When I heard in September that Anna Dewdney, author of Llama Llama, had died of cancer, it really rocked me back. Not only were we the same age, but my mother-in-law had given my son one of Dewdney’s books along with a recording. Although she lived in another city, she wanted her grandson to hear her reading to him. I’d have been touched even if I wasn’t an author.
In celebration of all the young readers Dewdney reached, Penguin Young Readers, the Children’s Book Council, and the Every Child a Reader program have established a prize in her honor. Each year, the Anna Dewdney Read Together Award will be given to a US picture book published in the last five years. Otherwise, this first award will be given to a book published between 2011 and 2016. The book must be an outstanding read-aloud that encourages compassion and empathy. Compassion and empathy — how cool is that?
If you are a librarian, teacher, booksellers, parents, caregivers, or children’s book bloggers aged 18 or older, you can submit up to five read-together picture books by February 5, 2017. The finalists, the five books with the most nominations, will be announced during Children’s Book Week in May. For more on the award, see the article here.