An announcement in Dallas this week made Josh Schneider a very happy man. The author and illustrator is the recipient of the 2012 Theodor Seuss Geisel Award for his children’s book, “Tales for Very Picky Eaters.”
The Theodor Seuss Geisel Award is given to the author and illustrator of the book deemed as the “most distinguished American book for beginning readers published in English in the United States during the preceding year.” The Association Library Service to Children (ALSC) – a division of the American Library Association (ALA) – administers the award annually. This year the award was announced in Dallas during ALA’s mid-winter meeting, Jan. 20-24.
The award is given in memory of Theodor Geisel, the renowned children’s author known as “Dr. Seuss,” and to recognize contemporary winners for “their literary and artistic achievements that demonstrate creativity and imagination to engage children in reading.” The first Theodor Seuss Geisel Award was presented in 2006 to author Cynthia Rylant and illustrator Suçie Stevenson for their book “Henry and Mudge and the Great Grandpas.”
Schneider and other honorees will receive their awards in June in Anaheim, Ca., during the ALA’s annual conference.
“Tales for Very Picky Eaters” is a five-chapter book about a boy named James, who refuses to eat foods he considers disgusting, smelly, repulsive, lumpy or slimy. His clever dad plays a big role in the storyline, offering outrageous suggestions and rationale to get his son to be more daring with his dining. The text is paired with cartoon-like illustrations executed in watercolor, colored pencil, and pen and ink.
“The dialogue presents some preposterous situations but even the most challenging words are presented in context so beginning readers can easily discern their meaning,” said Carole Fiore, head of the Geisel Award Committee. “The touches of humor make this book an engaging page turner.”
Three additional Geisel Honor Books were named:
- “I Broke My Trunk,” the story of an elephant, written and illustrated by Mo Willems and published by Hyperion Books for Children.
- “I Want My Hat Back,” a story about honesty and loss, written and illustrated by Jon Klassen and published by Candlewick Press.
- “See Me Run,” a dog-infused story, written and illustrated by Paul Meisel and published by Holiday House.
With more than 4,000 children’s librarians, literature experts, publishers and educational faculty in its network, ALSC is dedicated to the support and enhancement of library service to children to create a better future for the next generation. Big Universe Learning also is a champion of children’s education and literacy. At last count, the online learning community had:
- 272,389 members from 166 countries
- 3,506 publishing company books, read 2,384,653 times
- 673,494 books stored on members’ personal bookshelves
- 172,575 bookshelves followed by members
- 42,500 books created by members
***NOTE: Humor is a great way to engage readers, both young and old. Check out “Humor: Be Still My ‘Beeting’ Heart,” a blog I wrote about another children’s book that deals with eating issues. It’s on Big Universe, and it’s one of my favs!