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Charlotte Zolotow Award facts for kids

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Charlotte Zolotow Award
Presented by Cooperative Children's Book Center
Country United States
First awarded 1998

The Charlotte Zolotow Award is an American literary award presented annually for outstanding writing in a picture book published in the United States during the preceding year. By contrast, the Caldecott Medal is for outstanding illustration in a picture book. The Zolotow award was established in 1998 by the Cooperative Children's Book Center (CCBC) at the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Education and named to honor the work of Charlotte Zolotow, an American children's book editor and author. Ms. Zolotow worked with Harper Junior Books for 38 years during which time she wrote more than 70 picture books. Zolotow attended the University of Wisconsin in Madison on a writing scholarship from 1933-36. The Cooperative Children's Book Center is a children's literature library of the School of Education, University of Wisconsin–Madison.


  • Any picture book for young children (birth through age seven) originally written in English, and published the United States between January 1 and December 31 is eligible for consideration.
  • The book may be fiction, nonfiction or folklore, as long as it is presented in picture book form and aimed at the birth through seven age range.
  • Translated books, poetry collections, and easy readers are not eligible.
  • The Committee selects one winner each year.
  • It may also designate up to five honor books and up to ten titles to be included on a highly commended list that will call attention to outstanding writing in a picture book.

The winner is announced in January each year. A bronze medallion is formally presented to the winning author in the spring during an annual public event that honors the career of Charlotte Zolotow.


