2012 Geisel Medal and Honor Books

2012 Medal Winner

Tales for Very Picky Eaters cover imageTales for Very Picky Eaters, written and illustrated by Josh Schneider, published by Clarion Books, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company

Each of the five chapters in “Tales for Very Picky Eaters” recounts James’ refusal to eat yet another disgusting, smelly, repulsive, lumpy or slimy food. Not only picky eaters, but all readers will delight in the outrageous suggestions along with the off the wall rationale from his very clever dad for why he should become more adventurous in his food selections. James turns the table on his father when he decides to become more daring and bold in his meal choices and actually tries something new.

Schneider captures the attitude of the picky eater. The illustrations have a cartoon-flavor and are executed in watercolor, pen and ink, and colored pencil.

“The dialogue presents some preposterous situations but even the most challenging words are presented in context so beginning readers can easily discern their meaning. The touches of humor make this book an engaging page turner,” said Geisel Award Committee Chair Carole D. Fiore.


2012 Honor Books

I Broke My Trunk cover imageI Broke My Trunk , written and illustrated by Mo Willems, published by Hyperion Books for Children, an imprint of Disney Book Group 

In this installment of Elephant and Piggie’s adventures, Piggie is very concerned because his best friend, Gerald the Elephant, has broken his trunk.  Gerald proceeds to tell Piggie a long, rambling story about how it happened.

The big, bold font, easy-to-read color coded speech balloons and repetition make this a perfect book for beginning readers.  The limited vocabulary blended with the humorous situation will keep readers engrossed until the end.



I Want My Hat Back cover imageI Want My Hat Back, written and illustrated by Jon Klassen, published by Candlewick Press

After losing his hat, Bear politely and patiently questions his fellow forest dwellers as to the whereabouts of his “red pointy hat.” Although no one admits to seeing the hat, deer helps Bear realize, “I HAVE SEEN MY HAT.”

Klassen has created a droll tale told in deadpan dialogue. The digital and Chinese ink illustrations are spare yet endearing. The text is black, brown, green and red, reflecting who is speaking thus helping the beginning reader follow the narrative. Early readers are allowed to interpret rabbit’s fate. This repetitive tale explores honesty and loss, a wry and witty offering that is truly unique. 



See Me Run cover imageSee Me Run, written and illustrated by Paul Meisel, published by Holiday House

Dogs and more dogs are everywhere. Running, sliding, jumping, splashing and having fun.  Perceptive beginning readers will be drawn into the story starting with the illustration on the title page that hints at the surprising ending to come. The simple text consists mostly of sight words familiar to the beginning reader.  The pen and ink, acrylic ink, and colored pencil illustrations add to the uproarious mood and are essential for a complete understanding of the story.

Limited vocabulary, text in large font and short sentences help the reader have a successful experience.  Even the blurb on the back cover uses vocabulary accessible for the emergent reader.



The members of the 2012 Theodor Seuss Geisel Award Committee are: Chair Carole D. Fiore, Training and Library Consulting, Tallahassee, Fla.; Lauren Anduri, Oakland Public Library, Oakland , Calif.,  and Sequoia Elementary School, Oakland, Calif.; Connie Champlin, Cultural Adventures, Centerville, Mass.; Cheryl Lee, Palo Alto (Calif.) City Library; Jackie Partch, Multnomah County Library, Portland, Ore.; Mary Schreiber, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Parma, Ohio; and Maureen White, University of Houston — Clear Lake.