Caldecott Medal 2022 Predictions

The 2022 Caldecott Medal award winner will be announced in just a few weeks, which means it’s time for my predictions on which book will take home the top prize and who will be runner-up.

The ALA awards will be given out sometime in mid-January. Members of the Caldecott committee work hard all year to choose the book they think is deserving of this distinguished award. Members of the committee read thousands of picture books throughout the year. Then they must narrow their choices down to 7 titles each. Once they have this much smaller list, they spend hours debating about which book should receive the top honor. Every year I always come up with my own list of titles that I believe will be contenders. This year I have come up with 15 books that I believe should be on the list (although I have not read nearly as many as the committee members do). Read my top 15 list below. The titles are in no particular order. At the end of the post, I will list my top 3 contenders for the Caldecott Medal. Be sure to check out my other Caldecott blog posts as well!

Bright Star by Yuyi Morales

With the combination of powerful, spare language and sumptuous, complex imagery characteristic of her work, Yuyi Morales weaves the tale of a fawn making her way through a landscape that is dangerous, beautiful—and full of potential. A gentle voice urges her onward, to face her fears and challenge the obstacles that seek to hold her back.

Inside Cat by Brendan Wenzel

Told in rhyming text, Inside Cat views the world through many windows, watching the birds, squirrels, and people go by–but when the door opens it discovers a whole new view.

Jump at the Sun : the True Life Tale of Unstoppable Storycatcher Zora Neale Hurston by Alicia Williams and illustrated by Jacqueline Alacantara

A shimmering picture book that shines the light on Zora Neale Hurston, the extraordinary writer and storycatcher extraordinaire who changed the face of American literature.

King of Ragtime: the Story of Scott Joplin by Stephen Constanza

A stunning, rhythmic picture book biography of African American composer Scott Joplin, whose ragtime music paved the way for jazz.

Mel Fell by Corey R. Tabor

A charming and innovative tale about a plucky little bird, from the award-winning author-illustrator of Fox the Tiger. Readers will delight in turning their book sideways and upside down to follow Mel on her journey from downward fall to triumphant flight in this tale of self-confidence and taking a leap of faith.

Milo Imagines the World by Matt de la Pena and illustrated by Christian Robinson

While Milo and his sister travel to a detention center to visit their incarcerated mother, he observes strangers on the subway and draws what he imagines their lives to be.

My First Day by By Phung Nguyen Quang and Huynh Kim Lien

The raining season has come to the Mekong Delta, and An, a young Vietnamese boy, sets out alone in a wooden boat. On the way, he is confronted by giant crested waves, heavy rainfall and an eerie forest where fear takes hold of him. Although daunted by the dark unknown, An realizes that he is not alone and continues to paddle. He knows it will all be worth it when he reaches his destination.

Outside, Inside by LeUyen Pham

a moving picture book celebrating essential workers and the community coming together to face the challenges of the global COVID-19 pandemic. Something strange happened on an unremarkable day just before the season changed. Everybody who was outside . . . . . . went inside. Outside, it was quieter, wilder, and different. Inside, we laughed, we cried, and we grew. We remembered to protect the ones we love and love the ones who protect us. While the world changed outside, we became stronger on the inside and believed that someday soon spring would come again.

Strollercoaster by Matt Ringler and illustrated by Raul the Third

A quick-thinking father thwarts his daughter’s impending temper tantrum when he transforms an everyday walk outside into an exciting strollercoaster ride through the neighborhood.

Unbound: the Life + Art of Judith Scott by Joyce Scott and illustrated by Melissa Sweet

In this inspiring picture book biography, readers will meet Judith Scott, who, despite her perceived disabilities, became an artist of renown, having her work displayed in museums and galleries around the world.

Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre by Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrated by Floyd Cooper

A powerful look at the 1921 Tulsa race massacre, one of the worst incidents of racial violence in United States history.

Watercress by Andrea Wang and illustrated by Jason Chin

Embarrassed about gathering watercress from a roadside ditch, a girl learns to appreciate her Chinese heritage after learning why the plant is so important to her parents.

We Shall Overcome by Bryan Collier

Following in the footsteps of one young girl, Bryan Collier traverses between historic civil rights monuments and contemporary political protests happening today.

Wishes by Muon Van and illustrated by Victo Ngai

In this spare, poetic picture book based on author Muon Van’s family history and told through a series of wishes, a family packs up everything they own and embarks on a perilous oceanic voyage toward a better life.

Wonder Walkers by Micha Archer

Two curious children go for a walk, asking imaginative questions about the natural beauty that surrounds them.

My Top 3 Caldecott Medal Predictions for 2022

  1. Bright Star by Yuyi Morales
  2. Milo Imagines the World by Matt de la Pena
  3. King of Ragtime: the Story of Scott Joplin by Stephen Costanza

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