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Gryphon Award (USA)

The Gryphon Award (USA) 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 award is sponsored by the Center for Children's Books (CCB) at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. The Center also publishes The Bulletin which is devoted entirely to the review of current books for children. The staff of The Bulletin also publish the Blue Ribbon list.

2010 Gryphon Award Winner

Adventures in Cartooning written and illustrated by James Sturm, Andrew Arnold, and Alexis Frederick-Frost (Center for Cartoon Studies / First Second/ Roaring Brook, 2009)

Through an engaging knight and dragon tale, replete with familiar folkloric elements and surprise twists, the three author/illustrators demonstrate how to transform a promising idea into creative, effective comic book format. Aspiring cartoonists and graphic novel neophytes will embrace this introduction to crafting comics and bridging readers will enjoy putting their literary and visual skills into simultaneous action.

2010 Honor Books:

Nikki & Deja: Birthday Blues written by Karen English and illustrated by Laura Freeman (Clarion Books, 2009)
Best friends Nikki and Deja are planning a party for Deja’s eighth birthday, but Deja’s happy anticipation is troubled when Antonia, new girl and nemesis, preempts the birthday guest list with her own "Just Because" same day/same time party. This is a realistic portrayal of the difficult—but often unacknowledged—dilemmas that elementary age children regularly face and negotiate, and the ways in which sympathetic friends and adults (plus a fortuitous party day rainstorm) can make all the difference.

Alvin Ho: Allergic to Camping, Hiking, and Other Natural Disasters written by Lenore Look and illustrated by LeUyen Pham (Schwartz & Wade Books, 2009)
When dad suggests a family camping trip, Alvin Ho responds with a long list of fears ("I am afraid of everything, especially the woods—they are full of trees."). However, with the help of carefully selected Internet purchases, plus advice from Uncle Dennis ("Secret Tip Number One: Dryer lint can save your life"), Alvin's anxieties begin to subside—well, sort of subside.
Kit Feeny: On the Move written and illustrated by Michael Townsend (Knopf, 2009)
This graphic novel follows Kit Feeny, a comic book aficionado and pizza lover, who is forced to leave his best friend Arnold behind when his family moves. As the new kid in school, he inadvertantly incurs the wrath of “Devon the Bully Comedian” as he searches for a replacement for Arnold. Kit learns that although he cannot replace an old friend, he can find a new one who helps Kit find his own place in his new surroundings.

2009 Gryphon Award Book:

Frogs by Nic Bishop (Scholastic, 2008)
Bishop combines arresting close-up photos with an information-rich text featuring frogs of a range of sizes, colors (including transparent!), and habitats. This fascinating combination of accessible text and brilliant photos could well inspire a whole new generation of frog aficionados.

2009 Honor Books:
Bad Kitty Gets a Bath by Nick Bruel (Roaring Brook, 2008)
Start with the fact that CATS HATE BATHS!!! Add one Bad Kitty, who really really really needs a bath! The result is a hilarious book of instructions and bath disaster slapstick as the good intentions of responsible pet ownership collide with the reality of a bath-phobic cat

Traction Man Meets Turbo Dog by Mini Grey (Knopf, 2008)
This adventure stars intrepid action toy figure Traction Man, faithful companion Scrubbing Brush, the battery-operated interloper TurboDog, and assorted household objects. both benevolent and fearsome. The text recalls comic book superhero tales, while the action-filled illustrations include the many incidental texts (product labels, cereal boxes, etc.) that comprise the newly literate readers’ world.


2008 Gryphon Award Book:

Billy Tartle in Say Cheese! by Michael Townsend (Knopf, 2007)
School picture day is fast approaching, and Billy is determined to liven his up. When his mother nixes his dream haircut (“it should have 5 points … oh, and it must be pink”), Billy’s Plan B makes the class picture even more special. This humorous anti-boredom fantasy of the ultimate school picture day is told in an exuberant graphic novel format .

