Geoffrey Hayes, wins Geisel Award for “Benny and Penny in the Big No-No!”

Contacts: Macey Morales / Jennifer Petersen
ALA Media Relations
312-280-4393/5043 /

For Immediate Release
January 18, 2010

BOSTON – Author and illustrator Geoffrey Hayes is the 2010 recipient of the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award for “Benny and Penny in the Big No-No!” published by TOON BOOKS, a Division of RAW Junior, LLC. The award was announced today by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), during the ALA Midwinter Meeting held Jan. 15 – 19 in Boston.

The Theodor Seuss Geisel Award is given 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. The award is named for the world-renowned children’s author, Theodor Geisel, a.k.a. Dr. Seuss. Award winners are recognized for their literary and artistic achievements that demonstrate creativity and imagination to engage children in reading. Award and honor book recipients will receive their awards in Washington, D.C. during the ALA Annual Conference in June.

Geoffrey Hayes, creator of over forty books for children, presents beginning readers with an exciting new tale. Hayes has written and illustrated a number of books including the extremely popular series of Otto and Uncle Tooth Mystery Readers, the classic “Bear By Himself,” the Patrick Bear books and many beginning reader adventures. He currently lives in New York City.

“Benny and Penny in the Big No-No!” is a perfect example of a graphic novel designed just for young readers. Siblings Benny and Penny encounter trouble when curiosity about a mysterious neighbor leads them into unexpected adventures. The characters' emotions are revealed in the rich artwork within each panel. Children will connect with the realistic dialogue and page-turning appeal of the story. They will be thrilled to enter the world of graphic novels.

“The real big 'no-no' would be to miss this distinctive beginning graphic novel with perfectly matched text and illustrations,” said Geisel Award Committee Chair Susan Veltfort.

Four Geisel Honor Books were named:

“I Spy Fly Guy!” written and illustrated by Tedd Arnold and published by Scholastic, Inc.

Fly Guy and his pal Buzz are back in a fresh beginner chapter book. A disastrous ending to a game of hide and seek finds Fly Guy hauled away to the local dump in this new take on a lost pet. Arnold's watercolor and colored pencil cartoon-like illustrations are fun and fanciful.

Arnold has published over 50 books as author and illustrator. His book “Hi! Fly Guy” received a 2006 Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor. He currently lives in Elmira, New York.

“Little Mouse Gets Ready” written and illustrated by Jeff Smith, and published by TOON BOOKS, a Division of RAW Junior, LLC.

Little Mouse narrates this story with humor and excitement as he dons clothes and dreams of adventures to come. The simplified bubble dialogue and one or two panels per page combine to create an appealing and effective format for new readers.

When Jeff Smith was growing up in a small town in Ohio, he loved cartooning, but he never imagined all the places comics would take him. With the help of his wife, Vijaya, Jeff created, published and sold his comic book “BONE.” In 2008, Jeff’s work was the subject of a major museum exhibit at the Wexner Center Galleries in Columbus, Ohio. His other books include “Shazam! The Monster Society of Evil” and “RASL.” This is his first book created just for younger readers.

“Mouse and Mole: Fine Feathered Friends” written and illustrated by Wong Herbert Yee, and published by Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

In this quiet story of friendship, artistic Mole and poetic Mouse join forces to hatch a clever plan for watching skittish birds. They create their own book of paintings and poems to celebrate their bird-watching adventures. The soft illustrations reflect the gentleness of the text.

Yee studied art at Wayne State University in Detroit, Mich., graduating in 1975 with a BFA in printmaking. His first picture book, “EEK! There’s a Mouse in the House,” was published in 1992.

“Pearl and Wagner: One Funny Day” by Kate McMullan, illustrated by R. W. Alley and published by Dial Books for Young Readers.

In three short and simple chapters, friends Pearl and Wagner experience the hijinks and pranks of April Fools’ Day. Beginning with the cover art, McMullan and Alley set the stage and draw the reader in immediately. Readers will be delighted as Wagner gets the last laugh!

Kate McMullan began her professional life as a teacher, graduating from the University of Tulsa and Ohio State University with Bachelor's and Master's degrees in elementary education. McMullan has written more than 75 books for children and currently resides in New York City and Sag Harbor, New York.

R. W. Alley studied the history of art at Haverford College, outside of Philadelphia. His first book, “The Ghost in Dobb’s Diner,” was published in 1981and he has been writing stories and pictures ever since. Alley is also he illustrator of the popular Paddington Bear books.

The members of the 2010 Theodor Seuss Geisel Award Committee are: Chair Susan Veltfort, King County Library System, Issaquah, Wash.; Roxane Bartelt, Kenosha (Wis.) Public Library; Jennifer Duffy, King County Library System-Kingsgate Library, Kirkland, Wash.; Sarah Hagge, Park Ridge (Ill.) Public Library; Gaye Hinchliff, King County Library System-Foster (Wash.) Library; Debra Marshall, Wilson Elementary, Coppell, Texas; and Deborah Wright, Newport News Public Library System-Grissom Branch, Newport News, Va.

ALSC is the world’s largest organization dedicated to the support and enhancement of library service to children. With a network of more than 4,200 children’s and youth librarians, literature experts, publishers and educational faculty, ALSC is committed to creating a better future for children through libraries. To learn more about ALSC, visit their Web site at

For more information on the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award and other ALA Youth Media Awards, please visit