TUMWATER, WA— “Big” history was made this January when one of the most prestigious awards in children’s literature, the Randolph Caldecott Medal, was awarded to Vashti Harrison, illustrator of the picture book, Big.
Every year, the American Library Association announces the winners of the Newberry & Caldecott Medals at their annual ALA Youth Media Awards. These distinguished awards honor the best creative talent and content currently published for our young readers.
The recipient of the Caldecott Medal, Big, follows a child's quest for self-love, emphasizing the profound impact of words on one's journey. The book explores standing out and feeling invisible. Pinks and grays used in the illustration symbolize the emotional landscape of bigness in a world that values smallness. Big is an exploration of individuality, self-acceptance, and resilience.
“Harrison’s use of color and space throughout the book masterfully conveys emotion as a young girl struggles to free herself from the confines of damaging words,” said Caldecott Medal Committee Chair Kathie Meizner.
Big is Vashti Harrison’s author-illustrator debut. She is the first Black woman to receive this prestigious literary award. Big was awarded Coretta Scott King author and illustrator honors and named a National Book Award Finalist. Harrison is a two-time recipient of the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work for Children and is a winner of the 2020 Illustrator Honor for the Coretta Scott King Book Award. Harrison lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Four Caldecott Honor Books were also named:
The Newbery Award went to Dave Eggers's middle grade novel The Eyes and the Impossible, a story of friendship and adventure starring a free dog living in an urban park.
TRL Deputy Director, Kendra Jones, had the privilege to serve on the 2024 Randolph Caldecott Committee. Committee members review every eligible picture book published in 2023, which was around 700 titles. “Picture books have the power to change the world. This year's selections will be shared with children for generations to come, inspiring and empowering young people to be incredible, kind, and compassionate individuals.”
For information on the John Newbery and Randolph Caldecott Medals and other ALA Youth Media Awards, please visit www.ala.org/yma.
To place a hold on any of these titles, visit TRL.org.