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!
p.s. If you like this post, you might like:
Best Easy Readers That Won Geisel Award
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.
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?”
Benny and Penny in the Big No-No! by Geoffrey Hayes
I Spy Fly Guy! by Tedd Arnold
Mouse and Mole: Fine Feathered Friends by Wong Herbert Yee
Are You Ready to Play Outside? by Mo Willems
Chicken Said, ‘Cluck!’ by Judyann Ackerman Grant, illustrated by Sue Truesdell
There Is a Bird on Your Head by Mo Willems
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
Zelda and Ivy: The Runaways by Laura McGee Kvasnosky
Move Over, Rover! by Karen Beaumont and illustrated by Jane Dyer
Not a Box by Antoinette Portis
Hi! Fly Guy by Tedd Arnold
A Splendid Friend, Indeed by Suzanne Bloom
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BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 is a book that I created to highlight books written by authors who share the same marginalized identity as the characters in their books.