Caldecott or Caldecott Honor winning Books

A Caldecott Honor Book 2015

Nana in the City



A young boy goes on a trip to visit his Nana in a large city.  When the boy is frightened by the sights and sounds of the city, he decides that is no place for his Nana to live.  Nana, who loves the city, gives her grandson a cape that will make him brave, and they venture back out.  With his brave cape on, the young boy sees not only the city, but his Nana, in a new way.


What reader would like this book?

Parents would find this to be useful story for a child that might be going to visit a grandparent alone for the first time or just visiting a large city for the first time.  Castillo recognizes how many young children might feel scared and overwhelmed about a larger city and she offers a way for children to see things in a new way.  This is a sweet exchange between a grandmother and grandson and would make an excellent gift for grandparents that live out of town.


Castillo, L. (2014) Nana in the city. New York: Clarion Books / Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.


Book Reading:

Learn more about the author


The Noisy Paint Box: The Colors and Sounds of Kandinsky’s Abstract Art



Vasya was a young boy who was raised in a very traditional and structured setting.  Things seemed colorless and monotonous until he received his first box of paints.  Vasya heard music when he viewed the colors and took to painting.  Unfortunately, other did not see what Vasya saw in his music and had him learn traditional techniques.  When Vasya grew older the colors began to sing to him once more.


What reader would like this book?

Any child that gets lost in their drawing, sketching, or painting would be able to identify with Vasya.  The illustrations are rich and powerful and will draw children in to the story.  Parents could use this book to help their children understand how art is a form of expression and could then take them to show them Kandinsky’s works.  The book also teaches the lesson to not let go of your passion and that it is okay if your perception is not the same as others.

Rosenstock, B. and Grandpre, M. (2014) The noisy paint box: the colors and sounds of Kandinsky’s abstract art. First Edition edn. New York, USA: Random House Children’s Books.


Read aloud


Samples of Kandinsky’s art:


Sam & Dave Dig a Hole



Sam and Dave set out on an adventure to dig to find something spectacular.  When things do not go originally as planned, they decide to dig in different directions.  Sam and Dave take naps, drink chocolate milk, and eat cookies to keep themselves going.  Sam and Dave will not give up until they find the something spectacular they were looking for.


What reader would like this book?

Children will admire Sam and Dave’s determination to find something and to not give up until they do.  This book entertains a child’s natural sense of discovery and curiosity.  Children will find the series of Sam and Dave’s near-misses suspenseful and comical.  They will be able to identify with the two diggers since they have some of same traits that most children do, like eating cookies and drinking chocolate milk.  This would be a good book for parents to have their children make predictions whether Sam and Dave will be successful and what will happen next.


Barnett, M. (2014) Sam and Dave dig a hole. First Edn. Sudbury, MA, United States: Candlewick Press (MA).


Book Activity

Learn more about the author:


A Caldecott Honor Book 2013




Everyone and everything is busy on a hot night in New York City.  And then the lights went out and the city experienced a blackout.  The normal reaction was one of frustration until a child has a different idea.  After it becomes too hard to gather around the flashlights, the child and his family head to the rooftop only to find that others have the same idea.  Soon the family and the community are interacting with each other.


What reader would like this book?

Families that are looking for a way to reconnect might be inspired by this book.  The author creates a clear message that families have become too entangled with technology and chores.  The book suggests that families should put these things away because they lose sight of the things around them.  This book will speak to those who want to get back to appreciating simpler things and spending quality time with family.


Rocco, J. (2011) Blackout. First Edition. New York: Hyperion Books for Children.


Blackout book trailer:


A Caldecott Honor Book 2011

Interrupting Chicken



Papa Chicken is trying to read Chicken a bedtime story. Unfortunately, every time Papa gets the story started, Chicken interrupts.  Papa reminds Chicken to not interrupt, but to no avail.  Chicken is just too excited to share what she knows and just too excited to go to bed!  Papa finally suggests that Chicken tell a bedtime story and someone finally goes to sleep.


What reader would like this book?

This book would be useful to primary teachers and for children that tend to have the habit of interrupting.  The story is told in a light-hearted manner and Stein makes Papa be patient with Chicken.  The author has the father-figure use patience with his child and allows the child direct his energy and knowledge in to creating an original story.  This book teaches a lesson to both the adult and the child.


Stein, D.E. (2011) Interrupting chicken. First Edition. Somerville, MA: Candlewick Press, U.S.


