Interview with Ms. Natalie: The Mock Caldecott


Falcon’s Flyer: What is the Caldecott Medal?

Ms. Natalie: The medal is an award given by the American Library Association to the best American Picture book written for children.

FF: How are books nominated and awarded the Caldecott?

NR: There are no nominations. A committee is formed made up of librarians, teachers, and ALA members.

FF: Who nominates the books?

NR: The committee gets together and they bring their own selections, and then they go through a list of expectations for the book.

FF: What are the titles of some Caldecott Award-winning books readers might recognize?

NR: This is Not My Hat by Jon Clawson (2013’s winner). The previous year was A Ball for Daisy, by Chris Raschka (2012’s winner).

FF: What year are the books from?

NR: The year before the conference.

FF: How will the library’s mock Caldecott work?

NR: I looked at the top bestselling children’s books from the past year, other mock Caldecott lists, read lots of blogs, and came up with 26 books I think might have a chance at the Caldecott.  St. Philips students will read each book I put on the library’s list, and then critique it using the same standards of the  committee. And I have a disclaimer: the committee might choose a book I did not suggest, introduce to the school, or evaluate.

FF: How did you decide to have a mock Caldecott?

NR: I wanted to do it last year, but was not prepared, so I made sure to put it on my calendar to do this year. I think it’s a great way for students to learn how illustrations affect a story.

FF: What books have been nominated for the the Caldecott this year?

NR: Our list of 26 books is on the library blog,, you can find it here

FF: Who will be voting in the mock Caldecott?

NR: Kinder through 5th grade.

FF: When will we find out which book won the Caldecott?

NR: We are going to announce the St. Philip’s winner on January 28th over morning announcements. The actual Caldecott winner will be announced on January 27th.

FF: What book is farthest ahead in the St. Philip’s polls?

NR: Nothing has been tallied yet.

FF: What book do you think will win?

NR [laughs]: They’re all really good, and I’m just glad I don’t have to choose.

FF: Any final comments?

NR: The Caldecott-winning book is not necessarily the book with the prettiest pictures, it’s the book with the pictures that best tell the story.