David A. Adler, Sam Ricks win Geisel Award for “Don’t Throw It To Mo!”

For Immediate Release
Mon, 01/11/2016


Macey Morales

Deputy Director

Public Awareness Office

American Library Association

312 280 4393


BOSTON – Author David A. Adler and illustrator Sam Ricks are the 2016 recipients of the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award for “Don’t Throw It To Mo!” published by Penguin Young Readers, an Imprint of Penguin Group (USA) 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 & Exhibition held Jan. 8 – 12, 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 Orlando, Florida, during the ALA Annual Conference in June. 

In “Don’t Throw It To Mo!” underdog football player Mo Jackson may be the smallest kid on his team, but Coach Steve has a plan for him to save the day. Readers will cheer as eager Mo makes the final incredible catch and sprints past the goal line.

Ricks' crisp and vibrant illustrations perfectly capture the action and humor inherent in the engaging narration. Varied sentence length, repetition, and the deliberate design choices create a successful reading experience.

David A. Adler is the author of more than two hundred children's books, including “Cam Jansen” and “Jeffrey Bones.” He lives in Woodmere, NY. Sam Ricks, illustrator and creative director, lives in Utah.

"The high interest subject matter and thoughtful design support the needs of beginning readers. The text and illustrations work together seamlessly and build to a satisfying conclusion," said Geisel Award Committee Chair Amanda Foulk.

Three Geisel Honor Books were named:

"A Pig, a Fox, and a Box" written and illustrated by Jonathan Fenske, and published by Penguin Young Readers, an Imprint of Penguin Group (USA) LLC.

Fox likes to play tricks on Pig using a box, but in three brief episodes the not-so-clever Fox comes out worse in each event. Cartoonish antics are supported by simple rhyming dialogue and clear illustrations which invite readers to enjoy this comedic duo again and again.

Freelance illustrator, designer, and artist Jonathan Fenske has written several beginning readers and lives in Denver, CO.

"Waiting" written and illustrated by Kevin Henkes, and published by Greenwillow Books, an Imprint of HarperCollins Publisher.

Five animal figurines wait together by the window. In this gentle story, readers and characters meet new friends, observe the unhurried passage of the seasons, and anticipate what may come next. Previous Geisel Honoree Kevin Henkes is the creator of many beloved children’s books.

"Supertruck" written and illustrated by Stephen Savage, A Neal Porter Book published by Roaring Brook Press, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishing Holdings Limited Partnership.

When a blizzard comes to town, an unassuming garbage truck secretly trades his glasses for a powerful snowplow and becomes the heroic “Supertruck.” Savage’s text compliments the bold clarity and elegant geometry of his digital art. Stephen Savage has written and illustrated nine children’s books and lives in Brooklyn, New York.

The members of the 2016 Theodor Seuss Geisel Award Committee are: Chair Amanda Foulk, Sacramento (Calif.) Public Library; Elizabeth Basile, Chicago; Amy Seto Forrester, Denver Public Library; Jenna Friebel, Deerfield (Ill.) Public Library; A. Charlene McKenzie, Saint Paul (Minn.) Public Library; Katya Schapiro, Brooklyn (N.Y.) Public Library; and Misti Tidman, Licking County Library, Newark, Ohio.

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.