Read aloud:

Interrupting management tool:


A Caldecott Honor Book 2001




Olivia is a small pig with immeasurable energy and creativity.  She lives with her family and her pets.  Olivia enjoys all things in life.  Except sleeping.  From visiting the beach and the art museum, Olivia is an adventurous and curious pig.  Olivia is good at a lot of things.  She likes to sing, dance, and do art.  Sometimes, Olivia is good at getting into trouble, too.  Olivia is a little pig that is larger than life.


What reader would like this book?

Falconer captures the energy and experiences of many young children.  He explores the practical day-to-day experiences of a young child while honoring the free spirit in that is in all of us.  The author shows children that even a little pig can have grand adventures and can be carefree with their imagination.  This book also appeals to parents because they will be able to connect some pieces of this complex character to their own children.

Falconer, I. (2004). Olivia. New York: Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing.


Book Trailer You can also subscribe to the OLIVIA channel for other adventures.

Olivia Activity:


A Caldecott Honor Book 1999

No, David!



David is a young boy who hears the phrase, “No, David!” quite often.  David is mischievous, adventurous, and free-spirited.  Theis combination of characteristics often leads David into trouble.  David does not get to hear the word “yes” very often, but when he does, it means more than all of the “no’s” put together.


What reader would like this book?

This is a book that would match well with a child or adult who got told “no” often.  Parents could share this with their child to show them that in the end, after all the consequences and corrected behavior, they love their children.  Shannon combines his story with illustrations that are comical and more powerful than the writing itself.  This would be a good book for parents to share after a time-out session or just show children they are loved.


Shannon, D. (2003) No, David! New York: Blue Sky Press.


A video about the author:


A Caldecott Honor Book 1993

The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales



A re-telling of fairy tales, but not in the classic sense.  Traditional fairy tales have been given a twist and often the stories have been changed completely.  Jack from Jack and the Beanstalk is the narrator.  The table of contents falls on a character.  Jack even tries to end the book early so the giant cannot tell his story.  Truly a collection of “fairly” tales.


What reader would like this book?

Third through fifth grade students would enjoy this book.  They will remember the traditional stories and make connections to them.  They will find the silliness of the alternate stories amusing.  Many parents will enjoy this book because it could have been read to them, and if not, they will be just as amused as their children.  A great novel to read for bedtime.


Scieszka, J. and Smith, L. (1992) The stinky cheese man and other fairly stupid tales. New York, NY: Viking Children’s Books.

A Weebly page with lessons for a 3rd grade classroom


A Caldecott Honor Book 1962

Little Bear’s Visit



Little Bear enjoys being able to visit his grandparents.  Father Bear cautions Little Bear not to make Grandfather Bear too tired.  Little Bear and Grandfather Bear have an energetic afternoon.  After Grandfather dozes off, Grandmother Bear tells a story about Little Bear’s mother and a baby robin she found and raised as a cub.  Grandfather Bear awakens and tell Little Bear a story about a little goblin.  Now it is Little Bear’s turn to be sleepy as his parents come to take him home.

What reader would like this book?

For children that are being introduced to reading, Little Bear is an excellent choice.  The dialogue is simple, but purposeful.  The stories are lessons in character, but still entertaining.  Little Bear has a strong family and set of friends that support him in his discoveries.  Little Bear is a peaceful and calming reading experience.


Minarik, H., Sendak, M. and Minarik, E.H. (2003) The little bear treasury: Little bear; little bear’s friend; little bear’s visit. New York: HarperCollins Publishers.


Read aloud:

The Little Bear Movie:


A Caldecott Honor Book 1941




Madeline is a little girl who lives in Paris with 11 other little girls and Miss Clavel.  The girls are regimented in all their activities.  Madeline might be the smallest, but she makes up for that in her grand adventures.  Her first adventure is not feeling well and being rushed to the hospital to have her appendix removed.  Even though Madeline is in the hospital, her adventures continues with visits and visions of rabbits.


What reader would like this book?

The illustrations of famous landmarks and other scenery of Paris are part of what makes this book timeless.  Children will be transported to a world different than the one around them, but will be able to relate to Madeline and her antics.  This would also be a great read for a child that likes adventure and who might be having a medical procedure like an appendectomy or tonsillectomy. The rhyme scheme in the book keeps the mood light-hearted and would be a challenging read for emerging readers.


Bemelmans, L. (2001) Madeline. New York: Penguin Group (USA).


Other books about Madeline:


Madeline’s Rescue– Winner of the 1954 Caldecott Medal

Madeline and the Bad Hat 

Madeline in London 

Madeline and the Gypsies 

Madeline’s Christmas 

Madeline’s first episode


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