Katrina Morse for Family Reading Partnership
In the mid 1700’s an English book publisher, John Newbery, started a series of books especially for children called “Little Pretty Pocket-Books.” Newbery worked to make children’s literature popular and a profitable part of the literary market. Years later, in 1921, the Newbery Medal for best children’s literature was named after him in recognition of his contributions.
In 1938 the first Caldecott medal was awarded for best illustrations in a children’s book. Since then, many more awards in different categories have been created to encourage writers and illustrators to produce high quality children’s literature.
The American Library Association (ALA) and its committees decide on winners and announce their choices at their midwinter meeting in January each year. It’s an exciting time as authors and illustrators in the children’s book world eagerly await the decisions!
- “Merci Suárez Changes Gears,” a middle grade novel written by Meg Medina received the John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature.
- “Hello Lighthouse,” illustrated and written by Sophie Blackall received the Randolph Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children.
Caldecott Honor Books:
- “Alma and How She Got Her Name,” illustrated and written by Juana Martinez-Neal
- “A Big Mooncake for Little Star,” illustrated and written by Grace Lin
- “The Rough Patch,” illustrated and written by Brian Lies
- “Thank You, Omu!” illustrated and written by Oge Mora
The Theodor Seuss Geisel Award was inaugurated in 2006, awarded to the authors and illustrators of the most distinguished beginning reader book. The 2019 winner is:
- “Fox the Tiger,” written and illustrated by Corey R. Tabor
- “The Adventures of Otto: See Pip Flap,” written and illustrated by David Milgrim
- “Fox + Chick: The Party and Other Stories,” written and illustrated by Sergio Ruzzier
- “King & Kayla and the Case of the Lost Tooth,” written by Dori Hillestad Butler, illustrated by Nancy Meyers
- “Tiger vs. Nightmare,” written and illustrated by Emily Tetri
Check out all the categories and winners online at ALA.org. See how many you and your family have read already and find some titles you want to look into reading. Award and honor books have a round metallic sticker on their cover, so you can spot them when looking through a book collection.
Maybe you and your children have your own ideas of award winning books. What are the winners in your household?