This years winner of the Caldecott Medal for best illustrated book is "The Mouse and the Lion" by Jerry Pinkney. Amazing book! My 7 year-old asked, "So, you just have to make up your own story?" Then he 'read' the story to me.
The Caldecott Honor Book is "Red Sings From Treetops: A Year in Colors" by Joyce Sidman, Illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski. Beautiful use of words by Ms. Sidman and fun, bright illustrations by Ms. Zagarenski.
The Caldecott Medal:
"Each year the Newbery Medal is awarded by the American Library Association for the most distinguished American children's books published the previous year. However, as many persons became concerned that the artists creating picture books for children were as deserving of honor and encouragement as were the authors of children's books, Frederic G. Melcher suggested in 1937 the establishment of a second annual medal. This medal is to be given to the artist who had created the most distinguished picture book of the year and named in honor of the nineteenth-century English illustrator Randolph J. Caldecott."
Randolph Caldecott was one of a group of three influential children's illustrators working in England in the 19th century. The other two illustrators were Kate Greenaway and Walter Crane. His illustrations for children were unique to their time in both their humor, and their ability to create a sense of movement, vitality, and action that complemented the stories they accompanied.
The illustration on the Caldecott Medal, which is taken from Caldecott's illustrations for "The Diverting Story of John Gilpin," is a perfect example of the humor, vitality, and sense of movement found in Caldecott's work. The illustration shows John Gilpin astride a runaway horse, accompanied by squawking geese, braying dogs, and startled onlookers. (from the ALA site).
I will never win this prestigious award due to the fact that I draw stick figures and they aren't even in proportion.