Each January, the Association for Library Service to Children (a division of the American Library Association) presents awards to the most outstanding children's books written and illustrated in the previous year. The two highest honors are the Caldecott Medal, given for illustration, and the Newbery Medal, given for writing.
The Caldecott Medal has been presented every year since 1938 and is named after Randolph Caldecott, a 19th century English illustrator of picture books. Books that are selected for the award must have exceptional illustrations, not only for their quality, but for the relationship of the pictures to the story. The illustrations must enhance the story and must convey the meaning of the story without the words.
The 2012 recipient of the Caldecott Medal is “A Ball for Daisy,” written and illustrated by Chris Raschka. This is a wordless picture book which illuminates the simple joy of a dog and her ball. The 2012 Caldecott Medal Honors winners are “Blackout,” written and illustrated by John Rocco (on order now); “Grandpa Green,” written and illustrated by Lane Smith (on order now); and “Me--Jane,” written and illustrated by Patrick McDonnell (on order now).
The Newbery Medal has been has been presented every year since 1922 and is named after John Newbery, an 18th century British publisher and bookseller who first made children's literature a sustainable and profitable part of the literary market. The award is presented to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American Literature for children.
The 2012 recipient of the Newbery Medal is “Dead End in Norvelt” by Jack Gantos. In his book, author Gantos explores both history and coming of age in this entertaining and insightful novel. The 2012 Newbery Medal Honors winners are “Inside Out and Back Again” by Thanhha Li and “Breaking Stalin's Nose” by Eugene Yelchin (on order now).
The lists of all the past recipients of the Caldecott and Newbery Honors are in the Children's Section of the library near the information bulletin board. I'm sure you remember many of the books from your own childhood. The library tries to keep copies of all the books in our collection. Each honoree is labeled on the spine with either Caldecott or Newbery stickers. When a book receives one of these great awards, the gift of immortality for that book is ensured. So if your favorite didn't win, ensure it's immortality by checking it out from the library, buying it from your favorite bookstore, giving it to all your friends, and recommending it to everyone as a "must read and have".
If you need assistance in locating the books, please ask at the Help desks. Enjoy!!