Randolph Caldecott Medal

About the Randolph Caldecott Medal
The Caldecott Medal was named in honor of nineteenth-century English illustrator Randolph Caldecott. It is awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children.

Administered by:

Association for Library Service to Children logo

2017 Winner(s)

Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat

illustrated by Javaka Steptoe, written by Javaka Steptoe and published by Little, Brown and Company, a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc.

Like Jean-Michel Basquiat’s work, Steptoe’s illustrations radiate energy and immediacy. A patch-worked canvas of scavenged wood, painted and collaged with photos, and images of human anatomy, evokes the improvisatory nature of Basquiat’s art. “Radiant Child” resonates with emotion that connects Steptoe with Basquiat and Basquiat with young readers.

“Steptoe’s engaging art makes Basquiat approachable for children without minimizing his complexities,” said Caldecott Medal Committee Chair Rhonda K. Gould.


2017 Honor(s)

Du Iz Tak?

illustrated and written by Carson Ellis, and published by Candlewick Press

A diverse community of anthropomorphic bugs is intrigued by an unfurling sprout. Carson Ellis deftly depicts the mysteries of life in an imaginary, natural world. Through intricate details and the witty humor of a made-up language, “Du Iz Tak?” is a treasure trove of visual and linguistic literacy.


Freedom in Congo Square

illustrated by R. Gregory Christie, written by Carole Boston Weatherford and published by Little Bee Books, an imprint of Bonnier Publishing Group

As they work throughout the week, slaves look forward to their afternoon of music, hope, and community in Congo Square, New Orleans. Christie’s folk-art inspired paint and collage images powerfully capture the emotions of this little-known historical event. Vibrant color and brilliant use of line heighten the impact of the rhyming couplets.


Leave Me Alone!

illustrated and written by Vera Brosgol and published by Roaring Brook Press, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishing Holdings Limited Partnership

At the end of her rope, Granny is desperate for time alone to finish knitting sweaters for a house filled with dozens of rambunctious children. Brosgol’s expressive watercolor and cartoon art presents a genre-breaking journey taking Granny from the traditional forest setting to the mountains to the moon and beyond.


They All Saw a Cat

illustrated and written by Brendan Wenzel and published by Chronicle Books LLC

A cat’s walk through the world becomes a surprise-filled exploration of perspective and empathy. As the feline encounters a variety of creatures, the thoughtful composition paired with spare language and repetition focuses on each individual’s perception of it. Wenzel’s use of a range of art materials reinforces the idea that the essence of a cat might be in the eye of the beholder.