Caldecott Award Criteria

Hey there!

Click below to watch Picture Book Summit's new video. Author Emma Walton Hamilton discusses the criteria considered by a committee as they choose each winner for the Caldecott Award. Or read below since I took notes. You're welcome.

Caldecott Award Criteria:

  • Picture book provides a child with visual experience.
  • Pictures have a collected unity of storyline, theme, and concept throughout the book.
  • Children are the intended audience.
  • "Children" are considered are persons of age up to, and including, 14 years old. Picture books for the entire age range are considered.
  • Must demonstrate respect for children's appreciation, understanding, and abilities.
  • Marked by eminence and distinction, noticed for excellence achievement, and is individually distinct.
  • Illustrations are created by that artist and nobody else.
  • Art has not been previously published anywhere else or in any other form and is unique to the book only.
  • Must consider: excellence of execution in artistic technique, pictorial interpretation of story, theme or concept, appropriateness of style to illustration theme or concept, the lineation of plot, theme, characters, scene, mood, or information through pictures, and recognition of children as an audience.
  • The committee primarily focuses on illustration but the entire book is to be considered. Design and writing matter.
  • The award is not for didactic intent or popularity.

Holiday Writing Contest: Little Blue's Christmas

Hey gang! So, I've decided to enter .....



As the link above explains, this is a Children's Story Writing Contest about a Holiday Hero of any kind. The 250 word-count limit was HARD but I made it. Please enjoy my submission below :). Merry Christmas my lovelies!

P.S. In your opinion, who is the hero in this story?


Holding Little Blue Bird’s hand, Miss Mole knocked on the Fox Family den.

“Little Blue needs a place to stay.”

Mama looked at Papa. Papa looked at Blue.

“She may stay.”

They ate together, played together, and slept together in the cozy warm den.

But when the foxes went fishing, Blue pecked for seeds. When the foxes played wrestle, Blue kept her distance. When the foxes slept in a pile, Blue slept on a rock.

Blue still felt alone. But …

… she didn’t know that Little Red Fox had been watching her.

What is the perfect Christmas gift for Blue? Red wondered. I know! A delicious salmon to eat.

On Christmas Eve, Red left to find the perfect salmon.


“HELP!” cried Red.

Inside the den, Blue’s ears perked. “Red?”


Blue followed the cries until she found Red struggling in icy river water and pulled him to safety.

“Red are you okay?!”

Shivering, Little Red spit a juicy salmon onto the snow. “I g-g-got you a s-s-salmon! It’s your C-C-Christmas present!”

“Oh. Thanks, Red! But, I don’t eat fish. Know what I really want for Christmas?”

“What Blue?”

“A friend.”

“Blue! You ARE my friend. More than that, you are family!” Red picked up Blue and hugged her tight.

On Christmas day, Red helped Blue find the best seeds, Blue helped Red catch the best fish, and they played thumb wrestles til bedtime.

That night, Miss Mole and a small lonely lizard approached the Fox Family den...

Video Interview

Nate (author of "Nelly Bug") and Aubrey Stout run an art class for kiddos and asked if I would do a quick interview and answer some questions as a guest artist.  I told Aubrey to send the questions, and I'd make a video out of it! Enjoy!

  • First half - Answering questions (fav color, fav medium, what I liked to draw as a kid, etc).
  • Second half - "How to draw" tutorial using basic shapes.
  • Last 50 seconds - speed painting of Gus.

WIFYR 2018

I finally returned to the greatest writing conference on this side of the U.S. for the second time (my first was 2012) with a new story ready to critique! My first book was published because of WIFYR, so I knew this was a worthwhile investment. I took pages of notes, made great friends, and received terrific feedback during my new story's 20-minute in-class critique.

So what is WIFYR? 
(Writers and Illustrators For Young Readers)

You Should You Should: Christmas Special

Looks like my children's book hard back edition is coming to an end. You Should You Should is moving to it's 3rd print (yay!) but in soft back (boo). There is a LIMITED amount of nice hard bound copies left. I've purchased them all, and I'd be honored to sign these last copies to you.  The original price is $16.95, but I'm running a Christmas special!
Signed copy - $12.95 each
Signed copy w/ a custom doodle inside (you can request what I draw) - $15.95 each
*If you buy 5 or more copies I will knock $2 off each book!
Prices above do not include shipping. I will inform you how much shipping cost after I ship your books!
Want to read it before you buy it? You can do that here --> (don't buy it there, just read it)
Note: I will be traveling in the coming weeks, and I'm also still waiting for these books to arrive in the mail (I don't have them all quite yet). So if you need your books asap, please let me know in the order form and I will work with you! Your patience will be appreciated. 
Facebook message me or email me ( with any questions! Merry Christmas!