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Garden City School Library: Mock Caldecott

How It Works

Ms. Moore reads more than 100 new picture books each year, and chooses about a dozen to share with grades K and 1 during second trimester. After each readaloud, the students discuss what they liked, what they didn't like, and whether the book should remain in the running. In February, they cast ballots for the winner out of our short list. Then we compare our winner to the American Library Association Caldecott Award winner.

Past Mock Caldecott Winners


2023: I Want to Be a Vase


2022: Off-Limits


2021: Snail Crossing


2020: Who Wet My Pants?
(second GC win in a row for Zachariah!)


2019: Niblet and Ralph


2018: Creepy Pair of Underwear!


2017: School's First Day of School
(second GC win for Christian Robinson!)


2016: I'm Trying to Love Spiders


2015: Gaston


2014: Unicorn Thinks He's Pretty Great


2013: This is Not My Hat (ALA Winner!)

2023 Nominees

All book summaries courtesy of Goodreads. 


Some of These are Snails - Illustrated and written by Carter Higgins

From the creative mind behind Circle Under Berry comes this deceptively simple concept book that explores sorting, classification, and patterns as it teases the brain in unusual ways. With an elegant and simple approach, this thought-provoking book shows young readers that even the most familiar things can be seen from infinite perspectives. 




100 Mighty Dragons All Named Broccoli - Illustrated by Lian Cho, written by David LaRochelle

High on a mountain live 100 mighty dragons all named Broccoli. When a tremendous wind blows half the dragons away, ten others sail off to become professional surfers in Hawaii. The oldest and youngest dragons take a train to New York City to start their own heavy metal band. And a mysterious wizard turns four more into a unicorn, a werewolf, a zombie, and a tiny pink poodle. Now how many dragons are left? 


Stickler Loves the World - Illustrated and written by Lane Smith

Stickler, covered in sticks and with multiple ever-changing eyes, loves its little world. With best friend Crow, it shares the wonders of all the amazing things the world has to offer. Stickler is astonished by the ordinary, such as the sun and the stars, as well as fascinated by those things in nature that are often overlooked, such as swirling seed pods. The two pals wander about the world, stopping to appreciate the many marvels along the way.


Big - Illustrated and written by Vashti Harrison

The first picture book written and illustrated by award-winning creator Vashti Harrison traces a child’s journey to self-love and shows the power of words to both hurt and heal. With spare text and exquisite illustrations, this emotional exploration of being big in a world that prizes small is a tender portrayal of how you can stand out and feel invisible at the same time.



Twenty Questions - Illustrated by Christian Robinson, written by Mac Barnett

​​​​​​Not all questions have answers. Some have more than one answer. And others have endless answers, unfolding out to the edges of the world. In this spare yet expansive narrative, acclaimed author Mac Barnett poses twenty questions both playful and profound. Some make us giggle. Others challenge our assumptions. The result is a quirky, wandering exploration of where the best questions lead—to stories.




Just One Flake - Illustrated and written by Travis Jonker

It’s snowing outside! Liam rushes out into the squall, determined to catch one perfect snowflake. He tries any number of tricks to complete his mission, but each time he is thwarted. He sticks out his tongue and looks up . . . nope. He builds a snowman, climbing up to get a little closer to the snow . . . still nope. He runs around the yard—tongue still out—because faster is better, right? Wrong! Nothing seems to work. Until, in a final leap of faith, he catches that one flake . . . in a way he never expected. 


You are a Story - Illustrated by Kristen and Kevin Howdeshell, written by Bob Raczka

Poet Bob Raczka’s You are a Story highlights all of the nuance and potential of a growing person’s identity, delighting in the things that make us special and connect us to others. Text and illustrations replete with inventive imagery and appealing metaphors show how we all live as individuals and citizens of the world. A child, an animal, a body of water, a friend, a mystery, one-of-a-kind ... You are and could be so many things, but whatever you choose to do, it’s your life to write.


In the Night Garden - Illustrated and written by Carin Berger

In the night garden, nothing is as it seems and everything is made new. Blinking stars and pale moonlight might reveal a lone cat tiptoeing across a roof, luminous flowers unfurling in the cool air, a mama fox escorting her sleepy cubs home. Listen closely and you might hear the wind blowing through the trees, the murmur of a slow stream, or the gentle song of crickets and bullfrogs, lulling you to sleep.


Have You Seen My Invisible Dinosaur? - Illustrated and written by Helen Yoon

Help! This little girl has lost her best friend. He’s a dinosaur (not the extinct kind). He’s enormous (bigger than a panda!). He was last seen before she gave him a bath and washed off all the mud (maybe that wasn’t a good idea?). She’s tried to lure him with snacks and put up Lost Dinosaur posters, but nothing has helped. If only it weren’t such a clear day—if only it were raining, or snowing, or the leaves were falling, or . . . something. 


Jumper: A Day in the Life of a Backyard Jumping Spider - Written and illustrated by Jessica Lanan

What if you were small as a bean, Could walk on the walls and ceiling,
Sense vibrations through your elbows, And jump five times your body length?

That is Jumper's world. 
Open this book to discover the hidden life of a backyard jumping spider.

Standards Addressed

AASL: I.B.3 - Generating products that illustrate learning; II.B.1 - Interacting with learners who reflect a range of perspectives; II.C.1 - Learners exhibit empathy with and tolerance for diverse ideas by: 1. Engaging in informed conversation and active debate. 2. Contributing to discussions in which multiple viewpoints on a topic are expressed.; III.B - Learners participate in personal, social, and intellectual networks; III.D.1 - Actively contributing to group discussions; V.A.1 - Reading widely and deeply in multiple formats and write and create for a variety of purposes.

Common Core: SL.1 Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade 1/2 topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups; SL.2 Ask and answer questions about/recount or describe key details in a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media; RL.1 Ask and answer questions about key details in a text; RL.7 Use illustrations and details in a story to describe its characters, setting, or events; W.1 Write opinion pieces in which they name the book they are writing about, state an opinion, supply a reason for the opinion, and provide some sense of closure

Rhode Island Cross-Curricular Proficiencies: Collaboration - Incorporate diverse perspectives to promote an exchange of ideas with reasoning and evidence; Communication - Organize information to communicate ideas and responses when using any mode of communication

Rhode Island School Library Curriculum Priority Skills: 1.1 - Develops own opinion about a topic with evidence to support the opinion; 3.2 - Participates in collaborative conversations with peers and adults to share ideas and information