Each year, several awards are given for the best children's' books published during the previous year.

John Newbery and Randolph Caldecott are men in whose names awards are given annually by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association.

The Caldecott Medal has been awarded annually since 1938 to the most distinguished illustrator of a children's book during the preceding year. The Newbery Award has been awarded since 1921 to the author of the most distinguished contribution to children's literature during the preceding year.

The Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal is presented every three years to an author or illustrator who has, “made a substantial and lasting contribution to children’s literature.” NOTE: This award has been deleted by the American Library Association, as they feel that Laura Ingalls Wilder’s writings do not meet their “politically correct” standards of today.

The Coretta Scott King award is, "given to a black author and to a black illustrator for an outstanding inspirational and educational contribution."

As prestigious as they are, do not let awards or medals dictate a choice in children's books. Awards are given for the quality of the writing or the illustrations and do not guarantee that a book will be successful. The parent's interest, good taste, and discretion should be the influencing factor in choosing a book.


The best children's books are filled with imagination and fun. Stories that take children into a world of delight and adventure are storytelling at its best.

Children need stories for pleasure, laughter, and fun; imaginative and nonsensical stories that may not have a scrap of useful information or lesson, but cheerful and delightful lunacy.

Give as many as possible to your children, because imagination and fun are essential to life.