“The Theodor Seuss Geisel Award recognizes the author(s) and illustrator(s) of a book for beginning readers who, through their literary and artistic achievements, demonstrate creativity and imagination to engage children in reading.”
Guessing Geisel was inspired by the experiences of the 2016 Geisel Award committee. At the conclusion of ALA Midwinter in Boston, committee members Amy, Misti, and Amanda discovered a shared eagerness to discuss the contenders in the upcoming year, no longer committed to secrecy on any potentially eligible titles. They could review picture books again, and could post to Goodreads and personal blogs. But even more than that, they wanted to spark conversations that would expand understanding of the award criteria, provide assistance to those planning Mock Geisels across the country, and celebrate good books for beginning readers.
Guessing Geisel is an opportunity to explore award criteria that is both more specific and less well known than the Newbery or Caldecott. It’s a place to celebrate more great books for beginning readers than any one committee is able to honor. It's an exploration into what constitutes excellence for an audience at a critical stage where a child is building the reading skills and relationship with the written word that will serve them all their life. It’s a resource for anyone who might be interested in serving on the committee for this award, or interested in holding a Mock Geisel in their community.
Guessing Geisel is in no way affiliated with nor reflective of the views of this year’s Real Committee for the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award, whose selections will be announced at the ALA Midwinter Meeting Youth Media Awards. Opinions stated here do not reflect the attitudes or opinions of ALSC, SLJ, Booklist, or any other institutions with which the authors are affiliated. All thoughts on eligibility or the strength of a contender are entirely speculation.