The Geisel Award is given annually to the author(s) and illustrator(s) of the most distinguished American book for beginning readers published in English in the United States during the preceding year.
2014 Medal Winner
The Watermelon Seed
, written and illustrated by Greg Pizzoli, is the Geisel Award winner. The book is published by Disney Hyperion Books, an imprint of Disney Book Group.
A watermelon-loving crocodile becomes distraught after swallowing a seed, believing it will grow inside of him. Told in straight-forward, accessible vocabulary, this innovative look at a childhood fear by debut author Greg Pizzoli creates engaging three-spot color illustrations that are as fresh as a cool slice of watermelon.
Pizzoli’s The Watermelon Seed is innovative but with a retro quality that will embrace the emergent reader in this satisfying treat,” said Geisel Award Committee Chair Penny Peck.
2014 Honor Books
, written and illustrated by Mary Sullivan and published by Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company
A ball-obsessed pup desperately waits for his owner to return to continue their play. The earliest reader will be empowered by the one-word text melded with action-packed sequential art.
A Big Guy Took My Ball! written and illustrated by Mo Willems and published by Hyperion Books for Children, an imprint of Disney Book Group
Gerald comes to Piggie’s aid when a big guy takes away the ball she found. The classic schoolyard encounter has a wry twist and satisfying resolution in Willems’ hands. Color coded speech bubbles and expressive cartoon illustrations will delight the reader.
Penny and Her Marble
, written and illustrated by Kevin Henkes and published by Greenwillow Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.
Penny has second thoughts after picking up a beautiful, blue marble from her neighbor’s yard. Was it wrong to take this treasure? Penny’s moral dilemma is explored with emotional truth in four brief chapters. Henkes’ soft-hued watercolors perfectly capture Penny’s joy and agony.
The members of the 2014 Theodor Seuss Geisel Award Committee are: Chair Penny Peck, San Lorenzo, Calf.; Emily Chandler, Lawrence Branch Library, Indianapolis; Christina H. Dorr, Hilliard (Ohio) City School District; Danielle A. Shapiro, Brooklyn (N.Y.) Public Library Highlawn Branch; Joanna Lynn Tamplin, Hawks Rise Elementary, Tallahassee, Fla. Linda Ward-Callaghan, Joliet (Ill.) Public Library; and Janet Raelene Weber, Tigard (Ore.) Public Library.