WOMEN MAKE PICTURE BOOKS TOO…

Five years ago, I noticed that there were many mock Caldecott committees predicting male artists would win the medal.  This bothered me, but then I discovered, looking back at my blog, that my predictions had also been overwhelmingly male, for years.  (Gender bias is buried deep y’all.  It can be a shock when you spot it in yourself)

Of course, in making such predictions, all of us had helped generate buzz about those same male-authored books.  And it’s hard to guess at what effect that buzz has on the award itself, in the end.   So, in an attempt to create a little grassroots buzz for the women I admired,  I wrote this post, and enlisted the help of my online community. Together, we created a list of amazing picture books illustrated by women.

For a number of years after that, I recreated the post, and each year I was truly shocked to discover many wonderful books I’d never even seen.  Despite the fact that I now actively seek out women illustrators in my own reading.

Today, five years have passed. And guess what?  The medal has been won by four men and one woman in that time.  Those numbers are… not great.  So here we are again, making a list! As usual, I’ll start off with a handful of books with art  I especially love, and I invite you all to leave comments with your own suggestions (American artists, please, 2018 titles, illustrated by women, though they can be written by men). I’ll try to add them as quickly as possible.

Because WOMEN MAKE PICTURE BOOKS TOO!

(note: it’s important to me to say that I don’t mean to diminish the accomplishments of the individual men who have won the medal.  Bad art doesn’t win this important award, and I know the committee takes its job very seriously each year, works hard. But we are all biased in so many ways, and it’s very clear that historically, the Caldecott reflects the systemic elevation of men in our industry. I’d really love it if we all became a little more aware of how our bias affects our preferences.)

**

Jillian Tamaki

*

Jessica LOve

*


Yuyi Morales

*

Corinna Luyken

*

Ekua Holmes

*

Sophie Blackall

*

Grace Lin

*

Emily Hughes

*

Dana Wulfekotte

*

Hyewon Yum

*

Jessie Sima

*

Melissa Iwai

*

Laura Vaccro Seeger

*

Catia Chien

*

Lauren Eldridge

*

Jennifer Thermes

*

Suzanne Kaufman

*

Juana Martinez-Neal

*

Giselle Potter

*

Sarah Lynne Reul

*

Sara Palacios

*

Vashti Harrison

*

Lily Williams

*

Jessie Sima

*

Kate Berube

*

Anne Sibley O’Brien

*

Dow Phumiruk

*

Katherine Roy

*

Stasia Burrington

*

Micha Archer

*

Thao Lam

*

Patrice Barton

*

Lita Judge

*

Hannah E. Harrison

*

Vanessa Brantley-Newton

*

Airlie Anderson

*

Jen Betton

*

Ebony Glenn

*

Julia Patton

*

Melissa Larson

*

Ekua Holmes

*

Hadley Hooper

*

Lucy Ruth Cummins

*

Jen Hill

*

Keturah A. Bobo

*

Galia Bernstein

*

Molly Idle

*

21 Responses to “WOMEN MAKE PICTURE BOOKS TOO…”

  1. Stacy Dillon Says:

    Adrian Simcox!

  2. laurel Says:

    already there! One of my faves!

  3. Lourdes Says:

    I love Emily Hughes’s lush work in EVERYTHING YOU NEED FOR A TREEHOUSE.

    I’m a sucker for all of Hyewon Yum’s work. SATURDAY IS SWIMMING DAY is delightful. I especially love her use of watercolor for the pool.

    I’d definitely put A BIG MOONCAKE FOR LITTLE STAR by Grace Lin on my list. It’s doing magic with (predominantly) only three colors: black, yellow, and white. It’s absolutely gorgeous.

  4. Sean McCarthy Says:

    SATURDAY IS SWIMMING DAY by Hyewon Yum; THE REMEMBER BALLOONS illustrated by Dana Wulfekotte. (Full disclosure: I’m a literary agent and I work w/ Hyewon and Dana, so I may be slightly biased, both both books are brilliant.)

  5. Susan Johnston Taylor Says:

    Harriet Gets Carried Away by Jessie Sima!

  6. Denis Markell Says:

    Melissa Iwai

    Thirty Minutes Over Oregon

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_CI5yDyCPM

    (supportive hubby or not, this is an amazing book)

  7. Phil Hilliker Says:

    You have some great choices already! So many beautiful books.

