The Caldecott Medal is "awarded to the artist of the most distinguished American Picture Book for Children published in the United States during the preceding year."
The first Caldecott Medal was awarded in 1938. The Caldecott Medal is an award for the book's illustrator. It was inspired by the Newbery Award, which is given to an author. The medal is named in honor of the 19th century English illustrator Randolph J. Caldecott.
The Caldecott Medal is awarded by the Association for Library Service to Children which is a division of the American Library Association. For more information visit the ALSC webpage for the Caldecott Medal.
The 2012 Caldecott Award winner is:
This year three honor books were selected.
David Wiesner is the only illustrator (so far) to win three Caldecott Medals.
Leo & Diane Dillon are the only illustrators to win a Caldecott Medal two years in a row (1976 & 1977).
Usually the medal goes to just one person, but six times it has been awarded to a husband and wife illustrating team. Check the list to see if you can find which years these teams have won.
Only one book each year can win the Caldecott Medal, but other deserving books can be named "honor" books. Each year at least one book has been named an honor book. Some years as many as five books have been named honor books.
Usually books that win the Caldecott Medal are fairly short, but in 2008 the award went to the illustrated novel The Invention of Hugo Cabret.
The winner of the Caldecott Medal must be a citizen or resident of the United States.