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

geisel gold seal image


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.

2017 Medal Winner

Book cover image: We Are Growing!We Are Growing: A Mo Willems’ Elephant & Piggie Like Reading! Book, written and illustrated by Laurie Keller and published by Hyperion Books for Children, an imprint of Disney Book Group.

With an endorsement from Elephant and Piggie, early readers will delight in following the hilarious and zany growth spurts of seven blades of grass. As the green blades talk (and posture) about their unique identities, they are interrupted by a menacing purple lawnmower.

Expressive facial features distinguish each blade and add to character development in a fresh way. The use of onomatopoeia, word play, speech bubbles, and creative manipulation of font size combine to offer beginning readers an engaging experience. 

"The committee appreciated the originality, pitch perfect humor, and natural sounding repetition that are ideal for the intended audience," said Geisel Award Committee Chair Shilo Halfen. "Who knew that watching grass grow could be so much fun?"

2017 Honor Books

Book cover images: Good Night Owl
Good Night Owl
, written and illustrated by Greg Pizzoli and published by Disney-Hyperion, an imprint of  Disney Book Group.
As owl is going to sleep, he is repeatedly interrupted by a "squeek". Determined to find its source, Owl tears apart his house from cupboard to floorboard to roof.

Book cover image: Oops Pounce Quick Run!
Oops, Pounce, Quick, Run! An Alphabet Caper
, written and illustrated by Mike Twohy and published by Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.
A mouse. A dog. And a ball.  This clever romp carries beginning readers on an epic chase using common and decodable words and strong illustrative cues to move the action forward.

Book cover image: Go, Otto, Go!
Go Otto Go!
, written and illustrated by David Milgrim and published by Simon Spotlight, an Imprint of Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing Division.
Using just twenty different words, readers encounter an engaging robot adventure with surprising emotional complexity. Milgrim masterfully expands this extremely simple text through humorous, energetic illustrations.

Book cover image: The Infamous Ratsos
The Infamous Ratsos
, written by Kara LaReau, illustrated by Matt Myers, and published by Candlewick Press.
Two city dwelling rat brothers set out to prove just how tough they are. Yet their every attempt to cause havoc has unintended – and positive – outcomes. More experienced beginning readers will find delightful misadventures told with accessible text, varied sentence structure, and black and white highly humorous illustrations.


The members of the 2017 Theodor Seuss Geisel Award Committee are: Chair Shilo Halfen, Chicago Public Library; Patty Carleton, Saint Louis Public Library; Miriam Gerald Martinez, University Of Texas at San Antonio; Kathleen Neil, Enoch Pratt Free Library, Baltimore; Susannah Richards, Eastern Connecticut State University, Willimantic, Conn.; Madeline Walton-Hadlock, Sacramento (Calif.) Public Library; and Judy Zuckerman, Brooklyn (N.Y.) Public Library.