SEATTLE — Author and illustrator Ethan Long is the 2013 recipient of the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award for “Up, Tall and High!” published by G. P. Putnam’s Sons, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group. 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. 25 – 29 in Seattle.
The Theodor Seuss Geisel Award is given to the author and illustrator 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 in engaging children in reading. Award and honor book recipients will receive their awards in Chicago during the ALA Annual Conference in June.
A bevy of birds perform a play in three acts, while teaching the concepts of up, tall and high. The large font, word repetition, occasional rhyming and simple, but clever illustrations support the very beginning reader’s effort to read independently. Children will delight in reading additional words hidden beneath thick flaps.
“Using few words, Ethan Long has created a book that children will enjoy on multiple levels. The humorous drawings and interactive story will have children raising flaps and reading their first words with confidence and delight,” said Geisel Award Committee Chair Carla D. Morris.
Three Geisel Honor Books were named: “Let’s Go for a Drive!” written and illustrated by Mo Willems and published by Hyperion Books for Children, an imprint of Disney Book Group; “Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons,” written by Eric Litwin and created and illustrated by James Dean, published by HarperCollins Children’s Books, a division of HarperCollins Publishers; and “Rabbit & Robot: The Sleepover,” written and illustrated by Cece Bell, published by Candlewick Press.
In “Let’s Go for a Drive!” good friends Elephant and Piggie, sharing their high spirits through song and dance, prepare for a drive. Best plans go awry when they realize they have no car. Text clues in color-coded speech bubbles, white backgrounds and bold mixed-media illustrations add to the book’s appeal for beginning readers.
In a picture book format accessible to beginning readers, a blue mellow-eyed feline keeps losing his groovy buttons in “Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons.” But does he cry? Goodness no! Bold backgrounds and rhyming refrains encourage beginning readers to look for the bright side of every situation. For after all, it’s all good!
In “Rabbit & Robot: The Sleepover,” Rabbit and Robot disagree on everything on rabbit’s “To Do” list at their sleepover, including Robot’s insistence of pizza toppings of nuts, bolts, and screws. Everything comes to a halt when Robot’s batteries run low. Humorous cartoon-style illustrations accompany four episodes, perfect for readers transitioning to easy chapter books.
The members of the 2013 Theodor Seuss Geisel Award Committee are: Chair Carla D. Morris, Provo (Utah) City Library; Deborah P. Green, Iowa City (Iowa) Public Library, retired;
Heather Hart, Newport Beach (Calif.) Public Library; Amy Kellman, children’s literature consultant; Sue McCleaf Nespeca, Kid Lit Plus Consulting, Gettysburg, Pa.; Dr. Diane Nielsen, University of Kansas, Lawrence; and Cynthia Williams, Coast Episcopal School, Long Beach, Miss.
ALSC is the world’s largest organization dedicated to the support and enhancement of library service to children. With a network of more than 4,000 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 website at www.ala.org/alsc.
For more information on the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award and other ALA Youth Media Awards, please visit www.ala.org/yma.