Best Children’s Book Authors Ever!
Administered by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award was first given to its namesake in 1954. The award, a bronze medal, honors an author or illustrator whose books, published in the United States, have made, over a period of years, a substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children.
Between 1960 and 1980, the Wilder Award was given every five years. From 1980 to 2001, it was awarded every three years. Beginning in 2001, it has been awarded every two years.
p.s. I selected three of each winner’s books as a representative sample.
2011: Tomie dePaola
2009: Ashley Bryan
2007: James Marshall
2005: Laurence Yep
2003: Eric Carle
2001: Milton Meltzer
1998: Russell Freedman
1995: Virginia Hamilton
1992: Marcia Brown
1989: Elizabeth George Speare
1986: Jean Fritz
1983: Maurice Sendak
1980: Theodor S. Geisel (Dr. Seuss)
1975: Beverly Cleary
1970: E. B. White
1965: Ruth Sawyer
1960: Clara Ingram Judson
1954: Laura Ingalls Wilder
Laura Ingalls Wilder was born in 1867 in Wisconsin. She became an elementary school teacher, married, and moved to Mansfield, MO, in 1894, where she lived until her death at age 90.
Wilder’s first book, The Little House in the Big Woods (1932), was published when she was 65. It began the story of five-year-old Laura and her family in the Wisconsin woods. Her other publications include Farmer Boy (1933), Little House on the Prairie (1935), On the Banks of Plum Creek (1937), and By the Shores of Silver Lake (1939).
Wilder wrote about home and the family primarily to entertain. She was interested in providing her young readers with information on how life was lived by their ancestors. Wilder’s books were not about the country’s leaders; they were about the country’s people.
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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.