Every year, Librarian Sheila Geraty organizes a curricular unit with Grade 2 on the Caldecott Medal, the prestigious award that annually recognizes the preceding year’s “most distinguished American picture book for children.” After discussing the criteria for winning the award and explaining who decides and how books are judged, she gives the students a chance to be on the Mock Caldecott Committee. Second graders read, review, and analyze current Caldecott contenders, vote, and select a winner, culminating in viewing the live Caldecott Announcement, which fell on January 24 this year.

The Mock Caldecott process exposes students to what’s new in children’s literature, is an immersion into different cultures, and is a window into the diversity of the world around us. It is also invaluable in helping second graders cultivate a love of literature. 

The finalists this year were: 

  • “Have You Ever Seen a Flower?” illustrated and written by Shawn Harris 
  • “Mel Fell,” illustrated and written by Corey R. Tabor 
  • “Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre,” illustrated by Floyd Cooper, written by Carole Boston Weatherford 
  • “Watercress,” illustrated by Jason Chin and written by Andrea Wang
  • “Wonder Walkers,” illustrated and written by Micha Archer

Second graders voted for “Mel Fell” by Corey R. Tabor during their selection process. They tuned in to the Caldecott Winner live broadcast, and though their winner wasn’t selected, they were still thrilled to learn that “Watercress,” illustrated by Jason Chin and written by Andrea Wang won this prestigious award!