Rylant and Stevenson win first-ever Seuss Award for “Henry and Mudge and the Great Grandpas”


Larra Clark/Macey Morales

ALA Media Relations

For Immediate Release

January 23, 2006

Rylant and Stevenson win first-ever Seuss Award for “Henry and Mudge and the Great Grandpas”

(SAN ANTONIO) Author Cynthia Rylant and illustrator Suçie Stevenson are the 2006 winners of the Theodor Seuss Geisel Beginning Reader Award for their book “Henry and Mudge and the Great Grandpas.”

In four simple and joyful chapters, Henry and his sweet-natured dog enjoy a memorable visit with great-grandpa Bill and his buddies at the “grandpa house.” The full and happy day is highlighted by a frolic in the pond, with grandpas in their “skivvies,” topped off by a spaghetti dinner.

Stevenson’s distinctive line and watercolor drawings provide an effective and gentle counterpoint to the comprehensible text. The simple sentence structure, along with a design that advances this well-told story, provides a satisfying celebration of family and friendship.

“Henry and Mudge and the Great Grandpas” is published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.

“This fresh and child-centered story featuring Mudge, that drooling mass of unconditional love, and his pal Henry, will immediately engage beginning readers,” said Committee Chair Caroline Ward.

Four Geisel Honor Books were named: “Hi! Fly Guy” by Tedd Arnold and published by Cartwheel Books, an imprint of Scholastic Inc.; “A Splendid Friend, Indeed” by Suzanne Bloom and published by Boyds Mills Press; “Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa” by Erica Silverman, illustrated by Betsy Lewin and published by Harcourt, Inc.; and “Amanda Pig and the Really Hot Day” by Jean Van Leeuwen, illustrated by Ann Schweninger and published by Dial Books for Young Readers, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group.

In “Hi! Fly Guy,” a beautiful friendship begins when Buzz the boy, proves that a fly can be one smart pet. This slim, reader-friendly tale has a robust humor and wacky cartoon art featuring an eye-popping cover.

In a picture-book format perfect for emergent readers, a persistent goose wins the affection and friendship of a preoccupied polar bear in “A Splendid Friend, Indeed.” The expressive pastel paintings and playful text of the book mirror the exuberance for reading and writing.

Plucky Kate and her beloved horse have a day of adventures, including surprises, counting cows, and bedding down in the barn. Along the trail, the humorous repartee and fluid watercolor paintings set the tone and mood to engage new readers in “Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa.”

It’s too darn hot. Hot as a fried egg. Hot as toast. Hot as oatmeal. In four simple linked tales, “Amanda Pig and the Really Hot Day” chronicles such kid-friendly strategies as a sprinkle with a hose and lots of lemonade. Schweninger’s cartoony pencil drawings, heightened with fruit-toned watercolors combine for an accessible treat that is as refreshing as a cool breeze.

The members of the 2006 Theodor Seuss Geisel Beginning Reader Award Committee are: Chair Caroline Ward, the Ferguson Library, Stamford, Conn.; Carole D. Fiore, Tallahassee, Fla.; Barbara Genco, Brooklyn Public Library, Brooklyn, New York; Nancy Green, Grand Canyon Schools, Grand Canyon, Ariz.; Leslie Holt, Holt Consulting, St. Louis; Lynne Russo, San Diego Public Library; and Marilyn Sobotincic, Medina County District Library, Medina, Ohio.