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Caldecott Award Criteria

  1. In identifying a distinguished picture book for children committee members need to consider:
    • Excellence of execution in the artistic technique employed.
    • Excellence of pictorial interpretation of story, theme, or concept; of appropriateness of style of illustration to the story, theme, or concept; of delineation of plot, theme, characters, setting, mood, or information through the pictures.
    • excellence of presentation in recognition of a child audience.

  2. The only limitation to graphic form is that the form must be one which may be used in a picture book. The book must be a self-contained entity, not dependent on other media (i.e., sound, film or computer program) for its enjoyment.

  3. Each book is to be considered as a picture book. The committee is to make its decision primarily on the illustrations, but other components of a book are to be considered especially when they make a book less effective as a children's picture book. Such other components might include the written text, the overall design of the book, etc.

Note: The committee should keep in mind that the award is for distinguished illustrations in a picture book and for excellence of pictorial presentation for children. The award is not for didactic intent or for popularity.

The preceding is adapted from the official Caldecott terms and criteria from ALSC.

Comments and suggestions can be sent to Mary R. Voors, Manager, Children's Services at mvoors@acpl.lib.in.us.

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