February 8, 2011
The Newbery Award, named for 18th century book-seller John Newbery, was the first children’s book award in the world. First awarded in 1922, the award is given to the author of the most distinguished American children’s book . Receiving the Newbery Award is a prestigious honor for any author.
The Caldecott Award, named for 19th century English illustrator, Randolph Caldecott, was first awarded in 1938. This award was created when a few individuals decided that not only should authors be awarded and recognized for their contributions to children’s books, but illustrators should be too. Thus, the Caldecott Award is given to the illustrator of the most distinguished American picture book.
Is one award better than the other? Absolutely not! The Newbery Award, understandably, is given to the author of a remarkable piece of literature. Where would we be without high-quality children’s literature? Children’s books open up the imagination and allow children to go anywhere they want to go. They inspire, uplift, and entertain! Likewise, the Caldecott Award is given to a most deserving illustrator. Children, especially young children and/or non-readers, depend upon the pictures within a book to help tell the story. The pictures within a book have the capability of telling the author’s story without any words at all. These illustrations are priceless, and children depend upon them to help make a book come to life. Book characters become our friends when we are young children, and these friendships last forever because of wonderful illustrators! I cannot imagine a childhood without Clifford, The Cat in the Hat, Harold, Fancy Nancy, or David…
Both the Newbery and Caldecott Awards are prestigious honors, and any book bearing either award is well-worth reading!
Images obtained from http://www.avocacsd.org