It’s Mock Caldecott time!

Each year, our 3rd grade students form Mock Caldecott Committees as part of their library classes. Their mission: to analyze five newly published picture books and then to vote for a winner, in the same manner as the real Caldecott committee. It’s been another amazing year for picture books, and the students had quite a decision to make when voting took place last Thursday.

Here are the five contenders, along with students’ insightful comments. The voting results will be announced next week – stay tuned!

Mr. Tiger Goes Wild, written and illustrated by Peter Brown.

A tiger with very different ideas is not popular with his proper friends.


  • “The pictures make me laugh.” ~ Kristina C.
  • “I like how the main character is in color.” ~ Stewart K.
  • “The endpapers related to the beginning and ending setting. I like the pacing.” ~ Scarlett R.
  • “I like the speech bubbles.” ~ Henry R.
  • “Rain = sadness; sun = happiness.” Natalie B.
  • “The muted brown and gray on the animals probably means they are very proper.” ~ Eric B.
  • “I like the double-page spread when the tiger is going down.” ~ Alice F.
  • “The tiger is orange so Brown made the [speech] bubble orange.” ~ Karla P.
  • “”I like how as he gets wilder the color gets more vibrant.” ~ Charley D.

The Matchbox Diary, written by Paul Fleischman and illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline.

A great-grandfather recalls his immigration journey through his unusual diary of memorabilia.


  • “The illustrator really captured the plot.” ~ Chase T.
  • “I like how he changes color when they go back to the present and past.” ~ Jack R.
  • “I like the shading – how it gets darker and then lighter.” ~ Katherine L.
  • “We see the memory and the present.” ~ Rishi R.
  • “The illustrator made the old card look really old by drawing wrinkles.” Lucy C.
  • “I like the calm pictures.” ~ Grace S.
  • “The pictures of the waves are detailed.” ~ Dylan L.

Journey, written and illustrated by Aaron Becker.

A wordless adventure of creativity, capture, rescue, and friendship.


  • “I like how the colors are all shades of red or copper in the beginning.” ~ Nora P.
  • “It’s almost exactly like Harold and the Purple Crayon.” ~ Lyla G.
  • “I like how the architecture is drawn” ~ Katie B.
  • “Everything that is happy is colorful.” ~ Patrick C.
  • “I like the night sky.” ~ Alex R.
  • “I like how he made the castle look huge by making the people smaller.” ~ Cameron G.
  • “First it’s dull, then colorful.” ~ Jahaziel P.
  • “I like how the colors get brighter by the page.” ~ Chloe T.
  • “I like the blending of the different colors.” ~ Alex T.
  • “So much detail into each spot of the page.” ~ Zoe R.
  • “The illustrations are superb!” ~ Ethan Q.

The Day the Crayons Quit, written by Drew Daywalt and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers.

In a series of letters, Duncan’s crayons let him know how unhappy they are.


  • “I like how the crayons have different emotions.” ~ Rehan K.
  • “I like how the drawings are all the same color as the crayon.” ~ Jack S.
  • “There are good shadows.” ~ Francesca C.
  • “I like how he used different shades of gray.” ~ James D.
  • “I like how beige crayon looks lonely.” ~ Preston W.

Brave Girl: Clara and the Shirtwaist Makers’ Strike of 1909, written by Michelle Markel, illustrated by Melissa Sweet.

The true story of Clara Lemlich, who helped improve working conditions for many garment workers in New York City.


  • “I like how the pictures look like a scrapbook.” ~ Savannah C.
  • “I like how the illustrator uses all different kinds of materials.” ~ Sophie X.
  • “The illustrations are very detailed.” ~ Neal M.
  • “I like how there are real stitches.” ~ Maya C.
  • “I like how the cloth has a bird pattern.” ~ Mia S.
  • “The pictures look like they were made a long time ago.” ~ Nora J.
  • “I like the part when she goes to the library – the picture looks like a front page of a book.” ~ Lakshmi B.
  • “I like how the bad things are little because she can solve them instead of us thinking that she can’t.” ~ Hannah F.




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