James Yang wins Geisel Award for 'Stop! Bot!'

For Immediate Release
Mon, 01/27/2020


Communications and Marketing Office

ALA Media Relations



PHILADELPHIA – Author and illustrator James Yang is the 2020 recipient of the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award for “Stop! Bot!” published by Viking, Penguin Young Readers. 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 January 24 - 28, in Philadelphia.

The 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.  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 Chicago during the ALA Annual Conference in June.

When a child loses control of a flying bot, a diverse group of apartment residents attempt to stop it.  As the bot drifts up each floor of the skyscraper, the tenants try creative and extreme strategies to no avail; leading up to a surprise rooftop captor and an ingenious rescue.

Yang’s playful, digital art centers action with emotive faces and masterful illustrations in a vertical book. The illustrations pair effectively with black speech bubbles with bold white font while the short sentences respect a child’s eye span of a few words per line; overall providing exemplary support for beginning readers.

“Captivating illustrations featuring diversity and inclusion, this book is a fun accessible read for beginning readers,” said Geisel Award Committee Chair Jean Gaffney.

Three Geisel Honor Books were named:

“Chick and Brain: Smell My Foot!” written and illustrated by Cece Bell and published by Candlewick Press.

Move over Dick and Jane! Enter Chick and Brain. A smelly foot, a hungry dog and some manners drive this uproarious story of two friends. Each chapter has simple, repetitive words to support beginning readers. The cartoon-style illustrations in a graphic novel format reinforce the non-stop hilarity.   

“Flubby Is Not a Good Pet!” written and illustrated by J. E. Morris and published by Penguin Workshop, an imprint of Penguin Random House.

Flubby is a lazy, but loveable cat.  He does not sing, jump, catch, or run. One thing he will always do is bring comfort and kindness just when it is needed most.  This book combines early sight words with simple sentences to provide an enjoyable reading experience for beginning readers.

“The Book Hog” written and illustrated by Greg Pizzoli and published by Disney-Hyperion, an imprint of Disney Book Group.

The Book Hog loves books, but this scooter-driving, beret-wearing, bibliophile hog has a big secret: he can’t read! Clues to decoding the text abound in the appealing illustrations, including fun details that readers will love to devour. From cover to cover, a love letter to libraries, books and learning to read.

The members of the 2020 Theodor Seuss Geisel Award Committee are Chair Jean B. Gaffney, Miamisburg, Ohio; Dr. Denise Davila, University of Texas at Austin; Melody T. Leung, Whatcom County Library System, Lynden, Washington; Sara Pope, Houston Public Library, Texas; Kelly Finan Richards, Baltimore County Public Schools, Maryland; and Barbara Spears, Greenbelt Children’s Center, Greenbelt, Maryland.

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 members are committed to engaging communities to build healthy, successful futures for all children. 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.