Caldecott Winners Buyer’s Guide: The Best Children’s Books

Caldecott Books 1999 - Snowflake Bentley

While the covers of all Caldecott winners bear the famous gold medal, some make better birthday and holiday gifts than others. There are indeed plenty of fantastic children’s books among the Caldecott medal winners, including our personal favorites: Officer Buckle & Gloria (1996), Ox-Cart Man (1980), May I Bring A Friend (1965)Where The Wild Things Are (1964), and The Snowy Day (1963).

Our advice? Choose wisely because you (or your gift recipient) are going to be reading whichever children’s books you buy over and over again! Now that we’ve established that not all Caldecott winners are created equal, let’s get to the list.

Quick Jumps: 2010 | 2000 | 1990 | 1980 | 1970 | 1960 | 1950 | 1940

Amazon Shortcuts: Our 10 Favorites | All 81 Caldecott Winners

Caldecott Winners: The Complete List

Wolf in the Snow (2018)
by Matthew Cordell

Caldecott Books - Wolf in the Snow
Getting lost in a snowstorm is a moment for few words.

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Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat (2017)
by Javaka Steptoe

Caldecott Medal Winner 2007 - Radiant Child

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Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear (2016)
by Lindsay Mattick, Illustrated by Sophie Blackall

Caldecott Medal Winner 2016 - Finding Winnie

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The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend (2015)
by Dan Santat

Caldecott Medal Winner 2015 - The Adventures of Beekle

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Locomotive (2014)
by Brian Floca

Caldecott Medal Winner 2014 - Locomotive

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This Is Not My Hat (2013)
by John Klassen

Caldecott Winners - This Is Not My Hat
A slippery tale of two fish, one hat, and an inky black ocean.

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A Ball for Daisy (2012)
by Chris Raschka

Caldecott Winners - A Ball for Daisy
What to do when someone bigger breaks your favorite toy?

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A Sick Day for Amos McGee (2011)
by Philip C. Stead, Illustrated by Erin E. Stead

Caldecott Winner 2011 - A Sick Day for Amos McGee

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The Lion & the Mouse (2010)
by Jerry Pinkney

Caldecott Winner 2010 - The Lion and the Mouse

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The House in the Night (2009)
by Susan Marie Swanson, Illustrated by Beth Krommes

Caldecott Winner 2009 - House in the Night

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The Invention of Hugo Cabret  (2008)
by Brian Selznick

Caldecott Winner 2008 - Invention of Hugo Cabret

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Flotsam (2007)
by David Wiesner

Caldecott Winner 2007 - Flotsam

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The Hello, Goodbye Window (2006)
by Norton Juster, Illustrated by Chris Raschka

Caldecott Winners - The Hello, Goodbye Window

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Kitten’s First Full Moon (2005)
by Kevin Henkes

Caldecott Winner 2005 - Kitten's First Full Moon

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The Man Who Walked Between the Towers (2004)
by Mordicai Gerstein

Caldecott Winners 2004 - Man Who Walked Between the Towers

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My Friend Rabbit  (2003)
by Eric Rohmann

Caldecott Books 2003 - My Friend Rabbit

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The Three Pigs (2002)
by David Wiesner

Caldecott Books 2002 - The Three Pigs

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So You Want to Be President? (2001)
by Judith St. George, Illustrated by David Small

Caldecott Books 2001 - So You Want To Be President

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Joseph Had a Little Overcoat (2000)
by Simms Taback

Caldecott Books 2000 - Joseph Had A Little Overcoat

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Snowflake Bentley (1999)
by Jacqueline Briggs Martin, Illustrated by Mary Azarian

Caldecott Books 1999 - Snowflake Bentley

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Rapunzel (1998)
by Paul O. Zelinsky

Caldecott Books 1998 - Rapunzel

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Golem (1997)
by David Wisniewski

Caldecott Books 1997 - Golem

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Officer Buckle and Gloria (1996)
by Peggy Rathmann

