The Caldecott Medal is awarded annually to the best illustrated children’s book of the previous year. Since young children love picture books, the list of Caldecott winners and runners-up for the medal provide great ideas for books to read aloud to preschoolers and early elementary ages.
Our favorites are marked with a *.
The Hello, Goodbye Window illustrated by Chris Raschka, written by Norton Juster–Winner!
Rosa illustrated by Bryan Collier, written by Nikki Giovanni
Zen Shorts written and illustrated by Jon J Muth
Hot Air: The (Mostly) True Story of the First Hot-Air Balloon Ride written and illustrated by Marjorie Priceman
Song of the Water Boatman and Other Pond Poems illustrated by Beckie Prange, written by Joyce Sidman
Kitten’s First Full Moon illustrated and written by Kevin Henkes–Winner!
The Red Book illustrated and written by Barbara Lehman
Coming On Home Soon illustrated by E. B. Lewis, written by Jacqueline Woodson
Knuffle Bunny illustrated and written by Mo Willems
The Man Who Walked Between The Towers illustrated and written by Mordicai Gerstein–Winner!
Ella Sarah Gets Dressed illustrated by Margaret Chodos-Irvine
What Do You Do with a Tail Like This? illustrated by Steve Jenkins, written by Robin Page
Don’t Let the Pigeon Ride the Bus! illustrated and written by Mo Willems
My Friend Rabbit illustrated and written by Eric Rohmann–Winner!
*The Spider and the Fly illustrated by Tony DiTerlizzi
Hondo & Fabian illustrated and written by Peter McCarty
Noah’s Ark illustrated and written by Jerry Pinkney
The Three Pigs by David Wiesner–Winner!
Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. illustrated by Bryan Collier
The Dinosaurs of Waterhouse Hawkins illustrated by Brian Selznick
The Stray Dog by Marc Simont
So You Want to Be President? illustrated by David Small–Winner!
Casey at the Bat illustrated by Christopher Bing
Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type illustrated by Betsy Lewin
Olivia by Ian Falconer
Joseph Had a Little Overcoat by Simms Taback–Winner!
Sector 7 by David Wiesner
The Ugly Duckling illustrated by Jerry Pinkney
A Child’s Calendar illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman
When Sophie Gets Angry–Really, Really Angry… by Molly Garrett Bang
*Snowflake Bentley illustrated by Mary Azarian–Winner!
No, David! by David Shannon
Snow by Uri Shulevitz
Tibet: Through the Red Box by Peter Sís
Duke Ellington: The Piano Prince and His Orchestra by Andrea Davis Pinkney, illustrated by Brian Pinkney
Officer Buckle and Gloria by Peggy Rathmann–Winner!
Tops and Bottoms by Janet Stevens
Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin by Lloyd Moss
Alphabet City by Stephen T. Johnson
The Faithful Friend by Robert San Souci
Grandfather’s Journey by Allen Say–Winner!
Peppe the Lamplighter by Elisa Bartone and Ted Lewin
In the Small, Small Pond by Denise Fleming
Owen by Kevin Henkes
Raven by Gerald McDermott
Yo! Yes? by Chris Raschka
Mirette on the High Wire by Emily McCully–Winner!
Working Cotton by Sherley Anne Williams and Carole Byard
Seven Blind Mice by Ed Young
Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith
Lon Po Po by Ed Young (translator)–Winner!
Bill Peet: An Autobiography by Bill Peet
Color Zoo by Lois Ehlert
Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins by Eric Kimmel and Trina Schart Hyman
The Talking Eggs by Robert D. San Souci and Jerry Pinkney
*Song & Dance Man by Stephen Gammell (text by Karen Ackerman)–Winner!
The Boy of the Three-Year Nap by Dianne Snyder and Allen Say
Free Fall by David Wiesner
Goldilocks and the Three Bears by James Marshall
Mirandy and Brother Wind by Patricia C. McKissack and Jerry Pinkney
*Saint George and the Dragon by Margaret Hodges and Trina S. Hyman–Winner!
Hansel and Gretel by Rika Lesser and Paul O. Zelinsky
*Have You Seen My Duckling? by Nancy Tafuri
The Story of Jumping Mouse by John Steptoe
*Jumanji by Chris Van Allsburg–Winner!