2008 Gryphon Award Book

Billy Tartle in Say Cheese! by Michael Townsend (Knopf,2007)

2008 Honor Books:

Nic Bishop Spiders by Nic Bishop (Scholastic, 2007)

Rufus the Scrub Does Not Wear a Tutu by Jaime McEwan, illustrated by John Margeson (Darby Creek, 2007)

Debut Book Wins 2008 Gyrphon

Mr. Michael Towsend, the author of this years Gryphon winner, Billy Tartle in Say Cheese! is practicallly invisible on the internet, at the moment that is. No doubt we will be hearing a lot more about him after his wonderful achievement in winning this prestigious award with his first effort. Sorry that we can't bring you more information about him- but he is now on our radar screen!

About the winning book:

Billy Tartle is the kind of kid who means well. He has big aspirations and wild ideas. He also has to deal with adults who do not have the same zany sentiments.

Michael Townsend takes Billy Tartle on brightly colored, slightly offbeat adventures. This time around, it’s time for school pictures, and Billy needs a haircut. Billy’s mom wants him to get a nice haircut so he looks nice for the picture. Billy does not want to look nice. He wants a mohawk. A neon-colored mohawk. Pink. Green. Maybe blue.

The trip to the barbershop will lead to the best school picture day ever, one way or another.

Townsend stuffs the world of Billy Tartle into oversized boxes like a comic strip with brilliant colors and bold lines. The text is short and full of action. Slurps look and sound like long, sweet lollipop slurps.

Townsend’s book is silly in the best possible way, a fun read that provides a glimpse of the bright world children create out of the mundane elements of life.

The 2008 Honor Winners

Spiders by Nic Bishop

When I was three years old, we lived in Bangladesh, and when I was about nine or 10, wnic_bishope lived in the Sudan, in Africa. Then between the ages of 14 and 18, we were in the highlands of Papua New Guinea, and I did a lot of hiking into remote places to look for birds of paradise. That’s where my interest in biology really took off. Nic Bishop

That Nic Bishop right), ended up as a nature photographer after an upbringing in so many exotic places is little wonder - and thank goodness he did. He has taken the photographs for more than twenty children's books as well as the text for quite a number. Mr. Bishop uses stop-motion photography for his books. As a photographer and writer, Bishop likes to use details to tell the story. Someone wrote that he doesn't "try to make science interesting; Bishop knows it's already interesting, and just lets readers at it.

Spiders is the latest of his wonderfully educational works, presented in the way that children adore.

For the first to third grade set, spiders are fascinating and suitably gruesome, especially when looked at in EXTREME close-up. Amazing images show the beauty and otherworldliness of spiders. Simple, engaging text conveys basic information about spiders as well as cool and quirky facts. One stop-action montage shows a spider leaping twenty times its body length! Excellent.


Other Books by Nic Bishop

Nic Bishop Frogs

The Secrets of Animal Flight; written and illus. with photographs by Nic Bishop. Houghton, 1997.
; Joy Cowley; illus. with photographs by Nic Bishop. Scholastic, 1999.
Red-eyed Tree Frog Montgomery, Sy.

The Snake Scientist (Scientists in the Field Series); illus. with photographs by Nic Bishop. Houghton, 1999.

All Nic Bishop's Books

Honor Winner- Rufus the Scrub Does Not Wear a Tutu by Jaime McEwan, illustrated by John Margeso

This is the third book in the Jamie McEwan's Scrubs series,Center for Children's Books. The first two were Willy the Scrub and Whitewater Scrubs.

"Although the topics are serious, they are handled with a light touch....Ballet terms, football action, and funny situations combine to make this an enjoyable transitional book for children ready to take the next step up from beginning readers." School Library Journal

The fourth and final book in the same series, Scrubs Forever, will be released very shortly. It's the quotable Dan, this time, in the central role, and the featured sport is rock climbing.