    Alma and How She got Her Name by Juana Martinez-Neal deserves to be considered, too.

  8. Debbie Says:

    Love the books you’ve listed! I’d add—

    The Town of Turtle, by Michelle Cuevas, illustrated by Catia Chien,
    Grandma Gatewood Hikes the Appalachian Trail, by Jennifer Thermes,
    Sleep Train, by Jonathan London, illustrated by Lauren Eldridge,
    How to Build a Hug: Temple Grandin and Her Amazing Squeeze Machine, by Amy Guglielmo, Jacqueline Tourville, illustrated by Giselle Potter,
    Blue, by Laura Vaccaro Seeger

    Ok I’ll stop there even though it would be easy to go on because, as always, there are TONS more gorgeous books by women out there!

  9. Josh Funk Says:

    The Remember Balloons illustrated by Dana Wulfekotte
    The Breaking News illustrated by Sarah Lynne Reul
    The Flying Girl illustrated by Sara Palacios
    Joan Procter, Dragon Doctor illustrated by Felicit Sala
    Festival of Colors illustrated by Vashti Harrison
    If Polar Bears Disappeared by illustrated Lily Williams
    A Big Mooncake for Little Star illustrated by Grace Lin
    Snow Pony and the Seven Miniature Ponies illustrated by Jessie Sima
    Mae’s First Day of School illustrated by Kate Berube
    Someone New by Anne Sibley O’Brien
    Counting on Katherine illustrated by Dow Phumiruk
    Otis and Will Discover the Deep illustrated by Katherine Roy
    Iver & Ellsworth illustrated by Melissa Larson
    Snail Mail illustrated by Julia Patton
    Just Being Jackie illustrated by Julia Denos
    An Extraordinary Ordinary Moth illustrated by Steliyana Doneva
    Everything You Need for a Treehouse illustrated by Emily Hughes
    Crescent Moons and Pointed Minarets illustrated by Mehrdokht Amini
    Alma and How She Got Her Name illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal
    Mommy’s Khimar illustrated by Ebony Glenn
    Sleep Train illustrated by Lauren Eldridge
    Twilight Chant illustrated by Jen Betton
    Neither illustrated by Airlie Anderson
    Grandma’s Purse illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton
    Friends Stick Together illustrated by Hannah E. Harrison
    Mary’s Monster illustrated by Lita Judge
    Quiet Please, Owen McPhee! illustrated by Patrice Barton
    Wallpaper by Thao Lam
    Girl Running illustrated by Micha Archer
    Mae Among the Stars illustrated by Stasia Burrington

    and that’s just off the top of my head…

  10. Cate Berry Says:

    Suzanne Kaufman and her stunning illustrations in All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold. Love to throw that vote in the hat.

  11. Linda Urban Says:

    I am still swooning over the amazing work that Hadley Hooper did for Home with Mabel and Sam.

  12. laurel Says:

    great list! A few aren’t American illustrators, so not eligible for Caldecott, so I’m leaving them off, but some of these are totally new to me!

  13. Barbara Moon Says:

    What Do You Do With a Voice Like That? Ekua Holmes

  14. Stephanie Lucianovic Says:

    Bloom: A Story of Fashion Designer Elsa Schiaparelli, illustrated by Julie Morstad and Nightlights by Lorena Alvarez. Both stunning.

  15. laurel Says:

    Morstad is Canadian, so not eligible, though I’m a massive fan.

  16. laurel Says:

    ANd Nightlights in 2017!

  17. Stephanie Lucianovic Says:

    Shoot!

    Okay, I’d replace with I AM ENOUGH with Keturah A. Bobo and BE KIND with Jen Hill. (Jen Hill does fabulous stuff with the Bland Sisters series, too.)

  18. Stephanie Lucianovic Says:

    Also, Lucy Ruth Cummins’ STUMPKIN.

  19. Josh Funk Says:

    It’s a stupid rule (needing to be American), especially since
    A. it was named after someone who wasn’t American.
    B. you don’t need to be American to be on the committee.
    C. the books were released by American publishers and available to the American public. (would we not give Helen Mirren an Oscar because she’s not American?)

    But I guess let us just tackle one issue at a time.

  20. Stephanie Lucianovic Says:

    Is it okay to mention someone who already won in the past? Because Molly Idle’s PEARL looks so lovely.

  21. Josh Funk Says:

    I am a Cat illustrated by Galia Bernstein

Leave a Reply