The Irma Simonton Black and James H. Black Award for Excellence in Children’s Literature goes to an outstanding book for young children in which text and illustrations are inseparable, each enhancing and enlarging on the other to produce a singular whole.
The Irma Black Award is unusual in that children are the final judges of the winning book.
From the many children’s books published each year, a group of writers, librarians, and educators choose 16 books to send to the 3rd and 4th grade classrooms at the Bank Street School for Children. Over the course of five weeks, the children read and discuss all of the books and vote for the four finalists based on whether these books would be relevant to younger children.
The four finalist titles are placed in 1st and 2nd grade classrooms or school libraries. Any teacher, school librarian, or public librarian who works with first and second graders or children ages 6 to 8 may register to participate. The children in these classrooms read, examine, and discuss the books before they select the winning book.
This year’s finalists are Stumpkin by Lucy Ruth, We Don’t Eat Our Classmates by Ryan T. Higgins, Sun! One in a Billion by Stacy McAnulty and Stevie Lewis, and The Wall in the Middle of the Book by Jon Agee. The winner will be announced in May.
Stumpkin by Lucy Ruth
From the critically acclaimed author and illustrator of A Hungry Lion comes a unique Halloween story about a stemless pumpkin who dreams of becoming a jack-o-lantern.
Stumpkin is the most handsome pumpkin on the block. He’s as orange as a traffic cone! Twice as round as a basketball! He has no bad side! He’s perfect choice for a Halloween jack-o-lantern. There’s just one problem—Stumpkin has a stump, not a stem. And no one seems to want a stemless jack-o-lantern for their window.
As Halloween night approaches, more and more of his fellow pumpkins leave, but poor Stumpkin remains. Will anyone give Stumpkin his chance to shine?
We Don’t Eat Our Classmates by Ryan T. Higgins
It’s the first day of school for Penelope Rex, and she can’t wait to meet her classmates. But it’s hard to make human friends when they’re so darn delicious! That is, until Penelope gets a taste of her own medicine and finds she may not be at the top of the food chain after all.
Readers will gobble up this hilarious new story from award-winning author-illustrator Ryan T. Higgins.
Book | eBook
Sun! One in a Billion by Stacy McAnulty and Stevie Lewis
Meet Sun: He’s a star! And not just any star—he’s one in a billion. He lights up our solar system and makes life possible. With characteristic humor and charm, Stacy McAnulty channels the voice of Sun in this next celestial “autobiography.”
Rich with kid-friendly facts and beautifully illustrated, Sun! One in a Billion is an equally charming and irresistible companion to Earth! My First 4.54 Billion Years.
The Wall in the Middle of the Book by Jon Agee
There’s a wall in the middle of the book, and our hero—a young knight—is sure that the wall protects his side of the book from the dangers of the other side—like an angry tiger and giant rhino, and worst of all, an ogre who would gobble him up in a second! But our knight doesn’t seem to notice the crocodile and growing sea of water that are emerging on his side. When he’s almost over his head and calling for help, who will come to his rescue
An individual who isn’t as dangerous as the knight thought—from a side of the book that might just have some positive things to offer after all!
Book | eBook