Sixth Annual Mock Caldecott

The RCLC hosted our Sixth Annual Mock Caldecott Night on Monday, January 13, 2020. The 14 event participants (11 in person and 3 online) had the opportunity to learn about the history of the Caldecott Awards, how committees decide on award-winning books, and how to discuss picturebooks in a meaningful, inclusive, and reflective way.

Before breaking off into three book discussion groups, attendees reviewed the ALA’s Caldecott Award Terms and Criteria, Ten Tips for Good Book Discussion by Thom Barthelmess, and Addressing Book Discussion Guidelines in the Twenty-First Century by Vicky Smith. Smith presents the following book discussion guidelines in her October 2019 Horn Book article:

  • Look at each book for what is is, rather than what it is not—but also look for the counternarratives it may be ignoring or eliding.
  • Refrain from relating personal anecdotes. The discussion must focus on the book at hand—but if you have cultural insight that will help your fellow committee members understand a book better, please share it.
  • Try to compare the book with others on the discussion list, rather than other books by the same author or other books in your experience—but also consider how this book advances a canon of inclusivity.

With the Caldecott Award criteria and effective book discussion tips in mind, our Mock Caldecott committee examined and discussed 22 noteworthy picturebooks during the event. Our in-person and online attendees participated in engaging discussions, focusing on how the illustrations reflected or enhanced the story and how elements of design and artistic technique influenced the understanding of each work as a whole.

After a two-step voting process, the committee selected one winner and two honor books.

Winner & Honor Books

Winner: Field Trip to the Moon by John Hare

Honor Books: The Undefeated illustrated by Kadir Nelson and written by Kwame Alexander; Fly! by Mark Teague

Top 22 Mock Caldecott Contenders

To view the full list of the 22 books that were discussed at Mock Caldecott 2020, please see our Pinterest board below:

Photos from Mock Caldecott 2020


If you are interested in learning more about Mock Caldecott or other events organized by the Reinberger, please contact Michelle Baldini at

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