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The Gelett Burgess Center realizes the incredible role books play in a child’s development, and this is why we devote our time and energy to finding amazing titles each year to share with Librarians, Educators, Bookstores and Parents. The books we select represent a talent pool that is inspired to explore new boundaries in children’s literature. We know this is true because incredible children’s books live and breathe truth, and they are the ones that stay with children throughout their entire lives.

Do you remember the first book that touched you in some way? Recall those memories and let that energy guide you as you share books with the current generation.  Whatever role you play in a child’s life, express your love of books with them any way you can. Continue searching for the children’s titles that touch you, even as an adult, and let those be the titles you share.

It is with great pleasure we announce the winners of the Gelett Burgess Center, Book of the Year recipients. Many hours have been spent interviewing readers, reviewing new releases, and sifting through bookshelves in order to find the perfect match for our organization. We recognize the creative energy, outstanding talent, and the collaborative nature of creating children’s books. It is with this understanding we offer our thanks and congratulations to the teams responsible for producing this year’s list of winners.

First Place: Snutt the Ift: A Small but Significant Chapter in the Life of the Universe by Helen Ward

Taking readers from a desperately lonely place to the soaring heights of wonder and excitement, Snutt the Ift provides unparalleled emotion and depth of character. Helen Ward’s beautiful story is partnered with sensational illustrations that invite readers to discover a strange new world. The Gelett Burgess Center is honored to name this outstanding children’s picture book as our Book of the Year.- view more

Honor: Little Monk and the Mantis: A Bug, A Boy, and the Birth of a Kung Fu Legend by John Fusco

Little Monk and the Mantis invites children to experience the peaceful teachings at the heart of Martial Arts. With careful attention to detail, John Fusco’s passion for eastern philosophy and historical teachings comes shining through in this tale of perseverance and self-discovery. Children will be enthralled by the masterful storytelling and energetic illustrations that transports readers to another time and place. – view more

Honor: Red Knit Cap Girl by Naoko Stoop

With illustrations remarkable in their innovation and simplicity, Naoko Stoop’s Red Knit Cap Girl offers readers an opportunity to open their eyes and marvel at life’s mysteries. Childlike curiosity and sense of adventure are the true protagonists of this story, weaving children though a tale of discovery and natural beauty. Highly recommended for the child who always asks, “why?” – view more


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The Gelett Burgess Center is pleased to announce the selected titles for our 2012 Gelett Burgess Children’s Book Award season. Special care and attention was taken this year in selecting titles from a wide spectrum of the publishing community. Librarians, Educators, Bookstores and Parents will find titles published by large multinational publishing conglomerates, as well as rural small presses. It is our deeply felt conviction that a quality children’s book needn’t be created out of fame and fortune, but a love for the creative process.

Please take a moment to view our 2012 selections, and stay tuned for our Book of the Year awards which will be announced July 9th, 2012.

View the 2012 Gelett Burgess Children’s Book Award winning titles for 2012 here.

Each year the Gelett Burgess Center produces a comprehensive list of what we deem the most unique children’s books on the market. With over 40 classifications, books are selected in 4 distinct groups: Lifestyle, Arts and Letters, Society and Culture, and Education. This list is promoted throughout the year as publishers and authors participate in activities, providing articles for the Center website and newsletter, and providing lessons and activity content based on the books.

This year’s list proves to be quite an eclectic selection of multi-cultural, informative and creative titles by independent and mainstream publishing companies. For a complete list, go to the foundation’s website at www.GelettBurgessCenter.org.