Caldecott Award Winners

Caldecott Award Winners by Grade Level

This book list chronicles the Caldecott Winners from each year and provides links to purchase many of these books. The Caldecott Medal recognizes the artist of the best American picture book for children. It is named in honor of 19th century English illustrator Randolph Caldecott, because his work largely represents how beautiful illustration can improve text. The Association for Library Service to Children, which is a division of the American Library Association, presents this annual award. I might note that many people assume that illustrated books tend to be for young children, typically first grade level and below. This is not necessarily the case. Caldecott books can be any grade level. Enjoy!

Book levels are based on reading difficulty, not content or plot. Many books are highly readable but challenging in different ways, typically incorporating symbolism and other important literary devices. It is entirely appropriate to read books above or below the reading level you are targeting if the book challenges the reader in other ways, perhaps in a provocative way. For example, The Catcher in the Rye is certainly a push for fourth grade in terms of content. Perhaps pushing it to seventh or eighth grade may be an option. As you can see, limiting a child to a book, because of a book list or the child's age, is a mistake. Grade-level lists are only guides and careful attention must be taken in order to select proper reading material based on ability and interest rather than a grade recommendation.

Caldecott Award Winners by Grade and Interest Levels

There has long been a debate between phonics and whole language. Google “whole language”, and you’ll find almost 20,000,000 articles about the subject. Google “phonics’, and you’ll find almost 9,000,000 articles. Google “novels”, and you’ll find over 81,000,000 articles!

There are numerous opposing beliefs when it comes to teaching reading. Ultimately, regardless of how a child is taught to read, the reading material largely dictates his/her interest level. Can anybody truly be interested in the reading material contained in most reading texts? At what point is a child’s interest level as important as the method in which they are being taught to read? In my twenty years of teaching, I’ve found that the single best way to improve in reading is to read. I know that sounds simple, but it’s true. The problem with reading texts is that they really don’t provide a lot of reading opportunities that are interesting, so students never read from them on their own. Novels, on the other hand, are far more engaging and tend to motivate students to read both in groups and independently. As a result, I highly recommend novel reading over text reading when it comes to increasing student interest.

Caldecott Award Winners

2010

The Lion & the Mouse (Grade 3)

2009

The House in the Night

2008

The Invention of Hugo Cabret (Grade 5)

2007

Flotsam

2006

The Hello, Goodbye Window (Grade 3)

2005

Kitten's First Full Moon (Grade 2)

2004

The Man Who Walked Between the Towers (Grade 3)

2003

My Friend Rabbit

2002

The Three Pigs (Grade 2)

2001

So You Want To Be President? (Grade 4)

2000

Joseph Had a Little Overcoat (Grade 1)

1999

Snowflake Bentley (Grade 4)

1998

Rapunzel

1997

Golem (Grade 4)

1996

Officer Buckle and Gloria (Grade 3)

1995

Smoky Night (Grade 2)

1994

Grandfather's Journey (Grade 3)

1993

Mirette on the High Wire (Grade 3)

1992

Tuesday (Grade 1)

1991

Black and White

1990

Lon Po Po: A Red-Riding Hood Story from China (Grade 3)

1989

Song and Dance Man (Grade 4)

1988

Owl Moon (Grade 3)

1987

Hey Al (Grade 2)

1986

The Polar Express (Grade 3)

1985

Saint George and the Dragon (Grade 5)

1984

The Glorious Flight: Across the Channel with Louis Bleriot (Grade 2)

1983

Shadow

1982

Jumanji (Grade 3)

1981

Fables (Grade 4)

1980

Ox-Cart Man (Grade 4)

1979

The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses (Grade 4)

1978

Noah's Ark

1977

Ashanti to Zulu: African Traditions (Grade 4)

1976

Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears: A West African Tale (Grade 4)

1975

Arrow to the Sun: A Pueblo Indian Tale

1974

Duffy and the Devil (Grade 4)

1973

The Funny Little Woman

1972

One Fine Day (Grade 3)

1971

A Story--A Story (Grade 4)

1970

Sylvester and the Magic Pebble (Grade 4)

1969

The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship

1968

Drummer Hoff (Grade 4)

1967

Sam Bangs & Moonshine (Grade 3)

1966

Always Room for One More (Grade 4)

1965

May I Bring a Friend? (Grade 2)

1964

Where the Wild Things Are (Grade 3)

1963

The Snowy Day

1962

Once a Mouse (Grade 3)

1961

Baboushka and the Three Kings

1960

Nine Days to Christmas (Grade 3)

1959

Chanticleer and the Fox (Grade 4)

1958

Time of Wonder (Grade 5)

1957

A Tree is Nice (Grade 2)

1956

Frog Went A-Courtin' (Grade 2)

1955

Cinderella, or, The Little Glass Slipper

1954

Madeline's Rescue (Grade 3)

1953

The Biggest Bear

1952

Finders Keepers (Grade 2)

1951

The Egg Tree (Grade 3)

1950

Song of the Swallows (Grade 4)

1949

The Big Snow

1948

White Snow, Bright Snow (Grade 4)

1947

The Little Island (Grade 3)

1946

The Rooster Crows

1945

Prayer for a Child

1944

Many Moons (Grade 4)

1943

The Little House (Grade 4)

1942

Make Way for Ducklings (Grade 4)

1941

They Were Strong and Good (Grade 4)

1940

Abraham Lincoln

1939

Mei Li

1938

Animals of the Bible (Grade 6)

Please Make a Comment!

My intent is to continue adding titles, links, and free resources to this list.  Please help me improve this free resource by recommending titles, reviewing books already on this list, providing lessons that can be shared with others, and helping me find additional links to existing sites that are beneficial.  Your comments are greatly appreciated by all. 

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