit. Sleep Like a Tiger, illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski and written by Mary Logue (Houghton Mifflin Books for Children). Not to be confused with another recently published bedtime title.

The winner of the 2013 Caldecott Medal is This Is Not My Hat, illustrated and written by Jon Klassen (Candlewick Press)

Official book trailer via Candlewick Press

Three Newbery Honor books were named:

Splendors and Glooms, by Laura Amy Schlitz (Candlewick Press). Schlitz, a Baltimore librarian, is a two-time Newbery honoree. Bomb: The Race to Build—and Steal—the World's Most Dangerous Weapon, by Steve Sheinkin (Flash Point). Sheinkin recorded a 2-minute introduction to his book for Three Times Lucky, by Sheila Turnage (Dial Books for Young Readers).

The winner of the 2013 John Newbery Medal is The One and Only Ivan, by Katherine Applegate (HarperCollins Children’s Books).

Official book trailer via The One and Only Ivan YouTube channel

This may be the first year in which a significant number of Medal winners and Honor books were promoted via book trailer, although video trailers have been
produced for several recent winners and honorees after the fact. Most publishers provided “graphic excerpts,” sample pages, or Google Previews for their award contenders. HarperCollins offers a complete “preview” of Extra Yarn.

This liberality with the visual content of children’s books makes lots of sense considering that publishers are marketing to librarians and booksellers more than to parents, teachers, or children themselves. A recent survey of children’s reading habits by Scholastic suggested that children value the social aspects of books like reading with parents and trading books with friends. This is particularly true for print books, less so for e-books, that study concluded. Extensive previews, while practically unthinkable for many “adult” publishers, make no significant inroads into this kind of social reading among youth.

Nearly all titles recognized in this year’s Youth Media Awards are issued by major publishers or their imprints. As with the rest of K-12 publishing, the picture book and youth media businesses continue to consolidate; this year’s Newbery and Caldecott winners reflect this pattern through their provenance, and may serve to perpetuate it as they rocket to the top of library -acquisitions and -sales lists.

A version of this news article first appeared in the BookMarks blog.