Charlotte Zolotow Award Recipients, Honors, and Highly Commended books
Year Author Title Citation
2020 Cheryl Minnema Johnny’s Pheasant Winner
2020 Kevin Noble Maillard Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story Honor
2020 Kao Kalia Yang A Map into the World Honor
2020 Matthew Forsythe Pokko and the Drum Honor
2020 Oge Mora Saturday Honor
2020 Jean Reidy Truman Honor
2020 Martin Jenkins Beware of the Crocodile Commended
2020 Micha Archer Daniel’s Good Day Commended
2020 Cori Doerrfeld Goodbye, Friend! Hello, Friend! Commended
2020 Isabel Quintero My Papi Has a Motorcycle Commended
2020 Kate Read One Fox: A Counting Book Thriller Commended
2020 Sydney Smith Small in the City Commended
2020 Shabazz Larkin The Thing about Bees: A Love Letter Commended
2019 Marla Frazee Little Brown Winner
2019 David Ezra Stein Honey Honor
2019 Hyewon Yum Saturday Is Swimming Day Honor
2019 Grace Lin A BIG Mooncake for Little Star Commended
2019 Matt de la Peña Carmela Full of Wishes Commended
2019 Jacqueline Woodson The Day You Begin Commended
2019 Yuyi Morales Dreamers Commended
2019 Maxine Beneba Clarke The Patchwork Bike Commended
2019 Brian Lies The Rough Patch Commended
2019 Oge Mora Thank You, Omu! Commended
2019 Ryan T. Higgins We Don’t Eat Our Classmates Commended
2019 Kevin Henkes Winter is Here Commended
2018 Bao Phi A Different Pond Winner
2018 Atinuke Baby Goes to Market Honor
2018 Gaia Cornwall Jabari Jumps Honor
2018 Amy Hest Buster and the Baby Honor
2018 Bob Raczka Niko Draws a Feeling Honor
2018 Cynthia Rylant Herbert’s First Halloween Honor
2018 Lesa Cline-Ransome Before She Was Harriet Commended
2018 Elisha Cooper Big Cat, Little Cat Commended
2018 Julia Durango The One Day House Commended
2018 Margarita Engle All the Way to Havana Commended
2018 Julie Fogliano When's My Birthday? Commended
2018 Kevin Henkes In the Middle of Fall Commended
2018 Laura McGee Kvasnosky Little Wolf’s First Howling Commended
2018 Joyce Sidman Round Commended
2017 Carole Boston Weatherford Freedom in Congo Square Winner
2017 Sherman Alexie Thunder Boy Jr. Honor
2017 Candace Fleming Giant Squid Honor
2017 Jarvis Alan's Big, Scary Teeth Honor
2017 Micha Archer Daniel Finds a Poem Commended
2017 Kate Berube Hannah and Sugar Commended
2017 Maribeth Boelts A Bike Like Sergio's Commended
2017 F. Isabel Campoy and Theresa Howell Maybe Something Beautiful: How Art Transformed a Neighborhood Commended
2017 Irene Dickson Blocks Commended
2017 Renata Galindo My New Mom & Me Commended
2017 Katrina Goldsaito The Sound of Silence Commended
2017 Gemma Merino The Cow Who Climbed a Tree Commended
2017 Adam Rex School’s First Day of School Commended
2017 Duncan Tonatiuh The Princess and the Warrior Commended
2016 Margarita Engle Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl's Courage Changed Music Winner
2016 Kathi Appelt When Otis Courted Mama Honor
2016 Lauren Child The New Small Person Honor
2016 Matt de la Peña Last Stop on Market Street Honor
2016 Lindsay Mattick Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear Honor
2016 Sean Taylor Hoot Owl, Master of Disguise Honor
2016 Molly Bang When Sophie’s Feelings Are Really, Really Hurt Commended
2016 Monica Brown Maya’s Blanket / La manta de Maya Commended
2016 Edwidge Danticat Mama's Nightingale: A Story of Immigration and Separation Commended
2016 Bob Graham How the Sun Got to Coco's House Commended
2016 Kevin Henkes Waiting Commended
2016 Anne Vittur Kennedy Ragweed’s Farm Dog Handbook Commended
2016 Margaret McNamara A Poem in Your Pocket Commended
2016 Miranda Paul Water Is Water: A Book about the Water Cycle Commended
2016 Alicia Potter Miss Hazeltine's Home for Shy and Fearful Cats Commended
2016 Mary Lyn Ray Goodnight, Good Dog Commended
2015 Jenny Offill Sparky Winner
2015 Katherine Applegate Ivan: The Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla Honor
2015 Elizabeth Bluemle Tap Tap Boom Boom Honor
