Episode 13: The Caldecott



  • alt text
    Art by Tanner Garlick

    Our new episode just launched, so be sure to download it and let us know what you think!

    The Caldecott is the most prestigious award a children’s book illustrator can receive, and it’s an award that, once received, changes each recipient’s life. We will discuss what the award is, how it is chosen, some patterns with books that have received this honor, and some tips on what you can do to try and become a more Caldecott-worthy illustrator.

    Feel free to ask any questions or post any thoughts here. Again, thank you for being such a wonderful community and for making this forum what it is. Happy drawing!



  • I don't know if it's just me but the episode sounds glitchy and sped up? Just wanted to check if anyone else was having this problem...thanks!



  • @kekkerz86 yeah me too, I thought I accidentally it a button when I started the episode that sped it up. I did not.



  • @Jake-Parker - There is a problem with this episode as it is playing back at 2x speed with some digital compression sounds mixed in. I have played it via the Podcast app on my iPhone and also directly from the SVS website on my laptop. Same problem on both so the file has an issue.



  • @rich-green click the little speedometer icon to fix it.



  • @rich-green worked fine after I did that



  • Someone needs to create a Canadian-cotte for all us Canadians that aren't eligible



  • @rcartwright Tried that on both the phone app and via playback on the laptop - it slows it down but there is so much compression/echo/reverb going on - it's makes it very hard for me to listen to.



  • So sorry guys, this was an editing glitch, we will get this fixed as soon as possible and I will post here as soon as we have it up and running!
    Thank you for your patience!
    The episode should be 70 minutes instead of 35, so we're working to fix it.



  • I am streaming via facebook and it has been fine. It might have already been updated, however it isn’t showing in my podcast list on my iOS devices.

    As for the topic: I love this topic. Ever since I was a kid I have dreamed of having a caldecott sticker on my art for some reason. It probably has to do with the fact that all of the books I liked had that sticker on them when I was a kid. I had no clue why some had them, I just assumed it meant that I should read them because I would most likely love them.

    However, idk if I would want to be that artist known for that one work you did all those years back. Seems like it could dwarf everything else you do.



  • Ok did I hear this right... @Lee-White DID NOT KNOW what Fancy Nancy is? And you call yourself a children's book illustrator..... smh.

    I am totally kidding. But I have to tell you, when I worked in a book store I sure knew where all the Fancy Nancy merch was. Not just the picture books... the early readers, the coloring books, the sticker books, paper dolls. Definitely a good example of a commercially successful book.

    Interesting side note--Fancy Nancy is so big now that one of my local SCBWI member acquaintances was a "ghost illustrator" (for lack of a better term) for the series. Yep, they're so successful that they're getting other illustrators to copy Robin Glasser's style for all the books etc. they're making... and its still Robin's name on the cover. Apparently there is this "bible" they use, having pages of examples of Nancy's face, her mom, dad, the other characters etc. so they can nail the style perfectly.



  • @sarahluann You have stumbled onto a interesting niche of the children's illustration world. And you got the term exactly right, ghost illustrators are very much a thing (as are ghost writers)!

    Personally I don't know how I feel about ghost illustrators. My understanding is that it's all WFH contracts (not a fan of those) and I knew a ghost illustrator and he's the only grumpy children's book illustrator I ever came across (which never recommended the niche to me)

    But then, how different is it from working as a staff artist for something like an animation company?



  • This is a great episode. I come from the comic world and know very little about children’s book illustrators. I learned a lot. I wanted to suggest a topic that is very similar to this. I guess if you guys could do a counter to Caldecott winners I would love to hear you guys talk about who are your top influencial creators of 2000 and before, 2001-2010, and what current artists you think are doing inspiring work. Maybe your favorite under the radar or under appreciated illustrators.



  • @SarahLuAnn I’m not sure How I feel about @Lee-White not knowing who Fancy Nancy is. Now I don’t feel so bad when you guys throw out all those name I don’t know. (I promise, I still try and look them up). Fancy Nancy is commercial, but she is a SMART and eccentric girl with a puggy belly who is not afraid to be who she is. My girls loved her. You have a son, that’s why I’m guessing the pop culture may have missed you.

    @davidhohn and Sarah, I noticed the ghost illustrator in one of her books. They were mentioned, but none of the ones on my shelf had it that i could find today. I know i have seen it before. I wanted to check it out again since your brought it up. I don’t think it’s really a bad thing. I don’t see how it would be different than someone drawing a mouse or a Spider-Man! I’m guessing it is just the type of lifestyle you want. Steady paycheck vs a super hard hustle with creative freedom. Who knows.

    Caudlecot. I really hate it when my kids tear off the sticker. “Do the thing you do well and let the world catch up to you.” I love it. I like that direction, make the art you love, then find the village that loves it. Sounds good to me.

    PLEASE do a work shop in Nashville! I can totally drive there. So, make it happen! And don’t knock golf carts in the south. We love our golf carts and they make us happy. Best way to haul our trick or treaters through the neighborhood. @Jake-Parker @Will-Terry Please come to the good ol south!



  • Can we all just take a moment to appreciate how great of a job Tanner Garlick is doing with the illustrations for each podcast episode. Each one is really fun!



  • Hello Friends! In case you haven't checked the episode is up and running great, and should be good to go. Please let us know if you there are any other issues. You guys are the best!



  • @jake-parker it’s running perfect! Thank you for another awesome episode!



  • I am no longer shooting for the Caldecott. My new goal is to get the Will Terry Award for Stupid Books. LOL!!!
    You guys crack me up.
    I do like Lee’s mental strategy of thinking, is this art up to Caldecott standard though. I think that is a good tool to keep yourself honest and to not “phone it in” as Jake said.
    As always, thank you again for creating these podcasts and all of your great YouTube videos. 👍💛



  • @jake-parker
    I think the two points made are equally right. "Do what you love and let the world catch up" of course. And that you can go after the prize like an athlete can go after a gold medal, I mean training hard for it, focusing on it, studying your competitors, the tendencies like "now they value a lot that you put an integrational message on your book", etc.

    In one hand the prestige of the prize and the income that comes with it attracts certain people and is normal that a certain environment is created and these persons eventually know each other and then you have politics, private interest, etc It happens in every competitive world.

    But on the other hand is art, and if someone comes with something new and revolutionary, and eventually someone always come, they can not look away.

    So you have this string of like "orthodox predictable" winners and then from time to time you have a new fresh one who changes the game really, or at least evolved the game bringing something new to the table.

    The best example is the impressionist. The story about impressionist when they were banned from the "Salon de Paris" ruled by the Académie des Beaux-Arts, (copy and paste from Wikipedia)"The Académie had an annual, juried art show, the Salon de Paris, and artists whose work was displayed in the show won prizes, garnered commissions, and enhanced their prestige. The standards of the juries represented the values of the Académie"
    ...and they created his own show and changed everything..., until the next change.

    So there are politics and there is art too, with all the things that art comes with, search, discovery, evolution etc. Everyone has to choose what is his way, or most regularly, what percent. like 80% art and 20%commercial or vice-versa etc.

    Great post. You guys are in the trade for some time now so, every subject you touch, more or less important or relevant, sure you three have something interesting to say about it



  • Awesome podcast, especially love the spot illustration 🙂