Vashti Harrison Wins 2024 Caldecott Medal

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Author and illustrator Vashti Harrison (Film/Video MFA 14) has been named the recipient of the 2024 Randolph Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children for her book Big.

This significant achievement marks a historic moment, as Harrison becomes the first Black woman to receive the Caldecott Medal. Her book Big also garnered 2024 Coretta Scott King author and illustrator honors.

Big, Harrison’s debut as both writer and illustrator, follows a child’s transformative journey towards self-love. The book explores the profound impact of words, capable of inflicting wounds or fostering healing, as it navigates themes of self-acceptance and resilience. Using a palette of pinks and grays, Harrison’s illustrations symbolically depict the emotional terrain of feeling “too big” in a world that values smallness.

“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.

Harrison is the #1 New York Times bestselling creator of Little Leaders, Little Dreamers, and Little Legends, and has illustrated notable works such as Andrea Beaty’s I Love You Like Yellow, Matthew Cherry’s Hair Love, and Stephanie V.W. Lucianovic’s Hello, Star. She is a two-time recipient of the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work for Children.

Related: Vashti Harrison Talks Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History

CalArts Wild Beast | Image by California Institute of the Arts
PUBLISHED BY Elizabeth McRae

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