Theodor Seuss Geisel Award

About the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award
The Theodor Seuss Geisel Award, established in 2004, is given annually (beginning in 2006) to the author(s) and illustrator(s) of the most distinguished contribution to the body of American children’s literature known as beginning reader books published in the United States during the preceding year.

Administered by:

Association for Library Service to Children logo

2008 Winner(s)

There Is a Bird on Your Head

By Mo Willems (Hyperion)

In this humorous account of Elephant Gerald and Piggie's ongoing friendship, Gerald learns that there is something worse than having a bird on your head--having two birds on your head!  Trying to help her friend, the always-playful Piggie ends up with a problem of her own.


Willems' balanced design of color-coordinated speech bubbles, expressive cartoon art and familiar vocabulary create an engaging, laugh-out-loud experience for young readers.  The charming characters, whimsical tone and accessible language come together in this fresh and memorable celebration of friendship.


2008 Honor(s)

First the Egg

By Laura Vaccaro Seeger (Roaring Brook/Neal Porter)

Simple words and paintings create a jewel-like package in a stylish yet unpretentious book, inviting the new reader in again and again.  Lush, textured paint combined with die cuts in a trim size just right for deep thinkers, introduces the age-old chicken-and-egg riddle for the youngest reader.


Hello, Bumblebee Bat

Written by Darrin Lunde, illustrated by Patricia J. Wynne (Charlesbridge)

Nine questions and answers introduce the world's smallest bat in an informational book for emerging readers.  Straightforward text pops out of a sparse background allowing this little mammal to describe its habitat and characteristics in an intriguing and accessible way.


Jazz Baby

Written by Lisa Wheeler, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie (Harcourt)

Bebop rhyme and repeated stanzas are just the right rhythm for young readers in a nostalgic celebration of dancing, singing and playing music.  New words are effortlessly repeated as they bounce into the text and become part of the joyful gouache paintings that swing high and low with the movement of one lucky baby at the center of this loving family.


Vulture View

Written by April Pulley Sayre, illustrated by Steve Jenkins (Holt)

Rhyming, lyrical text, juxtaposed with dramatic textured collage come together in an innovative combination of science and poetry for new readers.  Spare text placed on vivid backgrounds introduces new readers to a day in the life of turkey vultures.