On Market Street by Arnold Lobel
Outside Over There by Maurice Sendak
A Visit to William Blake’s Inn: Poems for Innocent and Experienced Travelers by Nancy Willard, Alice Provensen, and Martin Provensen
Where the Buffaloes Begin by Olaf Baker and Stephen Gammell
*Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears: A West African Tale by Verna Aardema, Leo Dillon, and Diane Dillon (illustrator)–Winner!
The Desert Is Theirs by Byrd Baylor and Peter Parnall
Strega Nona by Tomie de Paola
The Funny Little Woman by Arlene Mosel and Blair Lent (illustrator)–Winner!
Anansi the Spider by Gerald McDermott
Hosie’s Alphabet by Leonard Baskin
Snow-White and the Seven Dwarfs by Nancy Eckholm Burkert (illustrator)
When Clay Sings by Byrd Baylor and Tom Bahti
*One Fine Day by Nonny Hogrogian–Winner!
Hildilid’s Night by Cheli Durán Ryan and Arnold Lobel
If All the Seas Were One Sea by Janina Domanska
Moja Means One by Muriel Feelings and Tom Feelings
A Story, a Story: An African Tale by Gail E. Haley–Winner!
The Angry Moon by William Sleator and Blair Lent
*Frog and Toad Are Friends by Arnold Lobel
In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak
*Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig–Winner!
Alexander and the Wind-up Mouse by Leo Lionni
Goggles by Ezra Jack Keats
The Judge by Harve Zemach and Margot Zemach
Pop Corn & Ma Goodness by Edna Mitchell Preston and Robert Andrew Parker
*Thy Friend, Obadiah by Brinton Turkle
May I Bring a Friend? by Beatrice Schenk De Regniers–Winner!
A Pocketful of Cricket by Rebecca Caudill and Ed Young
Rain Makes Applesauce by Julian Scheer and Marvin Bileck
The Wave by Margaret Hodges and Blair Lent
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak–Winner!
All in the Morning Early by Sorche Nic Leodhas and Evaline Ness
Mother Goose & Nursery Rhymes by Phillip Reed (illustrator)
Swimmy by Leo Lionni
Once a Mouse by Marcia Brown–Winner!
The Day We Saw the Sun Come Up by Alice E. Goudey and Adrienne Adams
*The Fox Went Out on a Chilly Night by Peter Spier (illustrator)
*Little Bear’s Visit by Else Holmelund Minarik and Maurice Sendak
*Chanticleer and the Fox by Geoffrey Chaucer and Barbara Cooney–Winner!
The House That Jack Built by Antonio Frasconi
Umbrella by Taro Yashima
What Do You Say, Dear? by Sesyle Joslin and Maurice Sendak
*Tree Is Nice by Janice May Udry and Marc Simont (illustrator)–Winner!
Anatole by Eve Titus and Paul Galdone
Gillespie and the Guards by Benjamin Elkin and James Daugherty
Lion by William Péne du Bois
Mr. Penny’s Race Horse by Marie Hall Ets
1 Is One by Tasha Tudor
Cinderella by Charles Perrault and Marcia Brown (illustrator)–Winner!
Book of Nursery and Mother Goose Rhymes by Marguerite de Angeli (illustrator)
*The Thanksgiving Story by Alice Dalgliesh and Helen Sewell
Wheel on the Chimney by Margaret Wise Brown and Tibor Gergely
Madeline’s Rescue by Ludwig Bemelmans –Winner!
A Very Special House by Ruth Krauss and Maurice Sendak
Green Eyes by A. Birnbaum
Journey Cake, Ho! by Ruth Sawyer and Robert McCloskey
The Steadfast Tin Soldier by Hans Christian Andersen and Marcia Brown
When Will the World Be Mine? by Miriam Schlein and Jean Charlot
*The Biggest Bear by Lynd Kendall Ward–Winner!
Ape in a Cape by Fritz Eichenberg
*Five Little Monkeys by Juliet Kepes
*One Morning in Maine by Robert McCloskey
*Puss in Boots by Charles Perrault and Marcia Brown
The Storm Book by Charlotte Zolotow and Margaret Bloy Graham
Finders Keepers by William Lipkind, Nicolas Mordvinoff, and Nicolas Will–Winner!
