Charlotte Zolotow Award



The Charlotte Zolotow Award is given annually for outstanding writing in a picture book published in the United States in the preceding year.  Established in 1998, the award is named to honor the work of Charlotte Zolotow, a distinguished children's book editor for 38 years with Harper Junior Books, and author of more than 70 picture books.

drum dream girl

2016
Margarita Engle.  Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl's Courage Changed Music

Follows a young Cuban girl in the 1930s as she strives to become a drummer, despite being continually reminded that only boys play the drums, and that there's never been a female drummer in Cuba. Includes note about Millo Castro Zaldarriaga, who inspired the story, and Anacaona, the all-girl dance band she formed with her sisters.

sparky bookjacket

2015
Jenny Offill.  Sparky!

Sparky stars a pet who has more to offer than meets the eye. When our narrator orders a sloth through the mail, the creature that arrives isn't good at tricks or hide-and-seek . . . or much of anything. Still, there's something about Sparky that is irresistible.

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2014
Lemony Snicket.  The dark

Laszlo is afraid of the dark which lives in the same big, creaky house as him, until one night the dark pays him a visit.

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2013
Jacqueline Woodson.  Each kindness

When Ms. Albert teaches a lesson on kindness, Chloe realizes that she and her friends have been wrong in making fun of new student Maya's shabby clothes and refusing to play with her.

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2012
Patrick McDonnell.  Me... Jane

Holding her stuffed toy chimpanzee, young Jane Goodall observes nature, reads Tarzan books, and dreams of living in Africa and helping animals. Includes biographical information on the prominent zoologist.

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2011
Rukhsana Khan.  Big Red Lollipop

Having to take her younger sister along the first time she is invited to a birthday party spoils Rubina's fun, and later when that sister is asked to a party and baby sister wants to come, Rubina must decide whether to help.

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2010
Carmen Tafolla.  What Can you do with a Paleta? 

A young Mexican American girl celebrates the paleta, an icy fruit popsicle, and the many roles it plays in her lively barrio.

2009
Bob Graham.  How to Heal a Broken Wing

When Will finds a bird with a broken wing, he takes it home and cares for it, hoping in time it will be able to return to the sky.

2008
Greg Foley.  Thank You Bear

Despite the criticism of others, a bear finds the perfect gift for his mouse friend.

2007
Peter McCarty.  Moon Plane

A young boy looks at a plane in the sky and imagines flying one all the way to the moon.

2006
Mary Ann Rodman.  My Best Friend

Six-year-old Lily has a best friend all picked out for play group day, but unfortunately the differences between first-graders and second-graders are sometimes very large.

2005
Kevin Henkes.  Kitten's First Full Moon

When Kitten mistakes the full moon for a bowl of milk, she ends up tired, wet, and hungry trying to reach it.

2004
Amy Schwartz.  What James Likes Best

A little boy goes with his parents on an express bus to visit twins, in a taxi to visit Grandma, and in a car to see the county fair, then walks next door with his mother for a play date.

2003
Holly Keller.  Farfallina & Marcel

A caterpillar and a young goose become great friends, but as they grow up they undergo changes which separate them for awhile.

2002
Margaret Willey.  Clever Beatrice

A small but clever young girl outwits a rich giant and wins all his gold.

2001
Kate Banks.  The Night Worker

Alex wants to be a "night worker" like his father who goes to work at a construction site after Alex goes to bed.

2000
Molly Bang.  When Sophie Gets Angry -- Really, Really, Angry...

A young girl is upset and doesn't know how to manage her anger but takes the time to cool off and regain her composure.

1999
Uri Shulevitz.  Snow

As snowflakes slowly come down, one by one, people in the city ignore them, and only a boy and his dog think that the snowfall will amount to anything.

1998
Vera B. Williams.  Lucky Song

The song a little girl hears describes her kite-flying adventure.