Award of the Week: Bill Martin, Jr. Picture Book Award


The Bill Martin, Jr. Picture Book Award was established in 1996 by the Kansas Reading Association. The purpose of the award is to promote an appreciation of quality literature in young children across Kansas. The award is named for Kansas native Bill Martin Jr, an internationally renowned children’s book author. The award honors the outstanding authors and illustrators who produce outstanding literature for this audience. The titles are suggested by teachers, parents, communities, and librarians, and a committee of KRA members choose nominations from the list of suggested titles.

2019 Winner
9781626726826 After the Fall (How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again)
Written and illustrated by: Dan Santat

After falling off the wall, Humpty Dumpty is very afraid of climbing up again but is determined not to let fear stop him from being close to the birds.
2018 Winner
9780525429166 My Friend Maggie
Written and illustrated by: Hannah E. Harrison

Paula, a beaver, and Maggie, an elephant, are best friends until Paula starts playing with some new friends instead. But, when her new playmates turn on her, it’s Maggie who rushes to Paula’s defense.
2017 Winner
9781626725706 Nerdy Birdy
By: Aaron Reynolds
Illustrated by: Matt Davies

A picture book about a nerdy birdy who just wants to hang out with the cool birds.
2016 Winner
9781585368969 Dozer’s Run: a true story of a dog and his race
By: Debbie Levy with Rosana Panza
Illustrated by: David Opie

When Dozer the Goldendoodle broke out of his big fenced-in yard to join the 2,000 human runners in the Maryland Half Marathon, he was chasing adventure and fun, and he found them both. With his big tail waving like a flag and his friendly dog-smile, Dozer ran his way into the hearts of the human runners he encountered along the route, all of whom were running to benefit the University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center. But he also left his family frantic with worry, and, as night fell, Dozer’s adventure took a turn for the worse. This is the true story of a plucky and playful dog whose bigheartedness will entertain, inspire, and offer children a fresh way to think about how they–like Dozer!–can help others.
2015 Winner
9780399255373 The Day the Crayons Quit
Written and Illustrated by: Drew Daywalt

When Duncan arrives at school one morning, he finds a stack of letters, one from each of his crayons, complaining about how he uses them.
2014 Winner
9780399246524 Each Kindness
By: Jaqueline Woodson
Illustrated by: E. B. Lewis

When Ms. Albert teaches a lesson on kindness, Chloe realizes that she and her friends have been wrong in making fun of new student Maya’s shabby clothes and refusing to play with her.
2013 Winner
9780374317423 The Day Dirk Yeller Came to Town
By: Mary Casanova
Illustrated by: Ard Hoyt

The day Dirk Yeller came to town, the wind curled its lip, cattle quit lowin’, and tumbleweeds stopped tumblin’ along. Townsfolk whispered. “He starts stampedes!” “He holds up trains!” “He’s trouble!” When Dirk Yeller scours the town for something to stop his itchin’ and twitchin’ and jumpin’ and rattlin’, no one seems able to help. But Sam, who’s been following Dirk all day and who can sometimes be a little fidgety too, knows the perfect solution.


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