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Theodor Seuss Geisel Award

The Theodor Seuss Geisel Award is given annually to the author and illustrator of the most distinguished American book for beginning readers published in English in the United States during the preceding year. The winner, recognized for their literary and artistic achievements that demonstrate creativity and imagination to engage children in reading, receives a bronze medal.

 Honor Book authors and illustrators receive certificates, which are presented at the ALA Annual Conference. The award was established in 2004 and first presented in 2006.

The award is named for the world-renowned children’s author, Theodor Geisel. "A person’s a person no matter how small," Theodor Geisel, a.k.a. Dr. Seuss, would say. "Children want the same things we want: to laugh, to be challenged, to be entertained and delighted." Brilliant, playful, and always respectful of children, Dr. Seuss charmed his way into the consciousness of four generations of youngsters and parents. In the process, he helped them to read.

2010 Medal winner

Benny and Penny in the Big No-No!, written and illustrated by Geoffrey Hayes, published by TOON BOOKS, a division of RAW Junior, LLC

Benny and Penny in the Big No-No! is a perfect example of a graphic novel designed just for young readers. Siblings Benny and Penny encounter trouble when curiosity about a mysterious neighbor leads them into unexpected adventures. The characters' emotions are revealed in the rich artwork within each panel. Children will connect with the realistic dialogue and page-turning appeal of the story. They will be thrilled to enter the world of graphic novels.

“The real big 'no-no' would be to miss this distinctive beginning graphic novel with perfectly matched text and illustrations,” said Geisel Award Committee Chair Susan Veltfort.

2010 Honor Books

I Spy Fly Guy!,written and illustrated by Tedd Arnold, published by Scholastic, Inc.

Fly Guy and his pal Buzz are back in a fresh beginner chapter book. A disastrous ending to a game of hide and seek finds Fly Guy hauled away to the local dump in this new take on a lost pet. Arnold's watercolor and colored pencil cartoon-like illustrations are fun and fanciful.

Little Mouse Gets Ready, written and illustrated by Jeff Smith, and published by TOON BOOKS, a Division of RAW Junior, LLC.

Little Mouse narrates this story with humor and excitement as he dons clothes and dreams of adventures to come. The simplified bubble dialogue and one or two panels per page combine to create an appealing and effective format for new readers.

Mouse and Mole: Fine Feathered Friends, written and illustrated by Wong Herbert Yee, published by Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

In this quiet story of friendship, artistic Mole and poetic Mouse join forces to hatch a clever plan for watching skittish birds. They create their own book of paintings and poems to celebrate their bird-watching adventures. The soft illustrations reflect the gentleness of the text.

Pearl and Wagner: One Funny Day, written by Kate McMullan, illustrated by R. W. Alley, published by Dial Books for Young Readers.

In three short and simple chapters, friends Pearl and Wagner experience the hijinks and pranks of April Fools’ Day. Beginning with the cover art, McMullan and Alley set the stage and draw the reader in immediately. Readers will be delighted as Wagner gets the last laugh!


2009 Theodor Seuss Geisel Award Winner


Are You Ready to Play Outside? by Mo Willems (left) (Hyperion Books for Children, an imprint of Disney Book Group)

Willems has created a masterpiece for beginning readers that is simply told through the use of dialogue, which melds perfectly with uncluttered pink and grey cartoon-style illustrations. Aside from the friendship theme that appears throughout Willems’ work, he continues to create astonishing emotional depth using the simplest of facial expressions on his characters. Are You Ready to Play Outside? tracks Piggie’s changing feelings about rainy weather and Gerald’s heroic efforts to help her grapple with her disappointments in a satisfying story arc.

“Mo Willems’ easily approachable text, captured in dialogue balloons and bold, expressive drawing of friends Piggie and Gerald experiencing the ups and downs of a rainy day, deliver laughter and love of story to beginning readers,” said Geisel Award Committee Chair Joan Atkinson

2009 Honor Books

Chicken Said, ‘Cluck!’ by Judyann Ackerman Grant, illustrated by Sue Truesdell (HarperCollins Children’s Books, a division of HarperCollins Publishers)

Earl and Pearl shoo Chicken away as they work on their pumpkin patch, but as the story comes full circle, it’s Chicken who does the shooing and saves the day. In this traditional yet fresh easy reader, even very new readers can understand the simple, symmetrical text together with the funny and endearing pictures that capture every emotion of the two young gardeners and the sometimes annoying Chicken.

One Boy, written and illustrated by Laura Vaccaro Seeger {left} (A Neal Porter Book published by Roaring Brook Press, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishing Holdings Limited Partnership)

One Boy is an eye-catching picture book leading readers to discover words within words through a distinctive die-cut design and clean, bold illustrations. A surprise conclusion satisfyingly completes this unique tale of one boy’s artistic visions.

Stinky, written and illustrated by Eleanor Davis (The Little Lit Library, a division of RAW Junior, LLC)

Stinky, the swamp monster, is at first determined to rid his beloved “muddy, slimy, smelly swamp” of Nick, only to realize that this dreaded “kid” is not the appallingly clean intruder he supposes him to be, but a new friend. Brimming with humor, the innovative comic-format illustrations, design and easy-to-read text will engage and delight new readers.

Wolfsnail: A Backyard Predator by Sarah C. Campbell, photographs by Sarah C. Campbell and Richard P. Campbell (Boyds Mills Press)

An exciting nonfiction look at the carnivorous wolfsnail trapping and devouring its victim, this science book uses bold block type against a white background to enhance the ease of reading. The magnified, detailed photographs and playful, informative text will amaze and attract readers.

2008
Medal winner
There Is a Bird on Your Head by Mo Willems (Hyperion)

Honor books


First the Egg by Laura Vaccaro Seeger (Roaring Brook/Neal Porter)
Hello, Bumblebee Bat, written by Darrin Lunde, illustrated by Patricia J. Wynne (Charlesbridge)
Jazz Baby, written by Lisa Wheeler, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie (Harcourt)
Vulture View, written by April Pulley Sayre, illustrated by Steve Jenkins (Holt)

2007

Medal winner
Zelda and Ivy: The Runaways by Laura McGee Kvasnosky (Candlewick)

Honor books

Mercy Watson Goes for a Ride written by Kate DiCamillo and illustrated by Chris Van Dusen (Candlewick)
Move Over, Rover! by Karen Beaumont and illustrated by Jane Dyer (Harcourt)
Not a Box by Antoinette Portis (HarperCollins)

2006

Medal winner

Henry and Mudge and the Great Grandpas written by Cynthia Rylant and illustrated by Suçie Stevenson (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)

Honor books

Hi! Fly Guy by Tedd Arnold (Cartwheel Books, an imprint of Scholastic Inc.)
A Splendid Friend, Indeed by Suzanne Bloom (Boyds Mills Press)
Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa written by Erica Silverman and illustrated by Betsy Lewin (Harcourt, Inc.)
Amanda Pig and the Really Hot Day written by Jean Van Leeuwen and illustrated by Ann Schweninger (Dial Books for Young Readers, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group)

 

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