Caldecott Books 1996 - Officer Buckle and Gloria

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Smoky Night (1995)
by Eve Bunting, Illustrated by David Diaz

Caldecott Winners 1995 - Smoky Night

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Grandfather’s Journey (1994)
by Walter Lorraine, Illustrated by Allen Say

Caldecott Winners 1994 - Grandfather's Journey

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Mirette on the High Wire (1993)
by Emily Arnold McCully

Caldecott Winners 1993 - Mirette on the High Wire

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Tuesday (1992)
by David Wiesner

Caldecott Winners 1992 - Tuesday

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Black and White (1991)
by David Macaulay

Caldecott Winners 1991 - Black and White

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Lon Po Po: A Red-Riding Hood Story from China (1990)
by Ed Young

Caldecott Winners 1990 - Lon Po Po

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Song and Dance Man (1989)
by Karen Ackerman, Illustrated by Stephen Gammell

Caldecott Winners 1989 - Song and Dance Man

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Owl Moon (1988)
by Jane Yolen, Illustrated by John Schoenherr

Caldecott Winners 1988 - Owl Moon

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Hey, Al (1987)
by Arthur Yorinks, Illustrated by Richard Egielski

Caldecott Winners 1987 - Hey Al

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The Polar Express (1986)
by Chris Van Allsburg

Caldecott Winners 1986 - The Polar Express

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Saint George and the Dragon (1985)
by Margaret Hodges, Illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman

Caldecott Winners 1985 - Saint George and the Dragon

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The Glorious Flight: Across the Channel with Louis Bleriot (1984)
by Alice & Martin Provensen

Caldecott Winners 1984 - The Glorious Flight

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Shadow (1983)
by Blaise Cendrars, Translated and illustrated by Marcia Brown

Caldecott Winners 1983 - Shadow

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Jumanji (1982)
by Chris Van Allsburg

Caldecott Winners 1982 - Jumanji

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Fables (1981)
by Arnold Lobel

Caldecott Winners 1981 - Fables

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Ox-Cart Man (1980)
by Donald Hall, Illustrated by Barbara Cooney

Caldecott Winners 1980 - Ox-Cart Man

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The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses (1979)
by Paul Goble

Caldecott Winners 1979 - The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses

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Noah’s Ark (1978)
by Peter Spier

Caldecott Books 1978 - Noah's Ark

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Ashanti to Zulu: African Traditions (1977)
by Margaret Musgrove, Illustrated by Leo & Diane Dillon

Caldecott Books 1977 - Ashanti to Zulu

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Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears (1976)
by Verna Aardema, Illustrated by Leo & Diane Dillon

Caldecott Books 1976 - Why Mosquitos Buzz in People's Ears

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Arrow to the Sun (1975)
by Gerald McDermott

Caldecott Books 1975 - Arrow to the Sun

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Duffy and the Devil (1974)
by Harve Zemach, Illustrated by Margot Zemach

Caldecott Books 1974 - Duffy and the Devil

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The Funny Little Woman (1973)
by Arlene Mosel, Illustrated by Blair Lent

Caldecott Books 1973 - The Funny Little Woman

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One Fine Day (1972)
by Nonny Hogrogian

Caldecott Winners 1972 - One Fine Day

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A Story A Story (1971)
by Gail E. Haley

Caldecott Winners 1971 - A Story A Story

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Sylvester and the Magic Pebble (1970)
by William Steig

Caldecott Books 1970 - Sylvester and the Magic Pebble

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The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship (1969)
by Arthur Ransome, Illustrated by Uri Shulevitz

Caldecott Books 1969 - The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship

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Drummer Hoff (1968)
by Barbara Emberley, Illustrated by Ed Emberley

Caldecott Books 1968 - Drummer Hoff

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Sam, Bangs & Moonshine (1967)
by Evaline Ness

Caldecott Books 1967 - Sam, Bangs, and Moonshine

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Always Room for One More (1966)
by Sorche Nic Leodhas, Illustrated by Nonny Hogrogian

