Best books for kids: Newbery, Caldecott winners announced

If you’re anything like me you wander around the children’s section of your local library hoping to find jewels of reading pleasure for your kids. Well, wander and wonder no more!

The American Library Association awarded the prestigious Newbery Medal and Caldecott Medal today. The medals recognize the best children’s book and best illustrated children’s book of the previous year. And the winners are:

From the American Library Association’s Web site:

2010 Newbery Medal Winner
“The 2010 Newbery Medal winner is When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead, published by Wendy Lamb Books, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books.

Twelve-year-old Miranda encounters shifting friendships, a sudden punch, a strange homeless man and mysterious notes that hint at knowledge of the future. These and other seemingly random events converge in a brilliantly constructed plot.”

2010 Honor Books

“Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice by Phillip Hoose, published by Melanie Kroupa Books, Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Hoose reveals the true story of an unsung hero of the Montgomery bus boycott. Hoose’s work stands out for its creative approach to narrative biography. Colvin’s own recollections are merged seamlessly with the narrative voice, providing a uniquely personal view of Colvin and the Civil Rights Movement.”

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly, published by Henry Holt and Company.

On the eve of the 20th century, 11-year-old Calpurnia awakens to new possibilities, and through her evolving relationship with her naturalist grandfather, learns to think like a scientist. Kelly’s rich, evocative language captures Callie’s distinctive voice and lively observations of the natural world.”

“ Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin, published by Little, Brown and Company Books for Young Readers.

A rich tapestry of stories, both original and traditional, transports readers to a fantastic world where Dragon joins Minli on a fortune-changing quest.”

“The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg by Rodman Philbrick, published by The Blue Sky Press, an imprint of Scholastic, Inc.

This rollicking yarn, presented through the voice of 12-year-old Homer, uses humor and pluck to mitigate the horrors of the Civil War.”

2010 Caldecott Medal

“The 2010 Caldecott Medal winner is The Lion & the Mouse, illustrated and written by Jerry Pinkney (Little, Brown and Company Books for Young Readers)

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.”

2010 Honor Books

“All the World, illustrated by Marla Frazee, written by Liz Garton Scanlon, published by Beach Lane Books.

Frazee’s small vignettes and sweeping double-page spreads invite readers to share a joyful day with a diverse, multigenerational community. Flowing lines and harmonius colors give vibrant life to Scanlon’s poetic text.”

“Red Sings from Treetops: A Year in Colors, illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski, written by Joyce Sidman, published by  Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

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.”

Need more book suggestions? Check out the American Library Association’s Web site. It lists Newbery Medal winners back to 1922.

Here are the Newbery Medal Winners from the 2000s

“2009: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, illus. by Dave McKean (HarperCollins)
2008: Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Medieval Village by Laura Amy Schlitz (Candlewick)
2007: The Higher Power of Lucky by Susan Patron, illus. by Matt Phelan (Simon & Schuster/Richard Jackson)
2006: Criss Cross by Lynne Rae Perkins (Greenwillow Books/HarperCollins)
2005: Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata (Atheneum Books for Young Readers/Simon & Schuster)
2004: The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup, and a Spool of Thread by Kate DiCamillo (Candlewick Press)
2003: Crispin: The Cross of Lead by Avi (Hyperion Books for Children)
2002: A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park(Clarion Books/Houghton Mifflin)
2001: A Year Down Yonder by Richard Peck (Dial)
2000: Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis (Delacorte)”

Other Caldecott Winners from the ALA’s web site (there are a bunch more honor books listed on the site as wel

Here are the Caldecott winners from the 2000s.

2009 Caldecott Medal Winner:

The House in the Night, illustrated by Beth Krommes, written by Susan Marie Swanson (Houghton Mifflin Company)

2008 Medal Winner:

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick (Scholastic Press, an imprint of Scholastic)

2007 Medal Winner:

Flotsam by David Wiesner (Clarion)

2006 Medal Winner:

The Hello, Goodbye Window illustrated by Chris Raschka and written by Norton Juster (Michael di Capua Books/Hyperion Books for Children)

2005 Medal Winner:

Kitten’s First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes (Greenwillow Books/HarperCollinsPublishers)

2004 Medal Winner:

The Man Who Walked Between the Towers by Mordicai Gerstein (Roaring Brook Press/Millbrook Press)

2003 Medal Winner:
My Friend Rabbit by Eric Rohmann (Roaring Brook Press/Millbrook Press)

2002 Medal Winner:
The Three Pigs by David Wiesner (Clarion/Houghton Mifflin)

2001 Medal Winner:

So You Want to Be President? Illustrated by David Small, written by Judith St. George (Philomel)

2000 Medal Winner:
Joseph Had a Little Overcoat Simms Taback (Viking)

19 comments Add your comment


January 18th, 2010
9:50 pm

Check out “A Bad Case of Stripes” by David Shannon. It’s about a little girl who is so worried what others think about her that she turns all sorts of different colors and things before realizing that it’s best to be true to yourself and not care what others think. Brilliant message.


