Theodor Seuss Geisel Award

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Theodor Seuss Geisel Award

The Theodor Seuss Geisel Award is presented annually to both the author(s) and illustrator(s) of an outstanding book for beginning readers published in the past calendar year. The winning author(s) and illustrator(s) must demonstrate great creativity to engage children in reading. The first Theodor Seuss Geisel Award was presented in 2006 to author Cynthia Rylant and illustrator Suçie Stevenson for “Henry and Mudge and the Great Grandpas.” The Association Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the ALA, administers the award.  

2009 Medal winner

Are You Ready to Play Outside?  by Mo Willems (Hyperion Books for Children , an imprint of Disney Book Group)

Willems has created a masterpiece for beginning readers that is simply told through the use of dialogue, which melds perfectly with uncluttered pink and grey cartoon-style illustrations. Aside from the friendship theme that appears throughout Willems’ work, he continues to create astonishing emotional depth using the simplest of facial expressions on his characters. Are You Ready to Play Outside? tracks Piggie’s changing feelings about rainy weather and Gerald’s heroic efforts to help her grapple with her disappointments in a satisfying story arc.

“Mo Willems’ easily approachable text, captured in dialogue balloons and bold, expressive drawing of friends Piggie and Gerald experiencing the ups and downs of a rainy day, deliver laughter and love of story to beginning readers,” said Geisel Award Committee Chair Joan Atkinson.

2009 Honor Books

Chicken Said, ‘Cluck!’ by Judyann Ackerman Grant, illustrated by Sue Truesdell (HarperCollins Children’s Books, a division of HarperCollins Publishers)

Earl and Pearl shoo Chicken away as they work on their pumpkin patch, but as the story comes full circle, it’s Chicken who does the shooing and saves the day.  In this traditional yet fresh easy reader, even very new readers can understand the simple, symmetrical text together with the funny and endearing pictures that capture every emotion of the two young gardeners and the sometimes annoying Chicken.

One Boy , written and illustrated by Laura Vaccaro Seeger (A Neal Porter Book published by Roaring Brook Press, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishing Holdings Limited Partnership)

One Boy is an eye-catching picture book leading readers to discover words within words through a distinctive die-cut design and clean, bold illustrations. A surprise conclusion satisfyingly completes this unique tale of one boy’s artistic visions.

Stinky, written and illustrated by Eleanor Davis (RAW Junior/TOON Books)

Stinky, the swamp monster, is at first determined to rid his beloved “muddy, slimy, smelly swamp” of Nick, only to realize that this dreaded “kid” is not the appallingly clean intruder he supposes him to be, but a new friend.  Brimming with humor, the innovative comic-format illustrations, design and easy-to-read text will engage and delight new readers.

Wolfsnail: A Backyard Predator by Sarah C. Campbell, photographs by Sarah C. Campbell and Richard P. Campbell (Boyds Mills Press)

An exciting nonfiction look at the carnivorous wolfsnail trapping and devouring its victim, this science book uses bold block type against a white background to enhance the ease of reading. The magnified, detailed photographs and playful, informative text will amaze and attract readers.

Previous Winners