I am currently introducing my first grade library classes to the Caldecott award, given annually by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association, to “the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children.” I was hoping to find some introductory material online to use with the students to explain the background, purpose, and criteria for the award. After all, we’ve been teaching kids about Caldecott books ever since the award was first given in 1938; surely there are some 21st century resources on the Internet somewhere!
Unfortunately, a preliminary search turned up a surprisingly small list of useful sites. There is no shortage of lists of books that have been awarded the medal, which seems utterly redundant since they are all listed at the official Caldecott site. You can also find tons of lesson plans for many of the individual winners and honor books, some of which are quite creative.
But where are the sites that explain the award in an engaging way for young children? As comprehensive as the ALSC pages are, they are unquestionably intended for an adult audience. As good as the lesson plan websites are, they are just step-by-step instructions for teachers. So for an award given to books written, illustrated, and published for children, where are the web resources for children?
Please, if you know of any, share them in the comments!