The medal is named after Randolph Caldecott, an influential children's illustrator working in England in the 19th century. His illustrations for children were unique to their time in both their humor, and their ability to create a sense of movement, vitality, and action that complemented the stories they accompanied.
Caldecott Honor Books
Both the Newbery and Caldecott Medal committees had a difficult time choosing one book as a winner. Committee members began to recognize additional books as worthy of attention. These "runners-ups" are now referred to as "honor books."
Multiple Award Winnders
The Caldecott Medal came 15 years after the first Newbery Medal was awarded. Each year the American Library Association (ALA) would honor the authors of the most distinguished American children's books published the previous year. Some members of ALA became concerned that the artists creating picture books for children were just as deserving of recognition as authors of children's books. In 1937, Frederic G. Melcher suggested the establishment of a second annual medal. This medal would be given to the artist who had created the most distinguished picture book of the year. In 1938, the first Caldecott medal was awarded to Animals of the Bible, A Picture Book, illustrated by Dorothy P. Lathrop.
"The Randolph Caldecott Medal", American Library Association, November 30, 1999. http://www.ala.org/alsc/awardsgrants/bookmedia/caldecottmedal/aboutcaldecott/aboutcaldecott (Accessed November 20, 2013)
Caldecott Winners at MBCC Framingham
If you are looking for biographical information on an author or artist, a good place to start is at the database "Biography in Context." You can also check the Biography Respurces Libguide for more information.
Read Them All!
If you want try and read all the Caldecott Winner and Honor books, here is a handy checklist to print out and help you keep track of your progress.