While thinking about the criteria for our awards, we wanted the books selected to reflect the fact that we work at a children's bookstore. We are not librarians, we are not teachers, and we are not parents trying to get our third graders to read War and Peace. We are not held accountable to state standards, core curriculum, or required reading lists. We are booksellers. Our sole purpose is to get kids excited about reading and to become lifelong lovers of books. Our staff reads because we love books and we love kids, and we love talking to kids about books we love. The winners of these awards are engaging, innovative books that we can't stop talking about. They are not just books we love, they are books we know kids will love.
There were some quirks this year. One Chapter Book stood out above all others and there was no consensus after that. As such, no honor awards were given in this category. We did issue an award in the category of Graphic Novels for the first time, though the winner could have fit comfortably among the Young Adult winners.
2013 Little Awards
(for Big Books)Picture Books
Winner: The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers (Philomel)
Honor: Count the Monkeys by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Kevin Cornell (Hyperion)
Winner: Mr. Lemoncello's Library by Chris Grabenstein (Random House)
Winner: Boxers and Saints by Gene Luen Yang (First Second)
Winner: Criminal by Terra McVoy (Simon & Schuster) We should note that Terra works at Little Shop of Stories. This fact did not sway opinion in the slightest. Criminal is a great book. Period.
Honor: Far Far Away by Tom McNeal (Random House)
Honor: Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell (St. Martin's Press)
Most Engaging (Person Who Often Shows Up in Place of an) Author
Daniel Handler, spokesperson for Lemony Snicket, author of the All the Wrong Questions series (Little, Brown)