International Children’s Book Day

April 2, 2015

By Tab Byrum

Today is International Children’s Book Day, a day set aside to celebrate and inspire reading in children and of children’s books.  The day is always celebrated on or around April 2nd which is Hans Christian Anderson’s birthday.  Today we are going to take a look at several children’s books that have won the Caldecott Medal, an award given for “the most distinguished American picture book for children”.


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Randolph Caldecott was a British author and illustrator who had great influence over illustrated children’s books in the 19th Century, the Caldecott Medal has been presented every year since 1938 to one winner along with a list of honor books that were nominated.  Many of these books are ones I remember from my childhood, anyone else remember being read to by Captain Kangaroo before heading off to school,  I’ve always looked forward to finding out who was nominated and named the winner.  Let’s have a look at 77 years of illustrated children’s literature, Enjoy!!!

1938 Animals Of The Bible



This book takes a look at animals in the Bible from the story of Creation, Noah’s Ark to the animals present at the birth in the stable. 

1940 Abraham Lincoln



This beautifully written and illustrated book follows the life of our 16th President from his humble beginnings in Kentucky to becoming President of the United States of America. 

1942 Make Way For Ducklings



This wonderful book chronicles the journey of Mrs. Mallard and her ducklings as they travel across Boston to their new home, it takes an entire city to get this family to their final destination.  Loved it then and still love it now. 

1949 The Big Snow



We see the forest animals as they prepare for The Big Snow, wonderful words and pictures by the Haders. 

1953 The Biggest Bear



What happens when you bring home a cute little bear cub?  Well, it grows into The Biggest Bear of course, the story of Johnny Orchard and his pet bear is GREAT!!!

1955 Cinderella, or The Little Glass Slipper



The classic tale of Cinderella translated by Marcia Brown, the illustrations for this book are some of my favorites. 

1963 The Snowy Day



I remember Captain Kangaroo reading this book one morning on his show and have loved it ever since.  The story of a little boy and his adventures in the year’s first snowfall. 

1964 Where The Wild Things Are



This book by Maurice Sendak needs no introduction, the story of a boy and his adventures in the land of Wild Things. 

1982 Jumanji



What happens when Peter and Judy find a game and start to play it?  Jumanji is a wonderful adventure that you really don’t want to end, in 1996 it was made into a movie starring Robin Williams that’s equally as good. 

1986 The Polar Express



Author Chris Van Allsburg struck gold a second time with The Polar Express, the story of a magical train that transports children to the land of Santa Claus and the magical gift one little boy receives. 

1994 Grandfather’s Journey



Described as historically relevant and emotionally engaging, Grandfather’s Journey tells the story of man leaving one place bound for another and wanting to be in both. 

2008 The Invention of Hugo Cabret



The book that inspired the movie Hugo, the story of a boy and his adventures living in a Paris train station. 

2015  The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend



The story of Beekle the imaginary friend and his journey to find someone to befriend since he seems to keep being overlooked. 

Unless otherwise noted, all images are courtesy of the American Library Association.

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