We teach our kids not to judge books by their covers, which is a solid life lesson—unless, of course, we’re talking about actual picture books. In that case, you can make a pretty good argument in favor of any book adorned with a Caldecott Medal on its front. That shiny circle means that the book has been selected as one of the year’s esteemed Caldecott Winners by the American Library Association (ALA).
Caldecott winners and honorees represent the most distinguished American children’s picture books in a given year. This year’s Caldecott Medal went to Wolf in the Snow. It’s a stunningly illustrated nearly wordless story by Matthew Cordell that tips its hat to classic tales like Little Red Riding Hood. The ALA also named four 2018 Caldecott Honor Books: Big Cat, Little Cat by Elisha Cooper, Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut illustrated by Gordon C. James and written by Derrick Barnes, A Different Pond illustrated by Thi Bui and written by Bao Phi, and Grand Canyon by Jason Chin.
Meanwhile, Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly claimed the 2018 Newbery Award (Newbery winners represent the most outstanding children’s literature—full stop). And the 2018 Newbery Honor Books were Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut illustrated by Gordon C. James and written by Derrick Barnes, Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds, and Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson.
Of course, these standout 2018 Caldecott and Newbery Award winners only scratch the surface when it comes to the best books for kids. Before you head to your local library in search of your child’s new favorite picture book, you’ll want to check out all the Caldecott winners from the past 18 years.
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