The Caldecott Medal was named in honor of nineteenth-century English illustrator Randolph Caldecott.(1846-1886) who transformed the world of children's books in the Victorian era. Children eagerly awaited the two books illustrated by him which were published every Christmas for eight years. Each book was priced at a shilling each.

Randolph's output, however, ranged wider than this: he illustrated novels and accounts of foreign travel; he made humorous drawings depicting hunting and fashionable life.  In his early childhood Randolph drew and modelled, mostly animals, and he continued drawing for the rest of his life.