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.