2013 #pb10for10 #nerdcott

It’s August 10! Big day…know why? Lots of kid lit folks will be sharing on their blogs a list of 10 picture books that they love for one reason or another. Checkout this hashtag – #pb10for10 – to discover the lists. Last year, I wrote about the 10 picture books I could not live without. Check out my 2012 titles here. 

This year, I will focus on my Top 10 Caldecott Honor and Medal Winning Books. I have been participating in the #nerdcott challenge for the past year, which means I am trying to read ALL of the Caldecott honor and medal winning books since 1938. I have about 50 more to go, but I think I’ve read enough to give you my TOP 10! Enjoy!


PS – These are in no particular order. Also, I am not listing anything by Mo Willems because it is a given that I love him…duh. Also, I am going to try to stick with some of the older, less known books on the list for my TOP 10…that way, maybe you’ll discover a new to you title!

1. The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick – I really should have read this book before this year. For some reason, it just took me forever to pick it up. I’ve had students who loved it, teachers who loved it…the world really loves it and I just joined the party. I saw the movie last year and fell in love with the story. I listened to the book in my car recently and then looked at the illustrations later. You really should checkout the audio version – very much “radio theater” and not just an audio book…SO GOOD. This would be great to share with a class as an audio book and then share clips of the movie that is featured in the story…so much you could do with this book. LOVED IT!

2. Bill Peet: An Autobiography by Bill Peet – Here’s another one that I have seen in my libraries year after year. I never check it out, kids never check it out, teachers never check it out. I read it this summer and LOVED it! A wonderful autobiography – it made me sad to think I had waited so long to read it! Bill Peet writes about his life growing up and then working for Walt Disney. The stuff he writes about Walt Disney was so interesting – it is almost part Disney biography! Of course the illustrations are awesome and I think it would be a fantastic book to read with students as they are learning about careers.

3. The Way to Start a Day , illustrated by Peter Parnall; text: Byrd Baylor – Great book about how people start their day. Good morning meeting story! Illustrations are simple, but lovely.

4. It Could Always Be Worse , retold and illustrated by Margot Zemach – The story of a family who feels very crowded in their modest home and they are always complaining and fighting. They go to their Rabbi for help…they do what he says to do and he shows them that “it could always be worse” and to appreciate what you have. Excellent.

5. Rain Makes Applesauce , illustrated by Marvin Bileck; text: Julian Scheer – LOVED the illustrations in this book. This was a totally new to me picture book and I will be sharing it with students.

6. Marshmallow by Clare Turlay Newberry A cat and a rabbit become friends. What more could you want? Illustrations are beautiful.

7. The Day We Saw the Sun Come Up , illustrated by Adrienne Adams; text: Alice E. Goudey – Sweet, sweet story with illustrations that I am in love with. You do know that picture books are art, right? If you aren’t sure, check out this book. 

8. A Tree is Nice , illustrated by Marc Simont; text: Janice Udry – Like the Bill Peet book, this is one that I have seen on my library shelves forever, but have never actually picked up and read it. It’s great! Perfect for teaching the seasons, Earth Day, etc. Can totally see myself reading this with students this year.

9. Ape in a Cape: An Alphabet of Odd Animals by Fritz Eichenberg – An ABC book. LOVE the illustrations. Lots you can do with this one…kids are sure to giggle as you share this book with them.

10.  What Do You Say, Dear? illustrated by Maurice Sendak; text: Sesyle Joslin – This book made me smile. Love the story (what would you say in different, crazy situations) and the illustrations are wonderful (of course! Sendak illustrated this book!)

And, there you have it! My TOP 10 Caldecott Honor and Medal Winning Books. Hopefully, you’ll stop and check them out! Maybe you’ll even start your own #nerdcott challenge – I would have never picked up some of these books had I  not started this challenge and I would have been missing out! Don’t miss out!



About Valerie Byrd Fort

I live in South Carolina. I am passionate about libraries, books, and reading. I am also a mom. This is my blog about those things.
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