December 8, 2021
Vote for the best picture book of 2021 at the 14th annual Mock Caldecott
What's the best picture book of 2021? You can help decide at this year's Mock Caldecott.
The event will be held at 2-3 p.m. CST Saturday, Dec. 11, via Zoom. To register, visit tinyurl.com/chalc2021books.
Sponsored by the Children's and Adolescent Literature Community and the English department's program in children's literature in the College of Arts and Sciences and by the Manhattan Public Library, the Mock Caldecott includes a discussion of the most distinguished picture books of 2021, followed by a vote to determine this year's winner.
The American Library Association awards the Caldecott Medal to the most distinguished American picture book for children, as well as recognizing the runners-up. The medal is named for Randolph Caldecott, a 19th-century English illustrator.
"Now in its 14th year, the Mock Caldecott brings students, faculty and community members together to enjoy the best picture books published in the past year, assembling our short list from prominent reviewers at Publisher’s Weekly and librarian Betsy Bird’s blog for the School Library Journal," said Karin Westman, head of the English department and faculty advisor for the Children's and Adolescent Literature Community. "Due to the continuing health concerns of COVID-19, we are holding the event online again this year, so participants can review books asynchronously in advance and then gather via Zoom on Saturday to discuss together the short list of titles and vote."
Selected picture books will be available for review from the English department blog as of Dec. 7, with the option to vote for first-round favorites by Dec. 10. On Saturday, Dec. 11, a brief presentation at 2 p.m. will describe the history and criteria for the award, followed by discussion of the short list of titles and a vote to determine this year's winner.
Phil Nel, university distinguished professor of English, values the opportunity to enjoy the art of the picture book and gain new perspectives.
"Need a break from end-of-term stress or some inspiration for the weeks ahead? I recommend art and stories. Browse through the selected titles in advance and then, on Saturday, discuss the best picture books of the year," Nel said.
This year's contenders include "Mel Fell" by Corey R. Tabor, "Watercress" by Andrea Wang and Jason Chin, "Survivor Tree" by Aaron Becker, and "Outside, Inside" by LeUyen Pham.
"The Mock Caldecott event provides an opportunity for children's literature enthusiasts to come together and appreciate new works," said Morgan Shiver, second-year graduate student in English and co-president of the Children's and Adolescent Literature Community. I'm looking forward to wrapping up the semester with a fun discussion about the best picture books of 2021!"
Participation at the event will count for "Service to the Profession: Professional Growth" for Education majors.