Livingston Lord Library
Curriculum Materials Center

Wanda Gág Read Aloud Book Award

Guidelines for Award

Description of Award

The Wanda Gág Read Aloud Book Award for children’s literature, sponsored by the Curriculum Materials Center at Minnesota State University Moorhead, is for the best picture book of the year to read aloud to younger children. Picture books for children from the age range of toddlers to age eight are considered. All picture books eligible for the award are field-tested with children. Picture books published in the United States in 2013 are eligible for the 2014 award. The tenth annual Wanda Gág Read Aloud Book Award, honoring the author and illustrator of an outstanding English-language picture book of fiction or nonfiction, will be announced in May 2014.

This annual award reflects the following goals:

  • Recognizing authors and illustrators of outstanding picture books to read aloud.
  • Promoting reading and reading aloud as lifelong activities.
  • Assisting anyone who reads to children with the selection of quality picture books.
  • Providing MSUM students with practice to improve reading aloud skills.
  • Offering children ample opportunities to listen and respond to quality literature.

Award Books

Book Seals


Eligibility requirements include the following:

  • The book must be a picture book for a child audience ranging from toddlers to age eight.
  • The picture book may be of any genre.
  • The book must have been published, available for purchase, and have a copyright in the year under consideration. Books published in an earlier year outside the United States are eligible if they are published in the United States in the year under consideration. (The award announced in May 2014 will be for a book published in 2013).
  • The format of the book may be hardcover, paperback, spiral bound, or in portfolio. Electronic books, audio books, textbooks, and manuscripts will not be considered.
  • New editions of previously published books or reissued editions are not eligible.
  • The book may be bilingual or multilingual as long as English is one of the languages of the book.
  • Condensations, excerpts, or abridgements of an original book will not be eligible.

Criteria Related to How the Book Appeals to Children

The evaluation criteria include:

  • Book stretches a child’s imagination
  • Book holds the interest of children
  • Book is memorable for children. The child is interested in repeated readings.
  • Book shows respect for the individual child and the children of the world
  • Book uses a rich vocabulary
  • Book’s text and illustrations stimulate children to respond in a variety of ways

Criteria for the Text

The evaluation criteria may include:

  • How well the theme or concept is presented
  • How information is presented, including organization, clarity, and accuracy
  • How well plot, setting, characters are developed
  • How appropriate the style of language is to the book’s topic/theme and to being read aloud

Criteria for the Art/Illustrations

The evaluation criteria used:

  • Book provides children with an excellent visual experience, with consideration for the following

    • Artistic medium
    • Artistic style
    • Elements of art and design principles
    • Picture book design (type face, layout, book jacket/cover, etc.)
  • Book’s illustrations enhance the read aloud experience by complementing the text

Administration of the Award

The staff of the Curriculum Materials Center of Minnesota State University Moorhead administer the award. The Center with its large collection of children’s books and other educational materials provides resources and materials to preservice and in-service teachers at the preschool through secondary levels. Each year the committee field-tests picture books and chooses the best read aloud picture book of the year. Committee members are selected based on their experience with children and their knowledge of children’s books. The committee is comprised of the Curriculum Materials Center Librarian, at least one University student and one University faculty or staff member, and at least one member of the community. Normally, the Curriculum Materials Center Librarian will chair the committee. The chair is a voting member, presides at meetings, and facilitates discussion.The chair has sole responsibility for contact with publishers.


  • Publishers should nominate books for the award.(Please refer to the eligibility guidelines above). The committee may also nominate books and accept nominations from the public.

  • Publishers nominating books for committee review must send three copies of each entry to the name and address listed below. For consideration for the 2015 awards, books must be received by December 15, 2014. Publishers are urged to send their nominations as soon as possible. 

  • For more information, contact Pam Werre at the Curriculum Materials Center, 218-477-5818, or

Pam Werre, Curriculum Librarian
Attn: Read Aloud Book Award
Minnesota State University Moorhead
1104 Seventh Avenue South
Moorhead, MN 56563

Adopted December 8, 2003
Revised April 8, 2005
Revised May 2006

2013-14 Committee Members

Elizabeth Bakken-Maynard, Student, Minnesota State University Moorhead, Moorhead, Minnesota


Brittney Bunn, Student, Minnesota State University Moorhead, Moorhead, Minnesota


Kathy Enger, Community Member, Northern Lights Library Network, Moorhead, Minnesota


Shari Lammers, Community Member, Retired Elementary Teacher, Dilworth, Minnesota


Heather Maneiro, Librarian, Minnesota State University Moorhead, Moorhead, Minnesota


Heather Nesemeier, School of Nursing and Healthcare, Minnesota State University Moorhead, Moorhead, Minnesota


Aaron Quanbeck, Mass Communications, Minnesota State University Moorhead, Moorhead, Minnesota


Elizabeth Severn, English, Minnesota State University Moorhead, Moorhead, Minnesota


Pam Werre, Curriculum Librarian, Minnesota State University Moorhead, Moorhead, Minnesota

Carol H. Sibley, Community Member, Retired Librarian, Dilworth, Minnesota


The Read Aloud Book Award Project is partially funded by the Wanda Gág Read Aloud Book Award Fund of the Minnesota State University Moorhead Alumni Foundation.