Theodor Seuss Geisel Award – American Library Association


Purpose: The Theodor Seuss Geisel Award recognizes the author(s) and illustrator(s) of a book for beginning readers who, through their literary and artistic achievements, demonstrate creativity. and imagination to engage children in reading.

Criteria: The award will be given annually to the author and illustrator of the most distinguished contribution to the body of American children’s literature encouraging and supporting the beginning reader published in English in the United States during the preceding year. . there are no limitations as to the character of the book under consideration except that it will be original and will function successfully as a book for beginning readers. honor books may be named. these will be books that truly stand out as well.

Award is restricted to author(s) and illustrator(s) who are citizens or residents of the United States.

in its deliberations, the committee will only consider books eligible for the award, as specified in the rules.

“authors and illustrators” may include co-authors and co-illustrators. the author(s) and illustrator(s) may receive the medal posthumously.

“distinguished” is defined as: marked for distinction: noted for significant achievement; marked by excellence in quality; marked by conspicuous excellence or eminence; individually distinct; providing a stimulating and successful reading experience for the beginning reader that contains the kind of plot, sensitivity, and pacing that can carry a child from cover to cover.

“American children’s literature” means that books originally published in other countries are not eligible.

“contribution to the body of children’s literature that encourages and supports the beginning reader” indicates the text of a book, which should be intended for readers from pre-kindergarten through grade 2. the book should also contain illustrations, which function as clues or clues to the text. the committee will consider all forms of writing: fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. reprints and compilations are not eligible.

Committee members should consider the following criteria: the topic should be intriguing enough to motivate the child to read; the book may or may not include short “chapters”; new words should be added slowly enough to make learning them a positive experience; words must be repeated to ensure retention of knowledge; sentences should be simple and direct; there must be a minimum of 24 pages. books cannot be longer than 96 pages; the illustrations must demonstrate the story being told; the book creates a successful reading experience, from start to finish; the plot advances from one page to the next and creates a “page turning” dynamic.

Number and Frequency of Awards: A Theodor Seuss Geisel Award for a book will be announced in January of each year during the American Library Association’s Winter Meeting for Best-Renowned Authors and Illustrators. . The announcement of the first Theodor Seuss Geisel Award is January 2006, with the first award presented in 2006, and will continue every year thereafter. if no suitable candidate is found for a given year, the award will not be awarded that year.

Selection of Jury to Administer the Award: The president of the Children’s Library Services Association, a division of the American Library Association, will appoint the committee to administer the award. the first committee will be appointed in the fall of 2004; and the first committee to sit in 2005. membership will be a chair and six members.

deadline for the nomination of candidates: the deadline for entries for the award is December 31st. the committee will consider books for the award up to and including this date. Mid-Winter Meeting dates may affect nominations due date, but will be specified annually.

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