The Caldecott Medal is awarded by a division of the American Library Association (ALA) to the artist of the best American picture book for children. The award is named after Randolph J. Caldecott, a nineteenth-century English illustrator. Caldecott was unique in his time and known for his illustrations that incorporated humor and movement. According to the ALA, the Caldecott Medal,
"shall be awarded to the artist of the most distinguished American Picture Book for Children published in the United States during the preceding year. The award shall go to the artist, who must be a citizen or resident of the United States, whether or not he be the author of the text. Members of the Newbery Medal Committee will serve as judges. If a book of the year is nominated for both the Newbery and Caldecott Awards the committee shall decide under which heading it shall be voted upon, so that the same title shall not be considered on both ballots."
The 2013 Caldecott Medal was awarded to Jon Klassen for the book, This is Not My Hat, about a small fish who steals a hat from a larger fish. The 2013 Caldecott Honor Books include:
- Creepy Carrots!, illustrated by Peter Brown
- Extra Yarn, illustrated by Jon Klassen
- Green, illustrated and written by Laura Vaccaro Seeger
- One Cool Friend, illustrated by David Small
- Sleep Like a Tiger, illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski
This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Caldecott Medal and the Association of Library Service to Children has numerous events planned for 2013. The ALA has two Caldecott events planned for the 2013 Annual Conference in Chicago. The ALA is also offering a number of continuing education opportunities focused on the Caldecott Medal. The ALA will also offer an online course entitled "The Caldecott Medal: Understanding Distinguished Art in Picture Books" in 2013. Two Caldecott Medal webinars have already taken place and the archives for the Caldecott Uncovered: What You’ve Always Wanted to Know About the Caldecott Medal and The Fine Art of Children's Book Illustration events are available online. The following webinars are upcoming in 2013:
- Expanding the Caldecott Experience: Programming with Caldecott Winning and Honor Books (February 20 and April 9)
- Get to Know the Caldecott Winners (March 12 and May 16)
The Caldecott Medal was created as a compliment to the annual Newberry Awards for outstanding children's authors. The ALA provides a list of all Caldecott Medal winners from 1938 to the present. The announcement of the 2013 Caldecott Medal winner is a great excuse to visit your local library and check out This is Not My Hat as well as the past winners of the Caldecott Medal.
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