Welcome to the (Theodor Seuss) Geisel Award home page!

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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.


2020 Medal Winner

Stop! Bot! written and illustrated by James Yang and published by Viking, Penguin Young Readers

When a child loses control of a flying bot, a diverse group of apartment residents attempt to stop it.  As the bot drifts up each floor of the skyscraper, the tenants try creative and extreme strategies to no avail; leading up to a surprise rooftop captor and an ingenious rescue. Yang’s playful, digital art centers action with emotive faces and masterful illustrations in a vertical book. The illustrations pair effectively with black speech bubbles with bold white font while the short sentences respect a child’s eye span of a few words per line; overall providing exemplary support for beginning readers.

“Captivating illustrations featuring diversity and inclusion, this book is a fun accessible read for beginning readers,” said Geisel Award Committee Chair Jean Gaffney. 

2020 Honor Books

Chick and Brain: Smell My Foot! written and illustrated by Cece Bell and published by Candlewick Press.

Move over Dick and Jane! Enter Chick and Brain. A smelly foot, a hungry dog and some manners drive this uproarious story of two friends. Each chapter has simple, repetitive words to support beginning readers. The cartoon-style illustrations in a graphic novel format reinforce the non-stop hilarity.   

Flubby Is Not a Good Pet! written and illustrated by J.E. Morris and published by Penguin Workshop, an imprint of Penguin Random House.

Flubby is a lazy, but loveable cat.  He does not sing, jump, catch, or run. One thing he will always do is bring comfort and kindness just when it is needed most.  This book combines early sight words with simple sentences to provide an enjoyable reading experience for beginning readers.

The Book Hog, written and illustrated by Greg Pizzoli and published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.

The Book Hog loves books, but this scooter-driving, beret-wearing, bibliophile hog has a big secret: he can’t read! Clues to decoding the text abound in the appealing illustrations, including fun details that readers will love to devour. From cover to cover, a love letter to libraries, books and learning to read.

The members of the 2020 Theodor Seuss Geisel Award Committee are Chair Jean B. Gaffney, Miamisburg, Ohio; Dr. Denise Davila, University of Texas at Austin; Melody T. Leung, Whatcom County Library System, Lynden, Washington; Sara Pope, Houston Public Library, Texas; Kelly Finan Richards, Baltimore County Public Schools, Maryland; and Barbara Spears, Greenbelt Children’s Center, Greenbelt, Maryland.