2024 Irma Black Award and Cook Prize Winners Announced

The King Penguin by Vanessa Roeder and The Book of Turtles by Sy Montgomery won the Irma Black Award and Cook Prize, respectively.

The Bank Street College of Education’s Center for Children’s Literature (CCL) has announced the 2023 winners of the Irma Black Award and Cook Prize.

The Irma Simonton Black and James H. Black Award for Excellence in Children's Literature (Irma Black Award) is awarded annually to "an outstanding book for young children in which text and illustrations are inseparable, each enhancing and enlarging on the other to produce a singular whole."

The 2024 Irma Black Award winner is The King Penguin by Vanessa Roeder  (Dial Books for Young Readers, Penguin Random House).

"The King Penguin is as timeless as it is hilarious," CCL director Cynthia Weill says. "The book will stimulate many important discussions both at home and in the classroom.”

The Irma Black winner is chosen by first and second graders.

"I think the 'The' in The King Penguin is really important," a judge in first grade said. "He thinks he's the most important penguin, but really he's a penguin. It's nice when he's kind."

Three books were named Irma Black Silver Medalists: The Green Piano: How Little Me Found Music by Roberta Flack with Tonya Bolden, illustrated by Hayden Goodman (Random House Kids); Rainbow Shopping by Qing Zhuang (Holiday House); and Summer Is For Cousins by Rajani LaRocca, illustrated by Abhi Alwar (Abrams).

The Cook Prize honors the best STEM picture book for children aged 8-10. The Cook Prize gold medalist is The Book of Turtles by Sy Montgomery, illustrated by Matt Patterson (Clarion Books/Harper Collins).

The silver medal titles are Great Carrier Reef (Books for a Better Earth series) by Jessica Stremer, illustrated by Gordy Wright (Holiday House), Santiago Saw Things Differently: Santiago Ramón y Cajal, Artist, Doctor, Father of Neuroscience by Christine Iverson, illustrated by Luciano Lozano (mitKids Press/Candlewick) and We Go Way Back by Ida Ben-Barakillustrated by Philip Bunting (Roaring Brook Press/Holtzbrinck).

The Cook Prize is chosen by third and fourth grade students. This year more than 11,000 children across the United States, Europe, and Asia participated in the voting.

Acceptance videos from the winners will be posted to the Irma Black Award and Cook Prize websites on May 22.

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