2020 Caldecott Medal and Honor Books

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. 

2020 Medal Winner

The Undefeated, illustrated by Kadir Nelson, written by Kwame Alexander and published by Versify, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Kadir Nelson’s rich illustrations amplify Kwame Alexander’s poetic tribute to the resiliency, strength, and perseverance of the historical and present-day Black experience. Gripping, realistic oil portraits use light and forward movement to portray the deep humanity and contributions of Black brilliance in America.

“Through color and composition, Kadir Nelson’s daring visuals erupt off the page.  They challenge our emotional capacity in this layered journey of heroes,” said Caldecott Medal Committee Chair Julie Roach.

2020 Honor Books

Bear Came Along, illustrated by LeUyen Pham, written by Richard T. Morris, and published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

“Oh, what a ride!” After tumbling into a river, Bear is swept into an epic journey, collecting woodland companions along the way. The river comes to life with Pham’s energetic lines, gradual increase of vivid color, and surprising page turns to form a rollicking adventure and bonding connections.

Double Bass Blues, illustrated by Rudy Gutierrez, written by Andrea J. Loney, and published by Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House Children’s Books, an imprint of Random House Children's Books.

Ignited by an electrifying snap of the string bass, Nic navigates between the symphony of two worlds: music and community. Syncopated rhythms, musical harmony and familial love are vibrantly expressed through riotous color, dynamic lines, and kinetic movement. This inventive composition visually illuminates the auditory experience that is the blues.

Going Down Home With Daddy, illustrated by Daniel Minter, written by Kelly Starling Lyons, and published by Peachtree Publishing Company Inc.

An African American family reunion gives a boy a chance to connect to his vibrant roots. Featuring a warm, rich color palette, every spread has multiple, complex layers. Earthy imagery and Adinkra symbols help tell a story of intergenerational love and ancestral memory.  

Members of the 2020 Caldecott Medal Selection Committee are: Chair Julie Roach, Cambridge Public Library, Cambridge, Mass.; Joel Bangilan, Harris County Public Library, Houston, Texas; Ericka Brunson, Kitsap Regional Library, Bremerton, Wash.; Evan Michael Bush, Athens (Ga.) Regional Library System; Jean Darnell, St. Pius X, Friendswood, Texas; Dr. Christina Dorr, Hilliard City School District/ Kent State University, Hilliard, Ohio; Pamela Greene, Inglewood Public Library, Los Angeles, Calif.; Alia Jones, The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, Cincinnati, Ohio; Sophie Kenney, Aurora (Ill.) Public Library; Linda Klein, Anchorage (Alaska) Public Library; Erica Marks, Cleveland (Ohio) Public Library; Michelle Ng, San Mateo County Libraries, Belmont, Calif.; Eboni Njoku, DC Public Library, Washington, D.C.;  Gloria Repolesk, Emmet O'Neal Public Library, Mountain Brook, Ala.; and David (Mitch) Self, McWhirter Elementary, Seabrook, Texas.

The Newbery and Caldecott Medals and Honor Book seals are property of the American Library Association and cannot be used in any form or reproduced without permission of the ALA Office of Rights and Permissions.

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