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November was picture book month and Pine Glen students had a great time reading and sharing favorite picture books. So, it was natural to want to continue our love for the picture book by participating in our very first Mock Caldecott. The Caldecott Medal is a prestigious children’s literature award given every year to “the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children.” Participating in a Mock Caldecott is also a great way to incorporate our Love of Reading standard “Evaluates grade appropriate quality children’s literature” into the curriculum.
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We pretended to be Caldecott judges by reading picture books with strong illustrations, applying criteria, and voting for a winner. We used the same criteria that the real Caldecott judges use but we changed the language to be kid-friendly:
  • Does the illustrator have excellent artistic technique?
  • Do the illustrations help to tell the story beyond the words?
  • Does the style of the illustrations match the mood and tone of the story?
  • Is it appropriate and/or appealing to children?
Based on the Mock Caldecott lists of many wonderful school librarians that I follow on Twitter(#mockcaldecott), we chose eight nominees:

We used a chart to help us keep track of our scores.
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After weeks of reading, evaluating, judging, and scoring, Pine Glen students voted for a winner . . .

Congratulations to

Unicorn Thinks He’s Pretty Great! by Bob Shea!

(and Pine Glen students think it’s pretty great, too)
On January 22, 2014 the real ALA Youth Media Awards were announced including this year’s Caldecott Medal winner and honor books. To see all of this year’s winners, watch the quick video below.
I know what you’re thinking . . . did the students of Pine Glen pick the same book as the real Caldecott winner? You’ll have to watch the video to find out . . .