2015 Tonya Bolden Beautiful Moon: A Child’s Prayer Honor
2015 Pat Mora Water Rolls, Water Rises = El agua rueda, el agua sube Honor
2015 Barney Saltzberg Chengdu Could Not, Would Not Fall Asleep Honor
2015 Laura Gehl One Big Pair of Underwear Commended
2015 Thelma Lynne Godin The Hula-Hoopin’ Queen Commended
2015 George Ella Lyon What Forest Knows Commended
2015 Mary Lyn Ray Go to Sleep, Little Farm Commended
2015 Laura Purdie Salas Water Can Be... Commended
2015 Melissa Stewart Beneath the Sun Commended
2015 Jamie A. Swenson If You Were a Dog Commended
2015 Audrey Vernick Edgar’s Second Word Commended
2015 Brian Won Hooray for Hat! Commended
2014 Lemony Snicket The Dark Winner
2014 Jonathan Bean Building Our House Honor
2014 Tameka Fryer Brown My Cold Plum Lemon Pie Bluesy Mood Honor
2014 Suzanne Collins Year of the Jungle Honor
2014 Pat Zietlow Miller Sophie's Squash Honor
2014 Jacqueline Woodson This Is the Rope: A Story from the Great Migration. Honor
2014 Jonathan Bean Big Snow Commended
2014 Floyd Cooper Max and the Tag-Along Moon Commended
2014 Bob Graham The Silver Button Commended
2014 Yuyi Morales Niño Wrestles the World Commended
2014 Eileen Spinelli When No One Is Watching Commended
2014 Susan Stockdale Stripes of All Types Commended
2014 Jessica Young My Blue Is Happy Commended
2013 Jacqueline Woodson Each Kindness Winner
2013 Mary Logue Sleep Like a Tiger Honor
2013 Mara Rockliff Me and Momma and Big John Honor
2013 Rachel Vail Flabbersmashed about You Honor
2013 Julie Danneberg Monet Paints a Day Commended
2013 Shane W. Evans We March Commended
2013 Kate Feiffer No Go Sleep! Commended
2013 Candace Fleming Oh, No! Commended
2013 Denise Fleming underGROUND Commended
2013 Susan Hood Spike, the Mixed-Up Monster Commended
2013 Ginnie Lo Auntie Yang's Great Soybean Picnic Commended
2013 Kelly Starling Lyons Tea Cakes for Tosh Commended
2013 Doreen Rappaport Helen’s Big World: The Life of Helen Keller Commended
2012 Patrick McDonnell Me... Jane Winner
2012 Susan Campbell Bartoletti Naamah and the Ark at Night Honor
2012 Jon Katz Meet the Dogs of Bedlam Farm Honor
2012 Alison Murray Apple Pie ABC Honor
2012 Linda Ashman Samantha on a Roll Commended
2012 Albert Bitterman Fortune Cookies Commended
2012 Mini Grey Three By the Sea Commended
2012 George Ella Lyon All the Water in the World Commended
2012 Margaret H. Mason These Hands Commended
2012 Meg Medina Tía Isa Wants a Car Commended
2012 Joyce Sidman Swirl by Swirl: Spirals in Nature Commended
2012 Sue Soltis Nothing Like a Puffin Commended
2012 Melissa Sweet Balloons Over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy’s Parade Commended
2012 Hyewon Yum The Twins' Blanket Commended
2011 Rukhsana Khan Big Red Lollipop Winner
2011 Bob Graham April and Esme: Tooth Fairies Honor
2011 Sandra Markle Hip-Pocket Papa Honor
2011 Phillip C. Stead A Sick Day for Amos McGee Honor
2011 Mo Willems City Dog, Country Frog Honor
2011 Monica Brown Chavela and the Magic Bubble Commended
2011 Greg Foley Willoughby & the Moon Commended
2011 Kevin Henkes My Garden Commended
2011 Anna Grossnickle Hines I Am a Backhoe Commended
2011 Chris Raschka Little Black Crow Commended
2011 Karen Lynn Williams A Beach Tail Commended
2010 Carmen Tafolla What Can You Do With a Paleta? Winner
2010 Florence Parry Heide Princess Hyacinth (The Surprising Tale of A Girl Who Floated) Honor
2010 Kevin Henkes Birds Honor
2010 David Ezra Stein Pouch! Honor
2010 Mem Fox Hello Baby! Commended
2010 Keiko Kasza Ready for Anything Commended
2010 Vaunda Micheaux Nelson Who Will I Be, Lord? Commended
2010 Melissa Stewart Under the Snow Commended
2009 Bob Graham How to Heal a Broken Wing Winner
2009 Jim Averbeck In a Blue Room Honor
2009 Jen Bryant A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams Honor
2009 Fran Manushkin How Mama Brought the Spring Honor
2009 James Rumford Silent Music: A Story of Baghdad Honor
