picture book design

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Awards for Picture Books

We’ve designed children’s books that have won numerous awards. I was curious, how many awards for picture books are there? Below are 19 Awards I’ve found that focus on picture books or picture book art.

Some awards are given by publishers. The New York Times, in partnership with the New York Public Library, recognizes the best illustrated book of the year. Penguin and Every Child a Reader confer the The Anna Dewdney Read Together Award, in honor of the author of the Llama, Llama… books.

Professional organizations offer awards. The American Library Association awards books with specific themes, like the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature which honors work about Asian/Pacific American heritage, and the Sydney Taylor Book Award which recognizes books about the Jewish experience. The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), and the Society of Illustrators also award children’s picture books.

There are regional-based awards listed here, too. The Red Clover Award gives children in Vermont the chance to choose their favorite book. The New Mexico Book Co-op looks to “uncover and honor the best in Arizona and New Mexico book” with their award.


Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature

ALA Affiliate - Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association

The goal of the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature is to honor and recognize individual work about Asian/Pacific Americans and their heritage, based on literary and artistic merit. More about the award ▹

Focus

  • Asian/Pacific American
  • children’s literature
  • picture book
  • YA

Cybils Awards

Children and Young Adults Bloggers Literary Awards

The Cybils Awards aims to recognize the children’s and young adult authors and illustrators whose books combine the highest literary merit and popular appeal. If some la-di-dah awards can be compared to brussels sprouts, and other, more populist ones to gummy bears, we’re thinking more like organic chicken nuggets. We’re yummy and nutritious. More about the award ▹

Focus

  • app
  • audiobook
  • board book
  • early reader
  • fiction
  • graphic novel
  • middle grade
  • picture book
  • poetry
  • speculative fiction
  • YA

Ezra Jack Keats Book Award

Ezra Jack Keats Foundation, de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection

The EJK Book Award is given annually to an outstanding new writer and new illustrator by the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation. An Honor Books category was added in 2012. A distinguished selection committee of early childhood education specialists, librarians, illustrators and experts in children’s literature reviews the entries, seeking books that portray the universal qualities of childhood, a strong and supportive family, and the multicultural nature of our world. To be eligible, writers and illustrators must have had no more than three books previously published. The award includes a prize of $1,000 for each winner. More about the award ▹

Focus

  • diversity
  • new author
  • new illustrator
  • picture book

Golden Kite Award

Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI)

Instituted in 1973, the Golden Kite Awards are the only children’s literary award judged by a jury of peers. More than 1,000 books are entered each year. The Golden Kite Awards recognize excellence in children’s literatures in five categories: Young Reader and Middle Grade Fiction, Young Adult Fiction, Nonfiction, Picture Book Text, and Picture Book Illustration. More about the award ▹

Focus

  • fiction
  • illustration
  • middle grade
  • nonfiction
  • picture book
  • YA

Irma Black Award

Bank Street College

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. More about the award ▹

Focus

  • child-chosen
  • illustration
  • picture book

Mathical Prize

Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI) & Partners

The Mathical Book Prize aims to inspire a love of mathematics in the everyday world in children of all ages. Each year’s winners and honor books join a selective and ever-growing list of new and previously published fiction and non-fiction titles for youth.

These titles are as varied as the intersection between literature and mathematics — that is to say, they encompass picture books, novels, poetry collections, puzzle books, biographies, and more!

The Mathical selection panel is drawn from librarians, teachers, mathematicians, early childhood experts, and others. The jury selects winners in five grade-level categories: PreK, K–2, 3–5, 6–8, and 9–12. More about the award ▹

Focus

  • biography
  • English
  • fiction
  • mathematics
  • nonfiction
  • novel
  • picture book
  • poetry
  • puzzle book
  • Spanish
  • Spanish-translation
  • STEM

National Book Award

National Book Foundation

Established in 1950, the National Book Award is an American literary prize administered by the National Book Foundation, a nonprofit organization. A pantheon of such writers as William Faulkner, Marianne Moore, Ralph Ellison, John Cheever, Bernard Malamud, Philip Roth, Robert Lowell, Walker Percy, John Updike, Katherine Anne Porter, Norman Mailer, Lillian Hellman, Elizabeth Bishop, Saul Bellow, Donald Barthelme, Flannery O’Connor, Adrienne Rich, Thomas Pynchon, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Alice Walker, Charles Johnson, E. Annie Proulx, and Colum McCann have all won the Award. More about the award ▹

Focus

  • fiction
  • graphic novel
  • literary merit
  • non-fiction
  • picture book
  • short story collection
  • YA

New Mexico/Arizona Book Awards

New Mexico Book Co-op

The purpose of the New Mexico/Arizona Book Awards is to uncover and honor the best in Arizona and New Mexico books! Entries in the New Mexico/Arizona Book Awards will be judged by booksellers, librarians, teachers, and book marketing experts. More about the award ▹

Focus

  • bilingual
  • early reader
  • picture book
  • regional: New Mexico & Arizona
  • regional: Southwest
  • YA

