CHICAGO – Author Anna Kang and illustrator Christopher Weyant are the 2015 recipients of the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award for “You Are (Not) Small,” published by Two Lions, New York. 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. 30 – Feb. 3 in Chicago.
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 San Francisco during the ALA Annual Conference in June.
In “You Are (Not) Small,” a heated debate quickly ensues when two furry creatures can’t agree on who is big and who is small. As more creatures take sides, the situation escalates until new arrivals put everything into perspective with a BOOM! Everyone soon reaches an understanding that size is relative, and walk away realizing that they have more in common than they thought.
Bringing together expressive ink and watercolor illustrations and cleverly simple text, Kang and Weyant successfully craft a humorous tale. Declarative sentences work with dramatic illustrations to create a lively tension that builds to an unexpected and satisfying conclusion.
“’You Are (Not) Small’ shows that, by pairing energetic pictures with carefully crafted words, even a small story is able to make a big impact.” said Geisel Award Committee Chair Kevin Delecki.
Kang was born in New York. Weyant was born in New Jersey. They are married and live with their two daughters in New Jersey. This is their first children’s book.
Two Geisel Honor Books were named:
“Mr. Putter & Tabby Turn the Page” by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Arthur Howard and published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company
Mr. Putter and his cat Tabby are excited to participate in a library read-aloud program, but they are nervous when Mrs. Teaberry and her unpredictable dog Zeke want to join. Despite Zeke’s antics, their fears are unfounded when they discover that the event is a success for all involved.
Rylant was born in Hopewell, Va, and resides in Lake Oswego, Ore. She was the author recipient of the first Theodor Seuss Geisel Award, presented in 2006, for her book “Henry and Mudge and the Great Grandpa,” illustrated by Suçie Stevenson.
Howard was born and lives in New York City.
“Waiting Is Not Easy!” by Mo Willems and published by Hyperion Books for Children, an imprint of Disney Book Group.
Piggie has a big surprise for Gerald, but does he have the patience to wait? As the day wears on, Piggie remains calm while Gerald experiences a roller coaster of emotions, anticipating his reward. As night falls, their patience pays off with a breathtaking conclusion.
Mo Willems was born in Des Plaines, Ill., and currently lives in Massachusetts. His Elephant and Piggie series has been awarded two Theodor Seuss Geisel Award, and five Geisel Honors.
The members of the 2015 Theodor Seuss Geisel Award Committee are: Chair Kevin Delecki, Greene County (OH) Public Library; Claire Arnold, DC Public Library, Washington, D.C.; Lindsay Huth, Arlington Heights (IL) Memorial Library; Jennifer Longee, Durham (NC) Academy Middle School; Sarah Reid, Broome County (NY) Public Library; JoAnna Schofield, Akron-Summit (OH) County Public Library; and Sarah Stippich, Free Library of Philadelphia (PA).
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.ilovelibraries.org/yma.
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