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

2017 Winner(s)

We Are Growing: A Mo Willems’ Elephant & Piggie Like Reading! Book

written by Laurie Keller. The book is 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(s)

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.


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.


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.


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.