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.
2018 Medal Winner
Charlie & Mouse, written by Laurel Snyder, illustrated by Emily Hughes, and published by Chronicle Books
IIn four short chapters that could each stand alone, readers join young brothers Charlie and Mouse on a full day of imaginative adventures. The brothers talk to sleeping lumps, invite friends to an impromptu playground party, fail to sell rocks, and invent the bedtime banana. (Bedtime bananas—they’re a thing.)
Emily Hughes’ playful illustrations and Laurel Snyder’s clever text work together to highlight an inclusive cast of friends and neighbors, capturing a unique sense of place while reflecting the diverse world in which all children live. Snyder demonstrates both her understanding of and respect for the child reader though these stories, which encourage creative play and capture the childhood experience.
“Through authentic dialogue, thoughtfully repeated phrases, and distinctive illustrations, every reader will know that they too are invited to the party,” said Geisel Award Committee Chair Sandra J. Imdieke.
2018 Honor Books
I See a Cat, by Paul Meisel. Published by Holiday House
Earliest readers enjoy a bird’s-eye view of the daily experiences of a family’s pet dog as it waits for the return of his beloved boy. With only 10 distinct words, Meisel masterfully creates an engaging, satisfying and page turning read. Watercolor illustrations superbly provide visual clues to support the text and carry the story along. After the child turns the last page of “I See a Cat” anyone watching will say “I See a Reader.”
King & Kayla and the Case of the Missing Dog Treats, written by Dori Hillestad Butler, illustrated by Nancy Meyers, and published by Peachtree Publishers
In this mystery, Kayla’s dog King is accused of eating treats that she baked for her friend’s puppy. In five chapters King displays his sleuthing talents to track down the culprit and vindicate himself Full-color illustrations combine with declarative sentences to assist readers in decoding complex vocabulary for a successful reading experience.
My Kite Is Stuck! And Other Stories, by Salina Yoon. Published by Bloomsbury Children’s Books
In this sequel to “Duck, Duck, Porcupine,” the hilarious trio continue their antics with LittleDuck saving the day every time. The graphic novel format with its speech bubbles and bold illustrations supports newly independent readers, with each story functioning as a standalone.
Noodleheads See the Future, written by Tedd Arnold, Martha Hamilton, and Mitch Weiss, illustrated by Tedd Arnold, and published by Holiday House
Mac and Mac, Noodleheads hoping to eat a cake in their future, find themselves in hilarious situations generated from their own foolishness. The authors and illustrator bring a rich oral tradition to today’s beginning reader. A reader will enjoy being in on the jokes in this cleverly crafted story told in comic book style. For example, when asked “Can you give me a hand?” Mac and Mac reply, “We would give you this hand. But we can’t get it off.” Appealing illustrations support the text and contribute to a much-anticipated turn of the page from start to finish ending with a satisfying conclusion: “The future is here and it smells like cake!”
Snail & Worm Again, by Tina Kügler. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Snail and Worm’s gentle friendship and support of one another in these humorous and charming stories will delight readers. The seamless introduction of consonant blends and vowel diagraphsexpands new readers’ abilities.
The members of the 2018 Theodor Seuss Geisel Award Committee are Chair Sandra J. Imdieke, Northern Michigan University, Marquette, Mich.; Meagan Albright, Nova Southeastern University Alvin Sherman Library, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Kate Capps, Olathe (Kan.) Indian Creek Library; Renee M. Christiansen, Library System of Lancaster (Pa.) County; Rachée Fagg, Lansdowne (Pa.) Public Library; Joy Feldman, Sno-Isle Libraries,Tulalip, Wash. and Sylvie Juliet Shaffer, Maret School, Washington, D.C.