ALSC announces new children's book award named for Theodor Seuss Geisel

Contact: Larra Clark

ALA Media Relations


For Immediate Release

January 12, 2004

ALSC announces new children's book award named

for Theodor Seuss Geisel

(CHICAGO) The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), is delighted to announce the creation of a new award for outstanding children's literature. Named for the world-renowned children's author, the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award joins ALSC's prestigious family of awards recognizing the most distinguished children's literature published each year.

The Theodor Seuss Geisel Award will be 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 winner[s] of the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award will be announced during the ALA Midwinter Meeting in January 2006.

"There is a true magic to Geisel's work, which is clear in the enduring power of such classics as 'The Cat in the Hat' and 'Green Eggs and Ham,'" said ALSC President Gretchen Wronka. "This new award honors that spirit and the authors and illustrators that delight and engage children in reading."

"This is such a wonderful tribute to my husband," said Audrey Geisel, president of Dr. Seuss Enterprises. "Librarians are critical to instilling a love of reading in young people, and I'm so pleased the ALA and children's librarians will be selecting the best of the best in Dr. Seuss' name." Dr. Seuss would say, "A person's a person no matter how small. Children want the same things we want: to laugh, to be challenged, to be entertained and delighted." Brilliant, playful and always respectful of children, Dr. Seuss charmed his way into the consciousness of four generations of youngsters and parents. In the process, he helped them to read.

The award committee will hold its inaugural meeting at the 2005 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Boston, January 14-19. Caroline Ward, Ferguson Public Library (Conn.), will chair the committee, which also includes: Carole D. Fiore, State Library and Archives of Florida; Barbara Genco, Brooklyn Public Library (N.Y.); Nancy Green, Grand Canyon School (Ariz.); Leslie Holt, library consultant; Lynne Russo, National City Public Library (San Diego, Calif.); and Marilyn Sobotincic, Medina County District Library (Ohio).

ALSC is the world's largest organization dedicated to the support and enhancement of service to children in all types of libraries. ALSC sets the agenda for the future of children's library service and acts as a children's advocate urging policy makers to support library service for children.