2009 Uri Shulevitz How I Learned Geography Honor
2009 Elizabeth Alalou and Ali Alalou The Butter Man Commended
2009 Mary Amato The Chicken of the Family Commended
2009 Andy Cutbill The Cow That Laid an Egg Commended
2009 Greg Foley Don't Worry Bear Commended
2009 Kevin Henkes Old Bear Commended
2009 Megan McDonald Hen Hears Gossip Commended
2009 Charles R. Smith, Jr. Dance with Me Commended
2009 Gwendolyn Zepeda Growing Up with Tamales Commended
2008 Greg Foley Thank You, Bear Winner
2008 Jonathan Bean At Night Honor
2008 Lynne Rae Perkins Pictures from Our Vacation Honor
2008 Carole Lexa Schaefer Dragon Dancing Honor
2008 Maribeth Boelts Those Shoes Commended
2008 Robin Cruise Only You Commended
2008 Bob Graham "The Trouble with Dogs..." Said Dad. Commended
2008 Janice Harrington The Chicken-Chasing Queen of Lamar County Commended
2008 Kevin Henkes A Good Day Commended
2008 Emily Jenkins What Happens on Wednesdays Commended
2008 Patricia C. McKissack The All-I'll-Ever-Want Christmas Doll Commended
2008 Sara Pennypacker Pierre in Love Commended
2008 Mary Quigley Granddad's Fishing Buddy Commended
2008 Lisa Wheeler Jazz Baby Commended
2007 Peter McCarty Moon Plane Winner
2007 Lenore Look Uncle Peter's Amazing Chinese Wedding Honor
2007 Linda Smith Mrs. Crump's Cat Honor
2007 Kristen Balouch Mystery Bottle Commended
2007 Shari Becker Maxwell's Mountain Commended
2007 Eve Bunting One Green Apple Commended
2007 Margaret Chodos-Irvine Best Best Friends Commended
2007 Robin Cruise Little Mamá Forgets Commended
2007 Kevin Henkes Lilly's Big Day Commended
2007 Lola M. Schaefer An Island Grows Commended
2007 Sarah Weeks Overboard! Commended
2007 Jeanne Willis Gorilla! Gorilla! Commended
2006 Mary Ann Rodman My Best Friend Winner
2006 Patricia C. McKissack and Onawumi Jean Moss Precious and the Boo Hag Honor
2006 Jon J Muth Zen Shorts Honor
2006 William Bee Whatever Commended
2006 Mara Bergman Snip, Snap! What's That? Commended
2006 Bob Graham Oscar’s Half Birthday Commended
2006 Norton Juster The Hello, Goodbye Window Commended
2006 Stephen Michael King Mutt Dog! Commended
2006 Leslie Patricelli Binky Commended
2006 Elivia Savadier No Haircut Today! Commended
2006 Sandy Turner Cool Cat, Hot Dog Commended
2006 Mo Willems Leonardo, the Terrible Monster Commended
2005 Kevin Henkes Kitten's First Full Moon Winner
2005 Lauren Thompson Polar Bear Night Honor
2005 Mo Willems Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale Honor
2005 Jacqueline Woodson Coming On Home Soon Honor
2005 Karen Beaumont Baby Danced the Polka Commended
2005 Caralyn Buehner Superdog: The Heart of a Hero Commended
2005 Oliver Dunrea BooBoo Commended
2005 Alan Durant Always and Forever Commended
2005 Karen English Hot Day on Abbott Avenue Commended
2005 Mary Ann Hoberman Whose Garden Is It? Commended
2005 Dave Horowitz A Monkey Among Us Commended
2005 Patricia MacLachlan and Emily MacLachlan Bittle Commended
2005 Carole Lexa Schaefer The Biggest Soap Commended
2004 Amy Schwartz What James Likes Best Winner
2004 John Coy Two Old Potatoes and Me Honor
2004 Rebecca O'Connell The Baby Goes Beep Honor
2004 Won-Ldy Paye and Margaret H. Lippert Mrs. Chicken and the Hungry Crocodile Honor
2004 James Rumford Calabash Cat and His Amazing Journey Honor
2004 George Shannon Tippy-Toe Chick, Go! Honor
2004 Kate Banks Mama's Coming Home Commended
2004 Deborah Chandra and Madeleine Comora George Washington's Teeth Commended
2004 Denise Fleming Buster Commended
2004 Jeron Ashford Frame Yesterday I Had the Blues Commended
2004 Steve Jenkins and Robin Page What Do You Do With a Tail Like This? Commended
2004 Naomi Shihab Nye Baby Radar Commended
2004 Lynne Rae Perkins Snow Music Commended
2004 Andrea U'Ren Mary Smith Commended
2004 Mo Willems Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! Commended
2003 Holly Keller Farfallina & Marcel Winner
2003 Susan Marie Swanson The First Thing My Mama Told Me Honor