All Falling Down by Gene Zion and Margaret Bloy Graham
Bear Party by William Péne du Bois
Feather Mountain by Elizabeth Olds
Mr. T.W. Anthony Woo by Marie Hall Ets
Skipper John’s Cook by Marcia Brown
Egg Tree by Katherine Milhous–Winner!
Dick Whittington and His Cat by Marcia Brown
*If I Ran the Zoo by Dr. Seuss
The Most Wonderful Doll in the World by Phyllis McGinley and Helen Stone (illustrator)
T-Bone, the Baby Sitter by Clare Newberry
The Two Reds by William Lipkind and Nicholas Mordvinoff
*Song of the Swallows by Leo Politi–Winner!
Ethan Allen by Stewart Holbrook and Lynd Ward
Bartholomew and the Oobleck by Dr. Seuss
The Happy Day by Ruth Krauss and Marc Simont
Henry Fisherman by Marcia Brown
The Wild Birthday Cake by Lavinia Davis and Hildegard Woodward
The Big Snow by Berta Hader and Elmer Hader–Winner!
All Around the Town by Phyllis McGinley and Helen Stone
*Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey
Fish in the Air by Kurt Wiese
Juanita by Leo Politi
*White Snow, Bright Snow by Alvin Tresselt and Roger Duvoisin (illustrator)–Winner!
Bambino the Clown by George S. Schreiber
McElligot’s Pool by Dr. Seuss
Roger and the Fox by Lavinia Davis and Hildegard Woodward
Song of Robin Hood by Anne Malcolmson and Virginia Lee Burton (editor)
*Stone Soup by Marcia Brown
The Little Island by Golden MacDonald and Leonard Weisgard (illustrator)–Winner!
Boats on the River by Marjorie Flack and Jay Hyde Barnum (illustrator)
Pedro, the Angel of Olvera Street by Leo Politi
Rain Drop Splash by Alvin Tresselt and Leonard Weisgard (editor)
Sing in Praise: A Collection of the Best Loved Hymns by Opal Wheeler and Marjorie Torrey
Timothy Turtle by Al Graham and Tony Palazzo
Rooster Crows by Miska Petersham and Maud Petersham–Winner!
Little Lost Lamb by Golden MacDonald and Leonard Weisgard (illustrator)
My Mother Is the Most Beautiful Woman in the World by Becky Reyher and Ruth C. Gannett
Sing Mother Goose by Opal Wheeler and Marjorie Torrey
You Can Write Chinese by Kurt Wiese
*Prayer for a Child by Rachel L. Field and Elizabeth Orton Jones–Winner!
The Christmas Anna Angel by Ruth Sawyer and Kate Seredy
In the Forest by Marie Hall Ets
Mother Goose by Tasha Tudor (illustrator)
*Yonie Wondernose by Marguerite de Angeli, Maud Petersham, and Miska Petersham
Many Moons by James Thurber and Louis Slobodkin (illustrator)–Winner!
A Child’s Good Night Book by Margaret Wise Brown and Jean Charlot
Good Luck Horse by Chin-Yi Chan and Plato Chan
The Mighty Hunter by Berta Hader and Elmer Hader
Pierre Pigeon by Lee Kingman and Arnold E. Bare
Small Rain: Verses from the Bible by Jessie Orton Jones and Elizabeth Orton Jones
*Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey–Winner!
An American ABC by Maud Petersham and Miska Petersham
In My Mother’s House by Ann Nolan Clark and Velino Herrera (illustrator)
Nothing at All by Wanda Gág
*Paddle-to-the-Sea by Holling C. Holling
*Abraham Lincoln by Ingri D’Aulaire and Edgar Parin D’Aulaire (illustrator)–Winner!
The Ageless Story by Lauren Ford
Cock-A-Doodle Doo by Berta Hader and Elmer Hader
*Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans
Mei Li by Thomas Handforth–Winner!
*Andy and the Lion by James Daugherty
Barkis by Clare Newberry
The Forest Pool by Laura Adams Armer
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs by Wanda Gág
Wee Gillis by Munro Leaf and Robert Lawson