The Geisel Award is given annually to the authors and illustrators of the most distinguished American book for beginning readers published in English in the United States during the preceding year. The award is named for Theodor Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, who once said, “Children want the same things we want: to laugh, to be challenged, to be entertained and delighted.”
The 2020 Geisel Award was given to Stop! Bot! by James Yang with honors being awarded to Chick and Brain: Smell My Foot! by Cece Bell, Flubby Is Not a Good Pet! by J.E. Morris, and The Book Hog by Greg Pizzoli.
Winner: Stop! Bot! by James Yang
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.
Honors: Flubby Is Not a Good Pet! by J.E. Morris
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.
Honors: Chick and Brain: Smell My Foot! by Cece Bell
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.
Honors: The Book Hog by Greg Pizzoli
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.
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