Notable Children’s Books

Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC)

The Notable children’s Books selection committee selects, annotates, & presents for publication the annual list of notable children’s books of the preceding year. Notable is defined as: Worthy of note or notice, important, distinguished, outstanding. As applied to children’s books, notable should be thought to include books of especially commendable quality, books that exhibit venturesome creativity, and books of fiction, information, poetry and pictures for all age levels (through age 14) that reflect and encourage children’s interests in exemplary ways. More about the award ▹

Focus

  • clarity
  • design
  • fiction
  • illustration
  • literary merit
  • nonfiction
  • originality
  • picture book
  • poetry

Original Art Exhibit

Society of Illustrators

Founded in 1980 by illustrators’ agent and art director Dilys Evans, this exhibit showcases the original art from the year's best children’s books. The 2016 exhibit features books selected by a jury of outstanding illustrators, art directors, and editors. More about the award ▹

Focus

  • illustration
  • picture book

Paterson Prize for Books for Young People

The Poetry Center at Passaic County Community College

In each category one book will be selected, which in the opinion of our judges, is the most outstanding book for young people published in the previous year. There is a $500 award in each category: Pre-K–Grade 3; Grades 4–6; Grades 7–12. More about the award ▹

Focus

  • children
  • middle grade
  • picture book
  • poetry
  • YA

Red Clover Book Award

Vermont Center for the Book, with the Vermont Department of Libraries and the Vermont Agency

The Red Clover Book Award is designed for children in kindergarten through fourth grade. Each year thousands of Vermont school children read the 10 nominated picture books and vote for their favorite in the spring. The award has been handed out annually since 1997. More about the award ▹

Focus

  • child-chosen
  • picture book

Sydney Taylor Book Award

ALA Affiliate - Association of Jewish Libraries

The Sydney Taylor Book Award is presented annually to outstanding books for children and teens that authentically portray the Jewish experience. Presented by the Association of Jewish Libraries since 1968, the award encourages the publication and widespread use of quality Judaic literature. Gold medals are presented in three categories: Younger Readers, Older Readers, and Teen Readers. Honor Books are awarded silver medals, and Notable Books are named in each category. More about the award ▹

Focus

  • author
  • Jewish religion & culture
  • literary merit
  • illustrator
  • fiction
  • nonfiction
  • picture book
  • YA

The Anna Dewdney Read Together Award

Every Child a Reader and Penguin Young Readers

Penguin Young Readers, the Children’s Book Council, and Every Child a Reader have partnered to launch a picture book prize in honor of the late Anna Dewdney (1965-2016), author and illustrator of the beloved Llama Llama series. The Anna Dewdney Read Together Award will be given annually to a picture book that is both a superb read aloud and also sparks compassion, empathy, and connection. The award commemorates the life and work of author/illustrator Anna Dewdney and celebrates her commitment to reading with young children and putting books into as many little hands as possible. More about the award ▹

Focus

  • picture book
  • United States

The Cook Prize

Bank Street College

The Cook Prize honors the best science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) picture book published for children aged eight to ten. It is the only national children’s choice award honoring a STEM book. More about the award ▹

Focus

  • child-chosen
  • nonfiction
  • picture book
  • STEM

The Coretta Scott King Book Awards

American Library Association (ALA)

The Coretta Scott King Book Awards are given annually to outstanding African American authors and illustrators of books for children and young adults that demonstrate an appreciation of African American culture and universal human values. More about the award ▹

Focus

  • African American
  • biography
  • children
  • history
  • United States
  • picture book
  • social history

The Dilys Evans Founder's Award

Society of Illustrators

The Dilys Evans Founder's Award celebrates the most promising new talent in children’s book illustration. More about the award ▹

Focus

  • new illustrator
  • picture book

The New York Times/New York Public Library Best Illustrated Children’s Books Award.

New York Times and the New York Public Library

The Times and NYPL share a mission: to recognize the best in children’s literature and bring great books to young readers. The winners are selected by a panel of three judges, who base their decision purely on artistic merit. More about the award ▹

Focus

  • illustration
  • picture book

Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards 2018

Publishing services company Jenkins Group and IndependentPublisher.com

Books that are published with a 2017 or 2018 copyright or that were released since October 1, 2016 are eligible. The contest is for published books, but ISBN is not required. Submission of galley copies is permissible if finished copies are not yet available. Publishers are to select the category or categories in which the book(s) should be judged.Who may enter the awards contest: Authors, illustrators, publishers and self-publishers of children’s books, written in English and Spanish and intended for the North American market. Authors and illustrators are welcome to enter their books themselves. More about the award ▹

Focus

  • activity book
  • board book
  • book with merchandise
  • children
  • early reader
  • e-book
  • English
  • fiction
  • graphic novel
  • nonfiction
  • picture book
  • poetry
  • religion/spirituality
  • Spanish
  • United States
  • YA

Children’s book publishers awards by awarding organization ▹

Children’s Book Awards Google Spreadsheet ▹

childrens book awards

Do you know any awards I should add to this list? Use the form below to send me the information.