The Caldecott Medal
The Caldecott Medal is an award that is given by the Association for Library Service to Children, a part of the American Library Association. The medal is presented each year to an illustrator of children's picture books. The illustrator's art must appear in a book published in the United States.

At one time, books for children did not contain the interesting and colorful illustrations they do today. Randolph Caldecott was an illustrator in England in the 1800s. He drew the pictures for a series of children's books that were exciting to look at. The Caldecott Medal is named after him.

A man named Frederic Melcher provided the first medal. It was awarded in 1938. His family has continued to provide the medal each year.

Many wonderful picture books are published every year. It is not always easy to decide which book should get the prize. The winner is chosen by a committee of 15 people who are members of the American Library Association.

The members of the committee read each book and study the pictures carefully. They discuss the quality of the artwork. Is it interesting? Is it innovative? How does it enhance the story? This can be a long and difficult process because all of the members of the committee must, in the end, agree on only one book. However, the committee may choose books as "runners-up." These are called Honor Books.

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Randolph Caldecott was born in England on March 22, 1846. He started to draw and model animals when he was only 6 years old. His father didn't want him to be an artist. This did not stop Randolph. He drew pictures everywhere he went.

When Randolph was 15 years old, he went to work in a bank, but still drew pictures. When he was 21, he went to the Manchester School of Art.

At first he sold his drawings and cartoons to magazines and newspapers. He also drew pictures for books intended for adults. Later he created the illustrations for 16 picture books for children. Today Mr. Caldecott is best remember for this series of picture books.

Mr. Caldecott drew in pen and ink on smooth paper. The drawings were photographed onto wood. Then engravers cut the wood to get it ready for printing. Different wood blocks were cut for each color that was needed for a picture.

Mr. Caldecott's health had never been very good. He movied to the United States in hopes that a warmer climate would improve his health. Unfortunately, in 1886, when he was only 39 years old, he died from heart disease. He is buried in the Evergreen Cemetery in St. Augustine, Florida.

Many people remembered how much they enjoyed reading Mr. Caldecott's books when they were children. In 1938 the Caldecott Award was created. Each year one illustrator would receive a medal. The medal was named after Randolph Caldecott because his drawings served as a model of what children's illustrations should be.


RememberRemember... the best way to download any of the files on this page is to right click on the link, then choose "Save Target As." Now decide where on your computer you want to save the file, and then click "Save." AFTER you have saved it to your computer then double click to open the file. You must have the program that the file is made in to be able to open it. For example, if it is the Kidspiration Story Map you must have Kidspiration on your computer.
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Caldecott MedalClick here to download the Caldecott Medal Bookmark/ Label for your Literature Pockets. (PowerPoint file) In your Caldecott Literature Pocket, put a copy of all the Caldecott Award winning books. You can find a complete listing to print at the The Caldecott Medal Home Page. You should also complete the Caldecott Medal Scavenger Hunt and put your completed scavenger hunt in your Literature Pocket.
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Caldecott Links
computer computer The Caldecott Medal at Embracing the Child
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Activities and ideas from Evan-Moor Literature Pockets, Caldecott Winners Grades 4-6 (EMC2702)
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This page was last updated on .Saturday, May 31, 2003