Friday, January 30, 2015

Mock Caldecott Committee: "You Be the Judge!" (Grades K-6)

Become a member of our 2015 Mock Caldecott Committee -- vote for which book you think should win the Caldecott Award for the most notable illustrations. When the official Caldecott Award selections are released on February 2nd, we'll see if ours won!

I do this in the library and also in the classrooms of a local school.


Set up the room with space in front of the librarian for kids to sit and place approximately 25 Caldecott Candidate books on tables around the room. (We choose the books to display by looking at  Goodreads and other Mock Caldecott lists on the web as well as suggestions from Judy Freeman and other librarians on PUBYAC & NJYAC and then narrow the 100+ books to a more manageable 25 for the program.)

Before the program, insert bookmarks pre-printed with a column of numbers into each book.  The numbered column makes figuring out how many votes a book got easier.  Write the first word of the title on each bookmark, both so that if it falls out you’ll know where it came from and also to be able to do final tallies later.
Have kids sit on floor in front of me & ask what the Caldecott Award is for; get a definition of illustrator. (5 min.)
Show some winner(s) and honor books from past year(s); leaf through pictures; ask kids to help figure out what made the illustrations "exceptional/distinctive."  I share some of the comments made the ALA Caldecott Committee in their press releases justifying their choices (available on the ALA Caldecott site):
Mention that the Caldecott Committee (librarians) decide in secret – no one knows for sure which books are their finalists... the books on the tables are a best guess -- favorites mentioned by librarians all over the country.(2 min.)
Explain the idea of “mock” election. The kids will have 10 minutes to examine the 25 candidates looking at what makes their illustrations special -- keeping in mind that they may chose 5 favorites -- when they have looked through all 25, have them come up to get a pencil and then go mark their initials (or first name) on the bookmarks of their 5 favorites.  (10 min.)
Collect the books, have an assistant sort them by number of votes, and read aloud those with the most votes (for longer picture books, read aloud a section and booktalk the rest.)  (20-30 min.)  Ask for kid’s brief reaction to pictures after each book.
Finally, stand the semi-finalist books (the ones read aloud) on tables around the room and ask the kids to stand by the book that they think should be the Caldecott Winner.  We then eliminate those books that only have a couple of votes and have those students move to their favorite remaining title so that everyone has the satisfaction of having a title that is eventually a winner or honor.   When there are 3-5 books remaining, count the students for each to determine winner & honor books. (5 min.)
Tell the kids and teachers when the real award winners will be announced.
1.2015 Results:

I ran a one hour Mock Caldecott program at a school with five (Kdg-4th grade) groups -- a total of more than 200 children.  (Library program was cancelled due to snow.)

THE ADVENTURES OF BEEKLE: AN UNIMAGINARY FRIEND by Santat was the big stand out -- every class chose it - two as a winner and three as an honor book.

GASTON by Kelly diPucchio, illus. by Christian Robinson scored two winners and one honor 

NEIGHBORHOOD SHARKS (599.73 ROY) by Katherine Roy scored one winner & one honor. 

LITTLE ELLIOT, BIG CITY  by Mike Curato scored three honors. 

Other honor books were: 

BAD BYE, GOOD BYE by Deborah Underwood, illustrated by Jonathan Bean

BLIZZARD by John Rocco (it didn't hurt the popularity that we had a monster storm forecast this week)


KID SHERIFF AND THE TERRIBLE TOADS by Bob Shea, illustrated by Lane Smith



Additional books shared but not selected by any group:

A DANCE LIKE STARLIGHT: ONE BALLERINA'S DREAM by Kristy Dempsey, illus. by Floyd Cooper (never got enough preliminary votes for a read-aloud)

DRAW! by Raul Colon  -- this just missed honors in a couple of groups


FIREFLY JULY: A YEAR OF VERY SHORT POEMS selected by Paul B. Janeczko, illustrated by Melissa Sweet -- the 4th graders really liked this but it lost out to other titles

FLASHLIGHT by Liz Boyd -- this just missed honors in a couple of groups

THE GIRL AND THE BICYCLE by Mark Pett (never got enough preliminary votes for a read-aloud)

GRANDFATHER GANDHI by Arun Gandhi & Bethany Hegedus, illus. by Evan Turk (never got enough preliminary votes for a read-aloud)

GRAVITY by Jason Chin -- this just missed honors in a couple of groups

THE IRIDESCENCE OF BIRDS: A BOOK OF HENRI MATISSE by Patrica MacLachlan, illustrated by Hadley Hooper

A LETTER FOR LEO by Sergio Ruzzier

QUEST by Aaron Becker –many of the classes had given honors to JOURNEY last year, this was liked, but not as much

THE RIGHT WORD:ROGET AND HIS THESAURUS by Jen Bryant, illus. by Melissa Sweet (never got enough preliminary votes for a read-aloud)

SAM & DAVE DIG A HOLE by  Mac Barnett, illus. by Jon Klassen-- the 4th graders really liked this but it lost out to other titles

SPARKY by Jenny Offill & Chris Appelhans (never got enough preliminary votes for a read-aloud)

THREE BEARS IN A BOAT by David Soman (never got enough preliminary votes for a read-aloud)

1 comment:

  1. Great Mock Caldecott questions and ideas:


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