Caldecott Winners 1966 - Always Room for One More

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May I Bring a Friend? (1965)
by Beatrice Schenk de Regniers, Illustrated by Beni Montresor

Caldecott Winners 1965 - May I Bring A Friend

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Where the Wild Things Are (1964)
by Maurice Sendak

Caldecott Winners 1964 - Where the Wild Things Are

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The Snowy Day (1963)
by Ezra Jack Keats

Caldecott Books 1963 - The Snowy Day

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Once a Mouse (1962)
by Marcia Brown

Caldecott Winners 1962 - Once A Mouse

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Baboushka and the Three Kings (1961)
by Ruth Robbins, Illustrated by Nicolas Sidjakov

Caldecott Books 1961 - Baboushka and the Three Kings

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Nine Days to Christmas (1960)
by Marie Hall Ets and Aurora Labastida

Caldecott Books 1960 - Nine Days to Christmas

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Chanticleer and the Fox (1959)
adapted from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales by Barbara Cooney

Caldecott Winners 1959 - Chanticleer and the Fox

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Time of Wonder (1958)
by Robert McCloskey

Caldecott Books 1958 - Time of Wonder

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A Tree Is Nice (1957)
by Janice Udry

Caldecott Books 1957 - A Tree Is Nice

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Frog Went A-Courtin’ (1956)
retold by John Langstaff, Illustrated by Feodor Rojankovsky

Caldecott Winners 1956 - Frog Went A Courtin'

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Cinderella, or the Little Glass Slipper (1955)
translated from Charles Perrault by Marcia Brown

Caldecott Books 1955 - Cinderella

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Madeline’s Rescue (1954)
by Ludwig Bemelmans

Caldecott Books 1954 - Madeline's Rescue

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The Biggest Bear (1953)
by Lynd Ward

Caldecott Books 1953 - The Biggest Bear

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Finders Keepers (1952)
by William Lipkind, Illustrated by Nicholas Mordvinoff

Caldecott Winners 1952 - Finders Keepers

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The Egg Tree (1951)
by Katherine Milhous

Caldecott Books 1951 - The Egg Tree

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Song of the Swallows (1950)
by Leo Politi

Caldecott Winners 1950 - Song of the Swallows

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The Big Snow (1949)
by Berta & Elmer Hader

Caldecott Books 1949 - The Big Snow

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White Snow, Bright Snow (1948)
by Alvin Tresselt, Illustrated by Roger Duvoisin

Caldecott Books 1948 - White Snow Bright Snow

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The Little Island (1947)
by Margaret Wise Brown, Illustrated by Leonard Weisgard

Caldecott Books 1947 - The Little Island

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The Rooster Crows (1946)
by Maud & Miska Petersham

Caldecott Books 1946 - The Rooster Crows

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Prayer for a Child (1945)
by Rachel Field, Illustrated by Elizabeth Orton Jones

Caldecott Books 1945 - Prayer for A Child

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Many Moons (1944)
by James Thurber, Illustrated by Louis Slobodkin

Caldecott Winners 1944 - Many Moons

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The Little House (1943)
by Virginia Lee Burton

Caldecott Books 1943 - The Little House

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Make Way for Ducklings (1942)
by Robert McCloskey

Caldecott Books 1942 - Make Way for Ducklings

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They Were Strong and Good (1941)
by Robert Lawson

Caldecott Books 1941 - They Were Strong and Good

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Abraham Lincoln (1940)
by Ingri & Edgar Parin d’Aulaire

Caldecott Winners 1940 - Abraham Lincoln

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Mei Li (1939)
by Thomas Handforth

Caldecott Books 1939 - Mei Li

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Animals of the Bible, A Picture Book (1938)
text adapted by Helen Dean Fish, Illustrated by Dorothy P. Lathrop

Caldecott Books 1938 - Animals of the Bible

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That’s the list! Check back next year and you’ll find one more at the top…

 

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