January 18th, 2010
10:01 pm

Thanks for this! It’s always good to have more leads.

We were reading “My Life As A Chicken” (by Ellen A. Kelley, with pictures by Michael Slack) to my daughter when she was in the womb. We memorized it soon after. Can’t recommend that book enough — and it’s one of the ones that turns any exhausted parent into a storyteller — and it’s as fun for the parents.

Erin C

January 19th, 2010
12:11 am

My favorite childrens book is “Peach and Blue,” by Sarah S. Kilbourne (sp?). A great story about being a good friend, so matter what, for as long as life will let you. I’ve given it to many adult friends as they go through difficult times in life. Love it!!


January 19th, 2010
7:23 am

Love, love, love a good book! KUDOS to any parent who gives the gift of loving books to their child!
It is a life long gift and one that will take children far!

I am curious to see if this topic will have as many contributions as the previous one and sadly, I predict that it will not. I COULD BE WRONG, as I have been in the past.

There are too many parents today who do not read, nor model reading to their children.
Any wonder why kids are not interested?

I had a teacher tell me that she asked a parent if they read books at home together.the parent replied, “I think we do have one book up in the closet,,…” TRUE STORY!

Most everyone has five minutes to share a book with a child each day.
Even parents who cannot own books can go to the library. We spent MANY hours in the library searching for good books, when my children were small.

Thanks to those who take time to read to/with their children!

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

January 19th, 2010
7:57 am

Hey guys — I posted this topic last night — I will be posting another topic this morning — check back in about an hour and there should be a second topic up for today.


January 19th, 2010
8:18 am

We read every night..Sometimes its a short story, sometimes chapter books..To me, it doesn’t matter what it is, as long as we are reading…


January 19th, 2010
8:40 am

Thanks for the listings. My oldest loves to have in his book collection Caldecott winners–he takes pride in that, as well as reading them over and over. Truth be known, I enjoy them too! Reading seems to have fallen somewhat to the wayside, but it is encouraging to know that reading and the love of books hasn’t fallen complete off the map. My youngest son has even more books than the oldest, of course he ‘inherited’ a number of books from the oldest, but it great to see our weekly trip to the library is instilling a love for paper, print, binder and allowing your imagination to flourish. Nothing against tv, video games, etc but allowing the grey matter to grow, develop and mature is wonderful.


January 19th, 2010
8:43 am


January 19th, 2010
8:55 am

Reading is one of the MOST important elements of child development, and it’s astonishing to me that some parents don’t place a value on it. I used to tell my students that, while school was very important, they would learn more from reading and traveling than they would anywhere else. I would be lost without books, and I’m so thankful my mother instilled a love of reading in me, and I am doing the same for my children. I buy many more books than I should, but I LOVE actual books in my house and rooms! We do frequent the library quite often, and I love watching my 3 year old tear through the children’s section grabbing interesting-looking books off of shelves and curling up in one of the window seats to flip through them.

I highly recommend Shel Silverstein’s poetry for kids of any age. My children love the silliness of the rhymes and stories. Favorites: “Where The Sidewalk Ends”, “A Light in The Attic”, “Lafcadio the Lion”, and “A Giraffe and a Half”.

I also recommend tried and true favorites such as Little Golden Books and classic fairy tales. My oldest absolutely loves the stories in both.

hi there

January 19th, 2010
8:55 am

I for one love books and am an avid reader and am hoping to pass that along to my daughter. She loves books and will sit and try to read them to herself, even though she’s only three. I think this is a great list and hopefully it will inspire more parents to read as I am as guilty as the next guy in not reading to her every night like I thought I would.

Our lastest book purchase was “I can Play it Safe” by Alison Leigh. It is all about strangers and how to be safe in general situations as well.

