The world of children's literature contains a variety of genres, all of which have appeal to the diverse interests of children as well as potential for classroom teaching. In recent years, however, nonfiction or information books have emerged as a very attractive, exciting, and popular genre. NCTE, through the Committee on the Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children, has established an annual award for promoting and recognizing excellence in the writing of nonfiction for children. The name Orbis Pictus, commemorates the work of Johannes Amos Comenius, Orbis Pictus—The World in Pictures (1657), considered to be the first book actually planned for children.
The award is presented by the Orbis Pictus Committee Chair during the Books for Children Luncheon at the NCTE Annual Convention each year. Although only one title is singled out for the award, up to five Honor Books are also recognized.
Balloons over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy's Parade
by Melissa Sweet
(Houghton Mifflin Books for Children)
- Amelia Lost: The Life and Disappearance of Amelia Earhart by Candace Fleming (Schwartz & Wade Books)
- Father Abraham: Lincoln and His Sons by Harold Holzer (Calkins Creek)
- Pablo Neruda: Poet of the People by Monica Brown, illulstrated by Julie Paschkis (Henry Holt and Company)
- Terezin: Voices from the Holocaust by Ruth Thomson (Candlewick Press)
- The Mangrove Tree: Planting Trees to Feed Families by Susan L. Roth & Cindy Trumbore (Lee & Low Books Inc.)
- Billions of Years, Amazing Changes: The Story of Evolution
by Laurence Pringle, illustrated by Steve Jenkins (Boyds Mills Press)
- Far from Shore: Chronicles of an Open Ocean Voyage
by Sophie Webb (Houghton Mifflin Books for Children)
- For the Birds: The Life of Roger Tory Peterson
by Peggy Thomas, illustrated by Laura Jacques (Calkins Creek)
- Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans
by Kadir Nelson (Balzer + Bray Imprint of Harper Collins Publishers)
- Harry Houdini: The Legend of the World's Greatest Escape Artist
by Janice Weaver, illustrated by Chris Lane (Abrams Books for Young Readers)
- Inkblot by Margaret Peot (Boyds Mills Press)
- Me...Jane by Patrick McDonnell (Little, Brown and Company)
- Thunder Birds: Nature's Flying Predators by Jim Arnosky (Sterling)
Each nomination should meet the following literary criteria:
Accuracy—facts current and complete, balance of fact and theory, varying point of view, stereotypes avoided, author's qualifications adequate, appropriate scope, authenticity of detail
Organization—logical development, clear sequence, interrelationships indicated, patterns provided (general-to-specific, simple-to-complex, etc.)
Design—attractive, readable, illustrations complement text, placement of illustrative material appropriate and complementary, appropriate media, format, type
Style—writing is interesting, stimulating, reveals author's enthusiasm for subject; curiosity and wonder encouraged, appropriate terminology, rich language
In addition, each nomination should be useful in classroom teaching grades K-8, should encourage thinking and more reading, model exemplary expository writing and research skills, share interesting and timely subject matter, and appeal to a wide range of ages.
Have questions or comments,
email us today!