Gryphon Award

 2016 Winners | About the Gryphon AwardTerms, Criteria, and Entry | Archive

2016 Winners

2016 Gryphon Award Winner

Little Robot by Ben Hatke book coverHatke, Ben. Little Robot; written and illus. by Ben Hatke. First Second, 2015. Gr. 2-4

Wordless sequences along with short bursts of simple dialogue guide readers through this early reader graphic novel that follows our young heroine and her tiny tool belt as she repairs, befriends, and adventures with a goofy but sincere robot. The effective use of silence and panels make the reading experience an interactive one, allowing kids to create their own meaning in various places within the book.


2016 Honor Books

Flutter and Hum by Julie Paschkis book coverPaschkis, Julie. Flutter & Hum: Animal Poems/Aleteo y Zumbido: Poemas de Animales; written and illustrated by Julie Paschkis. Holt, 2015. 3-6 yrs

This bilingual collection of fourteen animal poems invites a range of early readers to explore either or both English and Spanish text. Playful, short lined verses give more experienced kids opportunities to flex their reading chops, while solo words embedded in the illustrations give younger readers the chance to pick and choose which words they want to tackle.


The Long Dog by Eric Seltzer book coverSeltzer, Eric. The Long Dog; written and illus. by Eric Seltzer. Scholastic, 2015. (Level 1 Readers) Gr. K-1

Hot dogs, cold dogs, young dog, old dogs, they’re all here in this rhyming series of canine conditions. Tight structure, comic vignettes, careful patterning, and a touch of wordplay lift this well above the usual beginning reader in its cleverness, and young readers will get a kick out of following the titular long dog as he pops up throughout the book, no end in sight, until the final few pages.
See our Gryphon Award Archive page for all past award winners and honor books since the award was first granted in 2004.


About the Gryphon Award

Origin and Purpose

The Gryphon Award of $1,000 is given annually in recognition of an English language work of fiction or non-fiction for which the primary audience is children in Kindergarten through Grade 4. The title chosen best exemplifies those qualities that successfully bridge the gap in difficulty between books for reading aloud to children and books for practiced readers.

The Gryphon Award was conceived as a way to focus attention on an area of literature for youth that, despite being crucial to the successful transition of new readers to independent lifelong readers, does not get the critical recognition it deserves.

The award is sponsored by the Center for Children’s Books at the School of Information Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Award Committee

The award committee consists of 4-6 members drawn from the youth services faculty of the School of Information Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the editorial staff of the Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, local public and school librarians, and the library and education community at large.

Announcement of the Gryphon Award

The award winner and honor books are announced each year on February 1 or the closest Monday following.


Terms, Criteria, and Entry

Award Criteria

Selection criteria for the Gryphon Award include but are not limited to:

  • excellence of presentation for target audience
  • distinctive literary quality and appropriateness of style
  • for non-fiction, the presentation of information including accuracy, clarity and organization
  • exceptional integration of text, illustration, and design

Eligibility and Terms

  • Books to be considered for this award must be published in the calendar year preceding the presentation of the award.
  • The award is given for a single publication, not for the body of an author/illustrator’s work.
  • The work must be notable and contribute to the world of children’s literature.
  • Only original works written for children will be considered.
  • Textbooks will not be considered.
  • Books should be written for an audience of children grades K-4.
  • English language works of fiction and non-fiction are eligible.
  • The book must be a self-contained entity, not dependent on other media (i.e., sound or film equipment) for its enjoyment.
  • In the event of a dispute as to eligibility, the committee will decide whether a book is eligible.

Entry Guidelines

Publishers may submit English language books with scheduled first-run publication dates between January 1, 2016 and December 31, 2016. Entries may be submitted as finished proofs, bound galleys and bound manuscripts.

Please send 2 copies of each submission to:

The Center for Children’s Books
501 E. Daniel Street
Champaign, IL 61820
Attn: Gryphon Award Committee

Submissions must be postmarked by December 1, 2016.

Additional titles may be nominated for consideration by members of the Gryphon Award Committee.