Each year, the Irma Simonton Black and James H. Black Award for Excellence in Children’s Literature (Irma Black Award) goes to an outstanding book for young children—a book in which text and illustrations are inseparable, each enhancing and enlarging on the other to produce a singular whole. The Irma Black Award is unusual in that children are the final judges of the winning book.
Teachers and librarians can register their classes to vote online until Monday, April 9. The award is presented at a breakfast ceremony at Bank Street College on May 17 that is attended by authors, illustrators, publishers, teachers, librarians, and alumni and friends of the College. (Register now to attend.)
You Will Be My Friend! by Peter Brown
I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen
What Animals Really Like by Fiona Robinson
All the Way to America by Dan Yaccarino
The books are available as a set at Bank Street Bookstore.
The winning book receives a gold seal and the other three finalists will be honored with a silver seal, both designed by Maurice Sendak. The award is a scroll (one each for the author and illustrator, if they are different) with the recipient’s name and a gold seal.
The May 17 event will be quite the morning for celebrating children’s literature, as the event will be followed by a book signing and a presentation of the Cook Prize, which “honors the best science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) picture book published for children aged eight to ten.”
School Library Journal Irma Black