Caldecott Honor Artist Christopher Denise

I asked Doug Salati, Christopher Denise, Michaela Goade, Jason Griffin, and Janelle Washington to each answer two questions and finish two sentence starters.

Hello, Christopher Denise! Congratulations on receiving a 2023 Caldecott Honor for Knight Owl. I love learning about the CALL. What was running through your heart when the Caldecott committee was clapping and cheering for you?

Christopher Denise: Actually, I nearly missed the call!

Just for fun, earlier that day I had changed my ringtone to the song “Tell Me Something Good” but then forgot about it. Anika and I had just sat down to watch Netflix’s adaptation of Lockwood & Co. when Rufus and Chaka Kahn started jamming away. I couldn’t figure out where the music was coming from and Anika said, ”Um… you might want to pick up your phone.”

When I heard the committee cheering away I thought, “Is this REALLY happening?!”


Never changing that ringtone.

What does receiving a Caldecott Honor for Knight Owl mean to you?

Christopher Denise: Honestly, it is still sinking in. I received an email from a friend following the announcements that really sent it home for me. She wrote;

“As the daughter of a children’s librarian, I grew up with a bookshelf filled with the Caldecott winners and Honor books. Congrats for your book will now forever be sitting next to Make Way for Ducklings and Where the Wild Things Are!!!!!!!! Thrilling.”

Overwhelmed with gratitude is the only way to describe it.

Just wow. I’ve been at this for a long time and to have my work recognized is such an honor.

Please finish the following sentence starters: 

Libraries have always been and will always be, if we are diligent, a safe and inclusive place of inspiration. They truly are worthy of our support.

Picture books are a unique form of interactive art that involves three people all at once. The writer, the illustrator, and most importantly, the reader. You can have a gorgeous text with beautiful illustrations, but neither alone is the art. The magic begins when a book is read.

Thank you, Christopher! Congratulations!

Borrow Knight Owl from your school or public library. Whenever possible, please support independent bookshops.


Popular Posts