The Newbery and Caldecott Awards
Two of the best known children’s book awards are the Newbery and Caldecott. In simplest terms, both annual awards exemplify what librarians believe to be the best of the best in children’s literature and children’s picture books each year.
The Newbery Medal was the world’s first children’s book award, with its first recipient in 1922. The Newbery Award was named after the English bookseller John Newbery. The purpose of the award is to encourage creative and well-written literature for children and to recognize those outstanding titles and their authors. Each year a committee of librarians selects the winning book along with several runners-up, called Honor Books. These books become enduring favorites. The full list of Newberry recipients is available here.
The 2015 winner of the Newbery Medal is The Crossover by Kwame Alexander.
The Caldecott Medal was named after English illustrator Randolph J. Caldecott. After several years of recognizing outstanding children’s book authors with the Newbery Medal, librarians believed a second annual children’s award was needed to recognize exceptional picture books with lasting value that families will enjoy reading again and again through generations. A committee of librarians selected the first Caldecott Medal recipient in 1938. The complete list of Caldecott Medal recipients from 1938 to the present is available here.
The 2015 winner of the Caldecott Medal is The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend, written and illustrated by Dan Santat.
Next time you peruse the shelves of your local library or bookstore, keep an eye out for these award and honor seals marking outstanding titles.