2014 Newbery and Caldecott Medals Awarded For Best Children’s Books

Books about magic squirrels and old trains take the Newbery and Caldecott Medals.

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Candlewick Press
Candlewick Press

Parents, get ready to add some new titles to the bedtime reading shift: Two books are about to get a major sales bump after being awarded the biggest prizes in children’s literature. Earlier today the American Library Association handed out its most prestigious honors, the Newbery Medal and the Caldecott Medal.

The Newbery Medal, which is given to “most distinguished contribution to American literature for children,” was awarded to Kate DiCamillo’s Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures. DiCamillo previously won in 2003 for The Tale of Despereaux, which was adapted as an animated film in 2008; the author, who often writes about animals, was recently named the Library of Congress’ National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature.

The Caldecott Medal, which goes to a picture book illustrated by an American artist, was given to Locomotive, which was written and illustrated by Brian Floca. He’s best known for illustrating books by Avi, a Newbery Medal awardee himself for Crispin: The Cross of Lead in 2003.

Also noteworthy: The Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Award was awarded to Theodore Taylor III for his illustrations in When the Beat was Born: DJ Kool Herc and the Creation of Hip Hop. There may be an old saying about not judging a book by its cover, but judging that book by its title makes it sound completely awesome.