Sunday, July 12, 2009

readertotz CHALLENGE: Name that Board Book Award...

*waving to you from ALA*

When Joan and I began readertotz, our mission was to raise the profile of board and novelty books while challenging writers to contribute their very best for the youngest readers. Our long term goal is to see an award created for the very first books that ignite a love of reading.

Here at ALA, we are celebrating the Newbery, Caldecott, Printz, and other prestigious awards. Why not an award for the best board book published?

Today, July 12th, 2009, Joan and I put forward two names for the first board book award for literary and artistic merit:

The Nordstrom Award
Shall we honor Ursula Nordstrom, (1910-1988) the amazing editor-in-chief of Harper & Row from 1940-1973, who edited Margaret Wise Brown's Goodnight Moon, our country's most beloved board book today? True, the book was originally 32 pages, and only took the board book form in 1991, but no one can contest what Ursula contributed to children's literature. And this board book will stand for generations.


The Kunhardt Award
We would remember Dorothy Kunhardt the author of Pat the Bunny, possibly the first interactive book for babies. Printed by Random House, Golden Press Golden Books in 1940, the work still generates 250,000 sales a year, rating only second in all time sales behind The Tale of Peter Rabbit. It would be an honor for board book creators to receive The Kunhardt Award, remembering the woman who broke the ground for us today.

Please feel free to repost this entry and generate feedback. Which do you prefer?

And a thought recently came to mind. Is there room in the Cybils awards for board book winners? What do you say? Thanks for your input!

~Lorie Ann Grover, author/illustrator, cofounder of readergirlz and readertotz


Sarah Miller said...


Z-Kids said...

Ooo... I like Kunhardt Award.

(Hmmm... instead of a shiny gold sticker, I have visions of a fuzzy white one...)


Lorie Ann Grover said...

That's brilliant, Z-Kids!

Definitely Kunhardt was the vote at ALA...

Nancy said...

I agree --- Kunhardt!

Joan Holub said...

I've been enjoying your posts from ALA, Lorie Ann!

I vote for the Kunhardt.

Two things to think about:
1. Unlike the Geisel award which was based on his collective body of work, the Kunhardt choice would be based on that fact that she created the first well-known board book.
2. Unlike Caldecott or Geisel, her name's not as familiar as her book title. However, choosing her would honor her in that it would help bring more attention to her as the author.

I still vote for her because Pat the Bunny was an important, groundbreaking book.

Lorie Ann Grover said...

Love these thoughts, Joan!