Prayer for a Child – 1945 Caldecott Medal

Prayer for a Child, written by Rachel Field and illustrated by Elizabeth Orton Jones, won the 1945 Caldecott Medal.  This sweet bedtime poem asks for blessings on a little girl’s food, bed, shoes, and other familiar items in a home, as well as the beloved people in a child’s life.  I really love the thankfulness expressed for things that many of us take for granted.

Caldecott Criteria:

1. “Excellence of execution in the artistic technique employed.” – The illustrations in this book are beautiful, but sometimes the little girl’s expressions seem awkward.

2. “Excellence of pictorial interpretation of story, theme, or concept.” – Each frame is sure to remind children of the objects for thankfulness mentioned in the prayer.

3. “Appropriateness of style of illustration to the story, theme or concept.”-  Some may find the style to be a bit outdated, but I believe that, regardless of the picture of a baby in a cloth diaper with safety pins, these pictures are still classic.

4. “Delineation of plot, theme, characters, setting, mood or information through the pictures.” – The little girl’s character is well defined, but the other literary aspects are irrelevant in this book.

5. “Excellence of presentation in recognition of a child audience.” – I knew my little girls enjoyed this bedtime book when I heard a deep, contented sigh from beside me as I read the book’s final “Amen.”


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