While librarians, bookstores, and illustrators awaited the naming of the 2021 Caldecott Medal this week, Springside Chestnut Hill (SCH) Academy second grade girls had a special reason to be following this news closely.
For the past few weeks, Lower School Librarian Bonnie Bloy has taken the class on a journey through each of the Caldecott A-list selections and then asked: who is your choice for the 2021 Most Distinguished American Picture Book for Children? The girls each cast their own ballots, serving as a panel of judges in their own SCH Caldecott Medal contest.
Bloy, who wanted to find a fun way to engage the girls in reading and get them excited about new books, researched online book sources to learn where there was buzz around children’s books with outstanding illustrations (released during 2020). She collected 11 titles as possible contenders and generated a digital bookshelf for the students where they could select a title from the shelf and listen to a special reading by their favorite librarian. Bloy’s engaging and dulcet reading of each selection is a true highlight as she takes the girls page by page and coaches them to think about things such as: which book’s illustrations tell the story, match the mood of the story, and pull you in to make you excited to read it?
On Monday this week (January 25), this year’s Caldecott Medal winner was revealed and went to We are Water Protectors, written by Carole Lindstrom and illustrated by Michaela Goude. One of the four runners-up, a Caldecott Honor book, went to Outside In, written by Deborah Underwood and illustrated by Cindy Derby. Bloy’s digital bookshelf contains both selections.
As for our second grade judges, their pick for the SCH Medal winner was The Barnabus Project written and illustrated by the Fan Brothers. They selected Outside In as an illustrator award honor book. The girls will write the Fan Brothers to let them know they won the SCH Caldecott Medal.
Bloy's Caldecott project is yet one more example of the creative ways that SCH teachers are engaging their students and keeping them excited about learning during COVID. Want to see a fabulous collection of children’s books and enjoy Bloy’s reading of them? Visit 2021 Caldecott contenders.
About the Caldecott Medal
The Caldecott Medal was named in honor of nineteenth-century English illustrator Randolph Caldecott. It is awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children.