I was a book nerd as a kid. Voracious reader. Some of my very best memories of childhood are afternoons and evenings spent combing the shelves of the public library. I can still close my eyes and see my first library card and the manila sleeve it fit into for safekeeping.
And I LOVED finding Caldecott and Newbery Medal-winning books to devour. For the uninitiated, the Caldecott Medal is given each year to the most distinguished picture book for children. The Newbery Medal goes to the book offering the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children. In short, damn good books.
Some of my favorite Caldecott winners as a kid were:
- Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey (1942 winner)
- Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak (1964 winner)
(My children have quite a few of the more recent winners including a few that I didn’t realize had won but am pleased to know that they did. One they love that I DID know was a Caldecott honoree was Flotsam by David Wiesner. I blogged about it here about a year ago.)
And my favorite Newbery honorees:
- The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare (1959 winner, also set in the town next to my hometown, second-favorite book from childhood)
- A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle (1963 winner)
- From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg (1968 winner, all-time favorite book from childhood)
- Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson (1978 winner)
This year’s winners were announced this morning. I haven’t read them yet – but you can be sure I’ll be on the lookout at the library.
2010 Caldecott Medal winner: The Lion & the Mouse, illustrated and written by Jerry Pinkney
2010 Newbery Medal winner: When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
Don’t think I’ve been let down by a Caldecott or Newbery winner yet..