2003 Nancy Andrews-Goebel The Pot That Juan Built Commended
2003 Kate Banks Close Your Eyes Commended
2003 Kevin Henkes Owen’s Marshmallow Chick Commended
2003 Juan Felipe Herrera Grandma and Me at the Flea / Los Meros Meros Remateros Commended
2003 Kate McMullan and Jim McMullan I Stink! Commended
2003 Jean Davies Okimoto and Elaine M. Aoki The White Swan Express: A Story About Adoption Commended
2003 Alice Schertle All You Need for a Snowman Commended
2003 David Shannon Duck on a Bike Commended
2003 Karma Wilson Bear Snores On Commended
2003 Janet S. Wong Apple Pie 4th of July Commended
2002 Margaret Willey Clever Beatrice Winner
2002 Emily Jenkins Five Creatures Honor
2002 Lenore Look Henry's First-Moon Birthday Commended
2002 Margaret Read MacDonald Mabela the Clever Commended
2002 Marisabina Russo Come Back, Hannah! Commended
2002 Catherine Stock Gugu's House Commended
2002 Janet S. Wong Grump Commended
2001 Kate Banks The Night Worker Winner
2001 Christopher Myers Wings Honor
2001 Peggy Christian If You Find a Rock Commended
2001 Doreen Cronin Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type Commended
2001 Joy Harjo The Good Luck Cat Commended
2001 Kimiko Kajikawa Yoshi’s Feast Commended
2001 Sandra L. Pinkney Shades of Black: A Celebration of Our Children Commended
2001 Nancy Van Laan When Winter Comes Commended
2000 Molly Bang When Sophie Gets Angry -- Really, Really Angry.... Winner
2000 Cari Best Three Cheers for Catherine the Great Honor
2000 Jules Feiffer Bark, George Honor
2000 Baba Wagué Diakité The Hatseller and the Monkeys: A West African Folktale Commended
2000 Kristine O'Connell George Little Dog Poems Commended
2000 Joan Bransfield Graham Flicker Flash Commended
2000 Elizabeth Fitzgerald Howard When Will Sarah Come? Commended
2000 Amy Schwartz How to Catch an Elephant Commended
2000 Joyce Carol Thomas You Are My Perfect Baby Commended
2000 Andrea Zimmerman and David Clemesha Trashy Town Commended
1999 Uri Shulevitz Snow Winner
1999 Holly Meade John Willy and Freddy McGee Honor
1999 William Steig Pete's a Pizza Honor
1999 Denise Fleming Mama Cat Has Three Kittens Commended
1999 Kevin Henkes Circle Dogs Commended
1999 Bill T. Jones and Susan Kuklin Dance Commended
1999 Lynn Reiser Little Clam Commended
1999 Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen Elizabeti's Doll Commended
1998 Vera B. Williams Lucky Song Winner
1998 Keiko Kasza Don't Laugh, Joe! Honor
1998 Marion Dane Bauer If You Were Born a Kitten Commended
1998 Elisha Cooper Country Fair Commended
1998 Denise Fleming Time to Sleep Commended
1998 Patricia C. McKissack Ma Dear's Aprons Commended
1998 Bernard Waber Bearsie Bear and the Surprise Sleepover Party Commended
1998 Rosemary Wells Bunny Cakes Commended

Recipients of Multiple Awards, Honors, and Commendations

Kevin Henkes and Bob Graham are the only two authors to receive all three citations and are the two authors who have received the most citations overall (10 and 8, respectively). No author has yet to receive multiple awards. Jonathan Bean is the only author to receive two citations in one year. In 2014 he received an honor for Building Our House and a commendation Big Snow.

Multiple Honors

Three authors have received two Zolotow Honors: Jonathan Bean, James Rumford, Mo Willems, and Jacqueline Woodson.

Multiple Commendations

One author has received nine Zolotow commendations.

  • Kevin Henkes, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2016, 2018, 2019

Two authors have received four Zolotow commendations.

  • Denise Fleming, 1998, 1999, 2004, 2013
  • Bob Graham, 2006, 2008, 2014, 2016

Multiple authors have received two Zolotow commendations: Kate Banks, Maribeth Boelts, Monica Brown, Elisha Cooper, Robin Cruise, Greg Foley, George Ella Lyon, Patricia C. McKissack, Mary Lyn Ray, Joyce Sidman, Melissa Stewart, Mo Willems, and Janet S. Wong.

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