It was my first year as a school librarian, and the first year I celebrated the announcement with students in any way.
From this point on in the challenge, I have strong connections and memories with almost every single book. Each year of titles feels like looking at an old photo album with a flood of feelings from first reads rushing back.
In the fall of 2003 I remember reading Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus to every class Kindergarten through 6th grade months before the awards were announced because I loved it that much. It was unique and funny and a riot to read out loud. And then I remember that amazing feeling early 2004 when a book I loved was honored by the committee.
The feeling was powerful - I suddenly felt such ownership in the award just by being a librarian who reads and loves picture books.
2004 was also the year that I remember seeking out The Man Who Walked Between the Towers, a title that was new to me, being utterly blown away and thinking, "Yes, of course this was the one!"
Reading these titles again for the challenge with the 75th anniversary celebration in Chicago coming in just a few days, has me thinking of each year's committee deliberating, debating, and defending each of these books with such care and professionalism.
...Oh, and also cats.
2004 Medal Winner:
The Man Who Walked Between the Towers
by Mordicai Gerstein
2004 Honor Books:
Ella Sarah Gets Dressed
by Margaret Chodos-Irvine
What Do You Do with a Tail Like This?
illustrated and written by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page
Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus
by Mo Willems
2005 Medal Winner:
Kitten's First Full Moon
The Red Book
by Barbara Lehman
Coming on Home Soon
illustrated by E.B. Lewis
written by Jacqueline Woodson
Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale
illustrated and written by Mo Willems
2006 Medal Winner:
The Hello, Goodbye Window
illustrated by Chris Raschka
2006 Honor Books:
illustrated by Bryan Collier
written by Nikki Giovanni
by Jon J. Muth
Hot Air: The (Mostly) True Story of the First Hot-Air Balloon Ride
illustrated and written by Marjorie Priceman
Song of the Water Boatman and Other Pond Poems
illustrated by Beckie Prange
written by Joyce Sidman
2007 Medal Winner:
2007 Honor Books:
Gone Wild: An Endangered Animal Alphabet
by David McLimans
Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom
illustrated by Kadir Nelson
written by Carole Boston Weatherford
Caldecott Challenge Total 1938-2007: 291