2007 Gryphon Award BookMatteo Pericolo Winner 2007 Grphon Award

The remarkably accomplised Milan born Architect, writer and contributor to the New Yorker Matteo Pericoli, has won the 2007 award for his The True Story of Stellina (Knopf, 2006). The book tells the tale of a New York City finch, that falls out of her nest, and is heard cheeping by Holly, Pericoli's wife. Holly hopes the bird's mother will find her, but when that doesn't happen, she takes the bird home. A lovely tale of connection between a loving care as she helps Stellina to become the best bird that a bird can be! Intended for pre-schooler to grade 3-4, the littlies love it.

2007 Honor Books: (Apologies some of the pop-out info bars from Amazon get lost under the slide-show- got to work on those design skills Kev)

Sea Horse: The Shyest Fish in the Sea by Chris Butterworth, illustrated by John Lawrence (Candlewick, 2006)

PreSchool-Grade 3–In addition to learning about sea horses, children will be enticed by the fabulous ocean depths captured in Lawrence's prints. The artist used wood textures to create watery backgrounds for the vinyl engravings of sea plants and animals. Watercolor washes in muted tones of green, blue, and red complete the look

Ruby Lu, Empress of Everything by Lenore Look, illustrated by Anne Wilsdorf (Scholastic, 2006)

As if that weren't enough, this summer proves to be even more perilous as Ruby faces the dangers of swimming lessons, the joys of summer school, the difficulty of staying with a twelve-step program, the miracle needed to keep a beautiful stray dog that wanders into her life, and much more. Is it all too much for anyone -- even the Empress of Everything -- to handle?

When Ruby's cousin Flying Duck emigrates from China to live with her, Ruby decides the best thing about Flying Duck is that she is a great new friend. BUT the worst thing about Flying Duck is that now, no one speaks English at home. Plus, there's strange food on the table every night and only chopsticks to eat it with. And Flying Duck is deaf, and Ruby doesn't know any Chinese Sign Language.

Good Boy, Fergus! by David Shannon (Blue Sky Press) K-Grade 2

Follow Fergus as he experiences the perfect doggy day--well, except for his bath, of course!  From chasing cats and motorcycles to being scratched on his favorite "tickle spot," David Shannon's newest sweet and silly character will inspire young readers to laugh out loud at his mischievous antics. Fans of Shannon's previous books will love reading all about this naughty but lovable dog!

Winners & Honor Books 2004- 2007


2006 Gryphon Award Book:

Stinky Stern Forever: A Jackson Friends Book (Jackson Friends) by Michelle Edwards (Harcourt, 2005)

2006 Honor Books:

Babymouse #1: Queen of the World! (Babymouse) by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm (Random House, 2005)

Chameleon Chameleon (Bccb Blue Ribbon Nonfiction Book Award (Awards)) by Joy Cowley, photographs by Nic Bishop (Scholastic, 2005)

Jigsaw Pony by Jessie Haas, illustrated by Ying-Hwa Hu(Greenwillow, 2005)

 2005 Gryphon Award Book:

Little Rat Rides (Little Rat) by Monika Bang-Campbell (Harcourt, 2004)

2005 Honor Books:

Down Girl and Sit: Smarter than Squirrels (Down Girl and Sit) by Lucy Nolan, illustrated by Mike Reed(Marshall Cavendish, 2004)

You Read to Me, I'll Read to You: Very Short Fairy Tales to Read Together by Mary Ann Hoberman, illustrated by Michael Emberley (Little Brown, 2004)

 2004 Gryphon Award Book:

bow wow meow meow: it's rhyming cats and dogs by Douglas Florian (Harcourt, 2003)

2004 Honor Books:

Snowed in with Grandmother Silk (Bccb Blue Ribbon Fiction Books (Awards)) by Carol Fenner (Dial, 2003)

Franny K. Stein, Mad Scientist: Lunch Walks Among Us by Jim Benton (Simon "& Schuster, 2003)

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