As you may or may not know, the winner of the Caldecott medal (given to the most distinguished picture book of the year) will be announced this weekend during the American Library Association's Midwinter Conference. Our Library Director, Gene Nelson, has served on the Caldecott committee in the past, and this Friday we've asked him to pick his five favorites to win the medal or to be named honor books. Here are his picks; we'll see how close he gets! 

1Drum Dream Girl
written by Margarita Engel, illustrated by Rafael Lopez
(2015; acrylic )

Based on the true story of young girl breaking down the gender barrier in drum playing in Cuba, this bright surrealistic picture book is eye catching


written and illustrated by Kevin Henkes
(2015; ink, watercolors, colored pencil)

Previous Caldecott winner Henkes assembles an unlikely group of very patient characters waiting, but for what?


3If You Plant a Seed
written and illustrated by Kadir Nelson
(2015; oil)

Coretta Scott King winner deftly uses oils in creating a colorful fableish tale of planting seeds.


4Lenny and Lucy
written by Philip Stead, illustrated by Erin Stead
(2015; mixed media)

The 2011 Caldecott Winner is back with a story about apprehension and friendship.


5The Whisper
written and illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski
(2015; mixed media)

Magical and whimsical in color and style, Zagarenski does it again with a heart-warming story about story.


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