All the Pretty Pictures. Meet the 2010 Caldecott Winners for Best Picture Books

What exactly is the Caldecott Medal, you ask?

And who is this Caldecott person who gives out said medal?

First off, in the United States, receiving the Randolph Caldecott Medal is the highest honor an artist can achieve for children’s book illustrations. The Caldecott awards are administered by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA).  It’s announced each January during the American Library Association Midwinter Meeting.

According to the ALSC,

    “The Medal shall be awarded annually to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children published in English in the United States during the preceding year. There are no limitations as to the character of the picture book except that the illustrations be original work. Honor Books may be named. These shall be books that are also truly distinguished.”

This annual award has been presented every year since 1938. The catchy title came from Randolph Caldecott, a nineteenth century English illustrator who was known for his picture book illustrations. Several alternate books are also designated as Caldecott Honor Books for the quality of their illustrations.

In 2010, artist Jerry Pinkney was named the recipient of the Caldecott Medal forThe Lion & the Mouse, his adaptation of one of Aesop’s fables. According to the January 18, 2010 ALA media release.

    “The screech of an owl, the squeak of a mouse and the roar of a lion transport readers to the Serengeti plains for this virtually wordless retelling of Aesop’s classic fable. In glowing colors, Pinkney’s textured watercolor illustrations masterfully portray the relationship between two very unlikely friends.  Pinkney’s stunning watercolors add new dimensions to an ancient tale in a book which is sure to become a beloved classic,’ said Caldecott Committee Chair Rita Auerbach.”

The 2010 Caldecott Medal Honors book.

  • All the World, illustrated by Marla Frazee, written by Liz Garton Scanlon. “In All the World, Frazee’s small vignettes and sweeping double-page spreads invite readers to share a joyful day with a diverse, multigenerational community. Flowing lines and harmonious colors give vibrant life to Scanlon’s poetic text,” said the ALA.
  • Red Sings from Treetops: A Year in Colors, illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski, written by Joyce Sidman. “InRed Sings from Treetops, Zagarenski’s playful illustrations enliven Sidman’s expressive poetry in this exploration of the seasons and their colors. Computer illustration and mixed-media paintings on wood combine rich textures, intriguing graphic elements, stunning colors and stylized figures to reward attentive readers with a visually exciting interplay of poetry and illustration,” noted the ALA.
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