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The Best of the Best

The Imagination Library is Filled with Award-Winning Books  -

Dolly Parton's Imagination Library (DPIL) prides itself on the quality of the books in its collection.  It is no surprise, therefore, that many award-winning titles, authors and illustrators are currently on their book lists, or have been over the years.  Read on to learn a little bit about the more prominent awards given out for children's literature in this country and the many award-winning books found on DPIL shelves.

Newbery and Caldecott Awards

The Newbery Medal, established in 1922, is the oldest children's book award in the world.  It is awarded annually by the American Library Association (ALA) to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.  With its intent and long history, it continues to be the best known and most discussed children's book prize in the country.  

Likewise, the Caldecott Medal is awarded annually by the ALA to the illustrator of most the distinguished book for children.  Separate committees choose the Newbery and Caldecott awards.  

"Runners-up" for both awards are called Honor Books.

The Coretta Scott King Book Awards

This award commemorates the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and is given annually to outstanding African American authors and illustrators of children and young adult books. It honors King's wife, Coretta Scott King, for continuing his work for peace and universal human values.

 Ezra Jack Keats (EJK) Award

The EJK Award is given annually to an outstanding new writer and new illustrator to recognize and encourage emerging talent in the field of children's books.  An Honor Books category was added in 2012.  Books are chosen that portray the universal qualities of childhood, a strong 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 Pura Belpré Award

Established in 1996, this award is presented to a Latino writer and illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth.

The Imagination Library's Collection of Award-Winning Titles

My Papi Has a Motorcycle, Isabel Quintero: Ezra Jack Keats Illustrator Award Honor (2020) The Pura Belpré Illustration Honor Award; ALA Library Association Notable Children's Book (2020); New York Times Best Children's Book of 2019 

Daniel Finds a PoemMicha ArcherALA Notable Children's Book; Ezra Jack Keats New Writer/Illustrator Award (2017)

Last Stop on Market Street, Matt de la Peña, illustrated by Christian Robinson: 2016 Newbery Medal, Caldecott Honor and Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor.

One Cool FriendToni Buzzeo, illustrated by David Small: Caldecott Honor (2013)

Max and the Tag-Along Moon, The Ring Bearer, Floyd Cooper: Coretta Scott King Award-winning Author

Goldilocks and the Three BearsJames Marshall: Caldecott Medal (2010)

Owl MoonJane Yolen, Illustrated by John Schoenherr: Caldecott Medal (1988), ALA Notable Book

The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Eric Carle: Numerous awards worldwide including an American Institute of Graphic Arts Award in 1970, the Selection du Grand Prix des Treize in France in 1972, and the Nakamori Reader's Prize in Japan in 1975. Still present on bookshelves 51 years after publication, it is considered the one of the most popular children's books of all time with more than 50-million sales worldwide. 

Strega Nona
Tomie de PaolaCaldecott Honor (1976)

The Snowy Day, Ezra Jack Keats: Caldecott Medal (1963) First picture book with an African American protagonist to win a major children's award.

Play with Me, Marie Hall EtsCaldecott Honor (1956)

Blueberries for Sale, Robert McCloskey: Caldecott Honor (1949)

Madeline, Ludwig Bemelmans: Caldecott Honor (1940), ALA Notable Children's Book

Here are the BEGIN WITH BOOKS titles our little readers will be receiving in the mail this month:


4,832 children are enrolled in Charleston County, South Carolina.  407,846 books have been delivered to 13,822 children since 2010

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-- Caron Bell, PhD, Early Childhood Development and volunteer 


  1. What wonderful books! It's great to have a list of all the award winning titles, and of course there are so many more beautifully written and illustrated books that DPIL/BWB offer that enchant babies and make them excited about books and learning!


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