The Rabbit Listened, written and illustrated by Cori Doerrfeld (Dial), has won the third annual Anna Dewdney Read Together Award, given by Penguin Young Readers, the Children’s Book Council, and Every Child a Reader. Named after the late author-illustrator of the Llama Llama series, who died in September 2016 at the age of 50, the Dewdney Award is presented annually to a read-aloud picture book that sparks compassion, empathy, and connection.
The Honor books for 2019 are Drawn Together by Minh Lê; illustrated by Dan Santat (Disney-Hyperion); Dreamers by Yuyi Morales (Holiday House/Porter); I Am Enough by Grace Byers, illustrated by Keturah A. Bobo (HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray); Julián Is a Mermaid by Jessica Love (Candlewick); and Thank You, Omu! by Oge Mora (Little, Brown).
This year’s winner and honor books were chosen through voting over the last two months by librarians, teachers, and booksellers across America. (In previous years, the winners were determined by a committee.) The award celebrates Dewdney’s commitment to literacy, reading with children, and putting books into as many young hands as possible.
Along with The Rabbit Listened, Doerrfeld has illustrated a number of picture books, including Wild Baby, Good Dog, and The True Adventures of Esther the Wonder Pig. Her next book is called Goodbye, Friend! Hello, Friend!, which Dial will release on July 2.
Doerrfeld will be awarded a prize of $1,000 from the Children’s Book Council and Penguin will purchase and donate 250 copies of The Rabbit Listened to a school, library, or literacy organization of her choice. An award presentation and reading by Doerrfeld will take place at the Red Balloon Bookstore in St. Paul, Minn., on May 2. The ceremony will be in conjunction with many children’s literature events taking place across the U.S. from April 29 to May 5, as part of the 100th anniversary of Children’s Book Week.