Have a great day and don’t forget about going to the library to look and read books to your children. Most have small play areas for kids which I feel really makes for a fun time for the kids, plus you can grab a few for yourself and review them while they play or read newsletters that have information on all types of events going on in your area.


January 19th, 2010
8:56 am

My favorite when my daughter was small is “If you Give a Mouse a Cookie”. That book has THE CUTEST illustrations. And “I Love You This Much”…….we found the little stuffed animals for the Mouse and Big Nutbrown Hare and Little Nutbrown Hare. They are still up on a shelf in my (College aged) daughter’s room. She refuses to take them down. She says every time she looks at them, she can remember us reading those books together.

The very first book she ever read by herself was Dr. Suess “The Foot Book”. We saw one at Kohl’s the other day. They had a great Dr. Suess display by the cash registers.


January 19th, 2010
9:03 am

MJG – I don’t think parents really have such a strong influence on their child’s love (of lack thereof) of reading as one might think. Both my parents weren’t into books/reading, and yet for years my mother couldn’t rearrange the furniture cos I’d trip over it or walk into it as I wandered around the house with my head constantly stuck in a book. I had books in every room of the house, in the car, in my book bag for the bus trip to school, at my grandmother’s house, etc.

According to my parents, I was the one who pushed the whole reading thing from as soon as I could. They never read to me as a child, nor to any of my siblings and to this day all of us love to read and will swap books as often as possible. And I doubt that the 5 of us can be the exception to the rule. Course we weren’t handed every video game/computer game known to man also, so that might have had a role to play in it.


January 19th, 2010
9:04 am

@ JJ probably because Dr. Suess’s birthday is in March. I admire the way books are promoted at the Kohl’s checkout. They seem to be affordable too!

@ JATL…AMEN on the traveling part. That is where I have learned so much about the different ways people do things and why.

Love parents who read to their kids.

@ sleepy…I hope you are not a parent……if you are, you will reap what you sow!

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

January 19th, 2010
9:23 am

hey Guys — new topic is up for this morning —- is online homework effective? Is it fair?


January 19th, 2010
9:30 am

I love to read, my mother is an avid reader, and my daughters father is avid reader. However I don’t think my daughter is as much of a book worm as I had hoped. Then again, it might be that so much of her time is taken up with school work that she has little time to red for the love of reading.

I have started to listen to books on my Ipod. I feel I have lost some of the trill of “reading”, but it has given me a chance to enjoy many books I would never have the time to read. I have a 1 to 2 hour comute both ways so I get to lose myself in a good book, and then I don’t feel guilty when I get home and can focus on housework and child. It is not the same as reading, but I feel I am experiencing many of the feeling I had while reading, and also since I am enjoying the book, I don’t feel the comut time in wasted time. I think I have about 130 books on my ipod, many classics and a nice assortment of genre to satisfy many moods and needs.


January 19th, 2010
9:31 am

ohhh so sorry for typos, tring to hurry this morning


January 19th, 2010
10:11 am

Man, I LOVE to read! I have SO many books at home! My little guy has his own bookshelf too! We used to get books from the store almost every time we went, but we can’t do that right now. So, we have been making our treks to the library! We’ll be heading there tonight to return some books and check out more!

I try to pick out some books that he can read on his own and that I can read to him that he would find interesting! I figure if I allow him to find some of his own, he’ll be more likely to enjoy the reading!

I agree with Allie as far as parents instilling a love of reading. Growing up, I don’t recall ever seeing my dad or step-mom reading a book! My brother and I LOVED it though! We always had them!

I think reading is a great way to encourage imagination, learn different writing skills, and learn about different life skills! I would be devastated if I couldn’t read!


January 19th, 2010
2:02 pm

LOL…as predicated, more folks are interested in Divorce Etiquette….it seems.

I do not have the statistics on reading but there are oodles of kids out there who are simply not interested in reading and this ( to me) is a shame. Obviously, there are always exceptions but I feel:

If you want your child to love music…there should be music in their environment
If you want your child to love art…you should have art appreciation
If you want your child to love sports…there should be some type of involvement in sports
If you want your child to love to read…you should have access to books and they need to see you reading

this is a neat web page:

As a parent, I never wanted to take the chance that my kids would love reading, on their own.
Mine went to the library and book stores in their strollers and still love to read.

Reading is such a crucial step to many professions and thankfully mine are avid readers.

Sad to say, more kids have electronic games than their own library card…..hmmmm.

[...] More here:  Best books for kids: Newbery, Caldecott winners announced | A Blog … [...]