A Ball for Daisy, written and illustrated by Chris Raschka, just won the 2012 Caldecott Medal! Youth Materials Specialist Betsy Bird shares her picks for 10 winners that have stood the test of time.
1942: Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey (Viking)
These ducklings don’t age (and how great is it that one of them was named Ouack?).
1943: The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton (Houghton)
A story where urbanization intrudes on the surrounding countryside? 1943 is starting to feel a whole heck of a lot like 2012.
1954: Madeline’s Rescue by Ludwig Bemelmans (Viking)
Saucy without being snarky, headstrong but never bratty, this is the ultimate Can We Get a Dog? story.
1957: A Tree Is Nice, illustrated by Marc Simont; text: Janice Udry (Harper)
Trees make for good subject matter, particularly these days when we need them more than ever.
1964: Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak (Harper)
The best picture book ever written in the English language for children? You decide.
1968: Drummer Hoff, illustrated by Ed Emberley; text: adapted by Barbara Emberley (Prentice-Hall)
Written at the height of the Vietnam War, this rhyme makes a subtle statement about armed conflicts.
1976: Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears, illustrated by Leo & Diane Dillon; text: retold by Verna Aardema (Dial)
This enjoyable folktale’s language is matched only by its stunning visuals.
1982: Jumanji by Chris Van Allsburg (Houghton)
Like an episode of The Twilight Zone for kids, you’ll never look at your board games the same way again.
1990: Lon Po Po: A Red-Riding Hood Story from China by Ed Young (Philomel)
Little Red Riding Hood gets a whole new twist in this retelling. See if you can spot the wolf hiding in the illustrations.
2000: Joseph Had a Little Overcoat by Simms Taback (Viking)
Mr. Taback left us just this past Christmas but his fabulous die-cut extravaganza lives on in hearts and minds.