Geisel awards, best easy readers, best early readers

Best Easy Readers: Geisel Award (aka Dr. Seuss)

The Geisel Award is given annually to the author(s) and illustrator(s) of the most distinguished American book for beginning readers published in English in the United States during the preceding year.  It was founded in 2004 and the first award year was 2006, so it’s a fairly new award. That’s great because it’s a list that is actually plausible to work through!

I am posting on this list because I need it for myself. My middle daughter and I spent the last two days cleaning out the enormous quantities of children’s books that we have stashed in 4 rooms. We purged, organized, and labeled the books using colored stickers into categories that pertain only to me: Caldecott Winners, Newbery Winners, Asian KidLit, Autographed, Science, Math, YA, Mythology, Marc Brown Arthur series, Rosemary Wells Yoko series, Good Picture Books, Good Middle Grade Chapter books,  1-3 grade chapter book series (saving for youngest), etc.

The fallout from this organization was finding books that were lost and discovering books that were buried in the mess. One find was Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa which has a silver Geisel award on it. My Mom Friend Nancy had given a pile of books to me for my youngest when her youngest outgrew them. The timing is perfect. He’s just now reading Henry and Mudge type of books. It was so hard for me to find other Henry and Mudge type of books that are not crashingly boring that I usually refer to Easy Readers as “Henry and Mudge” type of books. This is not a term librarians use!

After combing the library for my older two and not finding Easy Readers that we all liked, I am excited to work my way through this list. Henry and Mudge is great, but a change of pace is nice too.

How about you? What Easy Readers have you and your kids enjoyed? Let’s add it to the list!

I would like to add the Mr. Putter and Tabby series by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Arthur Howard.

p.s. If you like this post, you might like:

Best Picture Books You’ve Never Heard Of

Top 100: Truly and Honestly Best Picture Books Ever

Top 10: Best Old Fashioned Easy Readers

Top 50: Best Multicultural Children’s Books

Best Chapter Books for Newly Independent Readers 

Best Easy Readers That Won Geisel Award

2011 Medal Winner

Bink and Gollie , written by Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee, illustrated by Tony Fucile

Bink and Gollie provides a clever peek into the lives of dissimilar friends celebrating the ups and downs of their daily escapades in three lively chapters.  Bink and Gollie explore the rocky terrain of compromise, asserting independence, and jealousy, yet their friendship remains steadfast.

In this effervescent blend of picture book, reader and graphic novel, text and illustration unite the real and imaginary.  Humorous and exaggerated illustrations propel the reader through a story sprinkled with challenging vocabulary.  So much is said with so little.

“Covering a range of emotional territory to engage and challenge developing readers, fresh and creative text and powerful visuals generate a special chemistry between two friends,” said Geisel Award Committee Chair Julie F. Roach.

2011 Honor Books

Ling & Ting: Not Exactly the Same! , written and illustrated by Grace Lin

Identical twins Ling and Ting are not exactly the same, but equally charming, in these six vignettes chronicling such daily adventures as getting their hair cut, performing magic, making dumplings and going to the library.  Creator Lin cleverly recaps the day through Ting’s giggle-inducing revisionist retelling.

We Are in a Book! , written and illustrated by Mo Willems

Contentedly hanging out, Gerald and Piggie notice that someone is looking at them.  That someone turns out to be the reader in this hilarious, interactive story about the joys of reading (and being read)!  Children will be unable to resist Elephant and Piggie’s polite request to “…please read us again?”


Medal Winner

Benny and Penny in the Big No-No!  by Geoffrey Hayes

Honor Books

I Spy Fly Guy! by Tedd Arnold

Little Mouse Gets Ready by Jeff Smith

Mouse and Mole: Fine Feathered Friends by Wong Herbert Yee

Pearl and Wagner: One Funny Day, written by Kate McMullan, illustrated by R.W. Alley


Medal Winner

Are You Ready to Play Outside?  by Mo Willems

Honor Books

Chicken Said, ‘Cluck!’ by Judyann Ackerman Grant, illustrated by Sue Truesdell

One Boy, written and illustrated by Laura Vaccaro Seeger

Stinky, written and illustrated by Eleanor Davis

Wolfsnail: A Backyard Predator by Sarah C. Campbell, photographs by Sarah C. Campbell and Richard P. Campbell


Medal Winner

There Is a Bird on Your Head by Mo Willems

Honor Books

First the Egg by Laura Vaccaro Seeger

Hello, Bumblebee Bat , written by Darrin Lunde, illustrated by Patricia J. Wynne

Jazz Baby, written by Lisa Wheeler, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie

Vulture View, written by April Pulley Sayre, illustrated by Steve Jenkins


Medal Winner

Zelda and Ivy: The Runaways  by Laura McGee Kvasnosky

Honor Books

Mercy Watson Goes for a Ride  written by Kate DiCamillo and illustrated by Chris Van Dusen

Move Over, Rover! by Karen Beaumont and illustrated by Jane Dyer

Not a Box  by Antoinette Portis


Medal Winner

Henry and Mudge and the Great Grandpas written by Cynthia Rylant and illustrated by Suçie Stevenson

Honor Books

Hi! Fly Guy by Tedd Arnold

A Splendid Friend, Indeed by Suzanne Bloom

Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa written by Erica Silverman and illustrated by Betsy Lewin

Amanda Pig and the Really Hot Day written by Jean Van Leeuwen and illustrated by Ann Schweninger

To view any book more closely at Amazon, please click on image of book.

Geisel awards, best easy readers, best early readers

By Mia Wenjen, PragmaticMom

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