Publication Date

Spring 2016

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




Joni Richards Bodart


book, Caldecott, children, diversity, picture, race

Subject Areas

Library science; Information science


The Caldecott Medal, awarded annually by the American Library Association to the illustrator of the “most distinguished American picture book,” is the oldest and most prestigious award for children’s picture books in the United States. While the award winners have occasionally depicted racially diverse characters, it was not known to what extent the chosen winning titles have kept pace with changing racial demographics in the country. Diversity in children’s literature, and the lack thereof, has become a critical issue for our time. The social implications of failing to provide an exemplary collection of picture books and other literature representative of all of the United States’ citizens can be seen in our continuous struggle to reduce the impacts of racism. Research into how the Caldecott Medal awards have or have not kept pace with the racial composition of our country will help guide an informed discussion going forward and provide critical data to drive our conversations.