Today we salute Randolph Caldecott (22 March 1846 – 12 February 1886), the British artist and illustrator for whom the Randolph Caldecott Medal is named. He has influenced over a century and a half of children’s literature with an impact perhaps unsurpassed by any other person.
The Randolph Caldecott Medal is awarded each year to “the most distinguished American picture book for children” and, along with the Newbery Medal, is widely considered the most prestigious honor in American children’s literature. To see a complete list of Caldecott Medal and Honor books from 1938 to present, head over to the American Library Association’s website. For more information and a glimpse into Caldecott’s own life, passion, and influence, we recommend Randolph Caldecott: The Man Who Could Not Stop Drawing by children’s literature scholar Leonard S. Marcus, a thorough biography filled with original artwork and information.
"The word quicken, I think, best suggests the genuine spirit of Caldecott’s animation, the breathing of life, the surging swing into action that I consider an essential quality in pictures for children’s books.” - Maurice Sendak