It's official! Bank Street College of Education has decided to begin acknowledging and awarding board books! My editor just zipped me the press release as she and I talked about this need in 2010. The award will be named: the Margaret Wise Brown Board Book Award for excellence in literature for very young children. Wonderful!
Here is a press release excerpt:
The first prize will be awarded in the spring of 2023 for board books published or picture books adapted to board book format in 2021 and 2022. The award will be given every two years to a board book for infants and toddlers (ages 0-3).
“Criteria for selection will include books that promote interplay and engagement, incorporate rich
language, demonstrate a consideration for childhood development, and are constructed to withstand multiple encounters with little hands,” said Dr. Cynthia Weill, Director, Center for Children’s Literature, Bank Street College of Education.
Joan Holub and I, both board book author/illustrators, have been calling for a recognition of the board book format since 2009. Our aim at the readertotz blog has always been to raise the profile of board books for our first readers. We make a call to authors, illustrators, and publishers to create the best possible works as they introduce reading to our youngest ones.
We have envisioned the American Library Association creating the Dorothy Kunhardt Award for the Outstanding Board or Novelty Book. Click here to see our facebook page. We would love to see Dorothy named as the creator of the beloved, first novelty book still in print: Pat the Bunny.
Joan and I are thrilled Bank Street College is lifting this important format for all to see! Here's to future award recipients, the wee ones who will hold the works, and Bank Street College for their efforts. Bravo!