I purchased an “uncorrected partial proof/cover not final” of Emily Arnold McCully’s book She Did It! 21 Women Who Changed the Way We Think. It said Caldecott Medal Winner on the cover. So a book that hadn’t yet come out or even finished proofing won the Caldecott? (See update at the end of this post.)

I looked up the ALA’s description of how the Caldecott is awarded.


  • The Medal shall be awarded annually to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children published by an American publisher in the United States in English during the preceding year. There are no limitations as to the character of the picture book except that the illustrations be original work. Honor books may be named. These shall be books that are also truly distinguished.
  • The award is restricted to artists who are citizens or residents of the United States.  Books published in a U.S. territory or U.S. commonwealth are eligible.

I still don’t get how a book that hasn’t finished proofing could win the Caldecott.

Plus the Caldecott is for a picture book. Since when is 272 pages a picture book?

Here is their definition of a picture book:

  • A “picture book for children” as distinguished from other books with illustrations, is one that essentially provides the child with a visual experience. A picture book has a collective unity of story-line, theme, or concept, developed through the series of pictures of which the book is comprised.

I learn something new every day.

Update: The Caldecott thing was still bothering me. I did some investigation. It turns out the author (and sometimes illustrator) Emily Arnold McCully won the Caldecott, though not for this book.

Books I need to purchase to read, all winners of the Caldecott:

  • 2019: Hello Lighthouse illustrated and written by Sophie Blackall (Little, Brown and Company, a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc.)
  • 2018Wolf in the Snow by Matthew Cordell (Feiwel and Friends/Macmillan)
  • 2017: Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat by Javaka Steptoe (Little, Brown and Company, a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc.)
  • 2016: Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear illustrated by Sophie Blackall, written by Lindsay Mattick (Little, Brown/Hachette)
  • 2015: The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend by Dan Santat (Little, Brown and Company, a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc.)

From ALA’s 1938-Present list of winners.

Please note that the winner of each year is for a book published the year before.