Monday, January 23, 2023

2023 Caldecott Predictions

One week from today the 2023 Caldecott Medal will be awarded. 

Our school recently finished our Mock Caldecott unit and our school selected... 

Knight Owl by Christopher Denise

But having done Mock Caldecott for a few years now and having studied previous winners and honors as well as having served on a book award committee before (I served on ALAN's Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award committee for five years), I have my own opinions on which books I think might win.
My prediction for the medal: 

Berry Song by Michaela Goade
The artwork in this book is so stunning there are literally page spreads I would frame and hang up in my house. Like this one, for example:
If this book wins, no one will question it. It is an obvious choice. But depending on the makeup of the committee, I have a second possibility...

My outlier prediction for the medal:

Gibberish by Young Vo
Where Berry Song takes your breath away with its traditionally beautiful illustrations, Gibberish is something new and innovative and like nothing I've ever seen before. It also just happens to tug at my personal heartstrings because as a person who has lived in another country where I didn't know the language, the main character's struggles were incredibly real to me. But the way Young Vo communicates this feeling of being in a world of confusion is what stands out here. This book could tip the scales if there are enough people on the committee who are looking for something fresh, new, and different. 

Honor predictions:

Knight Owl
by Christopher Denise
What Denise does with lighting in his illustrations for Knight Owl is what makes these illustrations distinguished, but the adorable, brave owl is what made this book our students' choice to win for our school's Mock Caldecott. While I totally understand why they chose this book, I personally am getting Caldecott honor vibes from it. 

Kick Push by Frank Morrison
I don't have any basis for this prediction other than kids love it, it's a teensy bit subversive since the artwork has a street art vibe, and every year I always like to make an unexpected prediction because the year I had a feeling about The Rough Patch by Brian Lies but DIDN'T put it on our Mock Caldecott list because I hadn't heart anyone talk about it, I decided I will now always make at least one prediction that is a little outside the box (though not too outside the box since it's also one of Betsy Bird's predictions too). 

Hot Dog by Doug Salati
It's a book that a lot of people are talking about. It's giving Caldecott honor vibes. I can't explain why. It's just a feeling I have. 

Blue: A History of the Color as Deep as the Sea and as Wide as the Sky by Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond, illustrated by Daniel Minter
This book has mesmerizing illustrations that kids absolutely love, but the text is what trips me up on this one. It's a book that a lot of kids loved flipping through but not actually reading. So I guess it depends on how much the committee considers the text when deciding on this one. 

Farmhouse by Sophie Blackall
I know a lot of people are predicting that this one will win, but I will always root for an underdog and the fact that Sophie Blackall has already won two Caldecott medals in the past eight years means I'd rather Farmhouse win an honor. Would I be surprised if it wins the medal? No. Do I want it to? Also no. 

Those are my predictions. What are yours? 

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