2020 Newbery and Caldecott Awards

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Today’s the big day! The ALA (American Library Association) announced the 2020 John Newbery and Randolph Caldecott awards.

I’m excited because I really like the Newbery and Caldecott book picks. And, both the Newbery and Caldecott book winners are on my best of 2019 book lists:

Imagination Soup’s Best 2019 Middle-Grade Chapter Books & Graphic Novels

Imagination Soup’s Best 2019 Picture Books

You can read more about the past Newbery and Caldecott awards for 2018 and 2019. (2017‘s Newbery was spot-on and still one of my all-time favorite books!)

Ready to find out what books got the top spots for this year?

2020 Newbery Awards

The 2020 Newbery Award Goes to New Kid by Jerry Craft #childrensbooks #kids
The 2020 Newbery award winner for “the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children” goes to New Kid by Jerry Craft— the first graphic novel ever to win a Newbery. And it’s well deserved, too. New Kid is an insightful story about growing up, prejudice, culture, and art.

At his new private school across town, Jordan is one of the only kids of color. Besides dealing with the tricky business of making new friends, he now faces two separate worlds; the world of his neighborhood and the world at school. Adding to the challenges, at his new school, he encounters prejudice and stereotyping from both teachers and other students. And, because Jordan is an artist, he also struggles to balance academics with his artwork. It’s honest, relatable, and funny — an enjoyable must-read. You’ll find a lot to discuss.

2020 Newbery Honor Books

These are the four Newbery Honor titles:

The Undefeated is a Newbery Honor Book
The Undefeated
by Kwame Alexander, illustrated by Kadir Nelson
This moving, emotionally compelling poem celebrates the strong, unforgettable, hard-working black Americans who persevered through slavery, prejudice, war, civil rights, and who rise up, cool and unbending. The lush, realistic illustrations feel transcendent.

Scary Stories for Young Foxes
Scary Stories for Young Foxes
by Christian McKay Heidecker, illustrated by Junyi Wu
The creepy storyteller in the sinister Bog Cavern tells short, interconnected SCARY stories to a litter of seven foxes with a warning: the stories might just scare them (and you) half to death. As the horrifying tales are told, we see how they connect. But how will they end? I love that the stories are all about animals and that there are tender and funny moments of love and family along with the scary parts. But beware of the rest…

Other Words for Home is a 2020 Newbery Honor Book
Other Words for Home
by Jasmine Warga
Written in evocative yet readable verse, follow a young girl from her home in Syria as she moves with her mother the United States. Jude’s journey is one of growing up, being brave, and discovery. Readers will see how Jude finds her way– relating other ESL students in their safe classroom space, finding new friends, getting her period and starting to wear a headscarf, and even performing in the school play. Her insights on life in America helps us understand what it’s like to be an immigrant experiencing this country for the first time. Beautiful!

Genesis Begins Again is a 2020 Newbery Honor Book
Genesis Begins Again
by Alicia D. Williams
Don’t miss this important middle-grade book from 2019 about self-worth, beauty, and colorism. Genesis hates her dark skin, believing that if only she were lighter-skinned, she’d be pretty and have a better life. Despite this and troubles at home with a ne’er-do-well father who can’t keep a job, at her newest school an insightful music teacher introduces Genesis to jazz legends like Billie Holliday. This changes everything. Now Genesis can find her voice, literally and metaphorically.

2020 Caldecott Medal

The Undefeated illustrated by Kadir Nelson wins the 2020 Caldecott Award

Kadir Nelson‘s illustrations in The Undefeated written by Kwame Alexander won the coveted 2020 Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children. The lush, realistic illustrations feel transcendent. I could look at them for hours. It boggles my mind that Nelson’s artwork in this book feels so tactile and sensory. Beautiful doesn’t even describe it. If you haven’t read this book, I promise you’ll be as impressed as the librarians who voted for this and me.

This picture book is a moving, emotionally-compelling poem that celebrates the strong, unforgettable, hard-working black Americans who persevered through slavery, prejudice, war, civil rights, and who rise up, cool and unbending. It’s on my Best 2019 Picture Books list.

The Caldecott Honor Books

The Caldecott Honor books for 2020 are:

2020 Caldecott Honor wards
Bear Came Along
by Richard T. Morris, illustrated by LeUyen Pham
Bear discovers that observation of small moments can turn into big adventures with friends. He isn’t aware that he’s on an adventure until he’s floating down the river on a log with Froggy on his head soon to be joined by Turtles, Beaver, and Racoons who don’t know they need to be careful until they run into Duck. With a wonderful circular ending and after a fun-filled fall of the waterfall, the friends realize they’re sharing life together…because the river came along. Love this book and the illustrations.

2020 Caldecott Honor Books
Double Bass Blues
by Andrea J. Loney, illustrated by Rudy Gutirrez
Talk about illustrations with emotion and movement! Here’s a picture book where the pictures tell most of the story and boy do these illustrations do their job! They tell the story of a musician named Nic who spends his days playing in his orchestra at school and later returning to his home neighborhood. It’s a beautiful book that shows a boy living in two worlds as well as the power of music and family.

2020 Caldecott Honor Books
Going Down Home with Daddy
by Kelly Starling Lyons, illustrated by Daniel Minter
In this slice-of-life story, a family travels to Granny’s house where they meet up with lots of relatives, packing the house full. The kids play together then listen to stories about their land and their ancestors, finding a way to pay tribute to this history in their own ways. The gorgeous illustrations are filled with textures and emotion.

Don't miss these amazing illustrators! Announcing the 2020 Caldecott winner and honor books! #kids #childrensbooks #imaginationsoup

Want to read a good children's book? Read the 2020 Newbery winner and honor books! #kids #childrensbooks #imaginationsoup

DON’T MISS…

Best Children’s Picture Books of 2019

2019 BEST CHAPTER BOOKS AND GRAPHIC NOVELS FOR KIDSThe Best Middle-Grade Books of 2019

Book Recommendations By Age:

The Best Board Books for Babies and Toddlers

Age 2:
20 Best Books for Age 2

Age 3:
Best Books for Age 3

Age 4 & 5:
Best Books for Ages 4 and 5

5- and 6-Year-Olds:
Best Easy Reader Books for 5-and 6-Year Olds 
Best NONFICTION Books for 5-and 6-Year-Olds

6- and 7-Year-Olds:
Best Easy / Beginning Chapter Books for 6- and 7-Year-Olds 

7-Year-Olds:
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18 Fantastic Chapter Book Series for 2nd Graders (7-Year-Olds)
Best NONFICTION Books for 7-Year-Olds

8-Year-Olds:
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24 Book Series for 3rd Graders (8-Year-Olds)
Best NONFICTION Books for 8-Year-Olds

9-Year-Olds:
Best Books for 9-Year-Olds (4th Grade)
32 Book Series for 4th Graders (9-Year-Olds)
Best NONFICTION Books for 9-Year-Olds

10-Year-Olds:
Best Books for 10-Year-Olds (5th Grade)
27 Book Series for 5th Graders (10-Year-Olds)
Best NONFICTION Books for 10-Year-Olds

11-Year-Olds:
Best Books for 11-Year-Olds (6th Grade)
26 Book Series for 6th Graders (11-Year-Olds)
Best NONFICTION Books for 11-Year-Olds

12-Year-Olds:
Best Books for 12-Year-Olds (7th Grade) 
Best Book Series for 7th Graders (12-Year-Olds)
Best NONFICTION Books for 12-Year-Olds

13+:
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    Hi! I’m Melissa Taylor, mom, writer, & former elementary teacher & literacy trainer. I love sharing good books & fun learning resources.

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