Older Caldecott Winners You Don't Want To Miss

This is my first list for Flashlight Worthy— great old Caldecott Award Winners. The site already has a list of the newer winners — from 1990 on. But 1940 to 1988 holds some of my absolute favorite titles that I hope, no matter how old they grow, will never be forgotten.

Even though each has the similarity of being Caldecott Winners, beyond that they're all quite unique. They have widely differing illustration styles and completely different types of stories. Some are about children, one is about ducks, one about a house, some about families working together, discovering together, or just having fun together. I hope you enjoy my list. :-)


Abraham Lincoln (1940)

by Edgar Parin D'Aulaire, Ingri D'Aulaire

You don't see a book like this one everyday. History told like tall tale, illustrations that are detailed enough to stare at the whole time you're listening to (or reading it yourself) the equally engaging life of Abraham Lincoln, told simply enough that a six year old can understand, and yet details are still there. I also recommend other D'Aulaire biographies, each equally well illustrated and written.

This book also appears on Every Single Caldecott Medal Winner


Make Way for Ducklings (1942)

illustrated by Robert McCloskey

I pity anyone who wasn't familiar with this book as a child. It's a heartwarming family story, about Mr. and Mrs. Mallard who need to find a home to build their nest before their wing feathers fall out, and not just any home, but one that will be safe enough for the ducklings that they plan to raise. And raise them they do, eight of them — from Jack to Quack and everything in between — on an island on the Charles River near Boston.


The Little House (1943)

by Virginia Lee Burton

Though a well-built house may possibly stay the same over many years, its surroundings most certainly do not. What started out as a happy little house way out in the country became a little house in a bustling city, where it couldn't see the sun anymore because the skyscrapers were so close to it. Yes, houses have feelings too, evidently (and it's quite believable with the charming illustrations by the author). When the descendants of the family who build the little house find it again, they move it back to its original setting... if not quite its original location.


The Snowy Day (1963)

by Ezra Jack Keats

A little boy has a fun day playing in the snow, and even tries to keep a snowball in his coat pocket inside! A strikingly beautiful 1963 Caldecott Medal winner.


Where the Wild Things Are (1964)

illustrated by Maurice Sendak

Karen Kennedy says:

This book was controversial when it came out — adults thought that Max was too badly behaved and his monsters were too scary. But generations of young children know best — this book connects perfectly with a young child's fears and his ability to conquer them.


Ox-Cart Man (1980)

by Donald Hall, illustrated by Barbara Cooney

All about the Ox-Cart Man and how he and his family work together busily every moment of the day for practically everything they have!

This book also appears on Every Single Caldecott Medal Winner


Owl Moon (1988)

by Jane Yolen

A simply told story of a father taking his child out owling for the first time, on a night with a bright owl moon when you can't speak and have to be brave, to see if they can spot an owl out in the woods. Sometimes you do, sometimes you don't — you never know! Told relaxingly from the child's perspective.