Mel Fell by Corey R. Tabor

Hello, Corey R. Tabor! Congratulations on winning a 2022 Caldecott Honor for Mel Fell. I love learning about the CALL. What was running through your heart when the Caldecott committee was clapping and cheering for you?

Corey R. Tabor: Thank you! I actually got the Geisel call first. It was Saturday and my editor had sent me a very mysterious email with instructions to log on to a Zoom call. With the ALA announcements coming up, I knew it had to be good news. I just had no idea what kind of good news. Despite all of my wild speculating I was stunned when the Geisel committee popped onto my screen and introduced themselves and started cheering. I think I managed to say thank you. (I sure hope so anyways.)

Shortly after that call my cell phone rang and it was somebody from the Zoom call telling me that I was about to receive a call from another committee. Before I could wrap my head around that, my phone rang again and it was the chair of the Caldecott committee! When she said the words “Randolph Caldecott committee,” I think I stopped breathing. I couldn’t believe it. I’m still having a hard time believing it.

What does receiving a Caldecott Honor for Mel Fell mean to you?

Corey R. Tabor: It means more than I have the words for (and I’m supposed to be a writer)! It means I get to keep making children’s books! And it means that when I’m working on a book and I start to feel like I’ve forgotten how to make art and I’ve forgotten how stories work (this isn’t hypothetical—it happens all the time, it’s already happened twice today), I can remind myself that I won a Caldecott Honor (even typing those words feels unreal) and who am I to argue with the Caldecott committee?

Please finish the following sentence starters:

School libraries are the best places in the world. Public libraries too! If aliens land on Earth maybe they’ll find their way to a school library. And they’ll be like, “Hey, look! Humans aren’t so bad, actually.” And then they’ll decide not to destroy us after all.

Picture books are my favorite kind of books—and I love books. They’re mini art museums you can carry around. They can be whole entire worlds, or just a tiny captured moment. And they’re perfect for cozying up in a comfy seat with your favorite toddler. You know what? I think I’ll go read a picture book right now.

Congratulations, Corey!

Corey R. Tabor is the author and illustrator of Mel Fell, Snail Crossing, Fox and the Jumping Contest, Fox and the Bike Ride, Fox Is Late, Fox versus Winter, and the Geisel Award–winning Fox the Tiger. Corey lives in Seattle with his wife and children and spends his time making pictures and stories. 


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