Monarch Award

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Monarch Award
Awarded forReader's choice award for K-3rd Illinois students
CountryUnited States
Presented byIllinois school library media association
First awarded2003
WebsiteISLMA website

The Monarch Award: Illinois' K-3 Readers' Choice Award was established in 2003 by the Illinois School Library Media Association (ISLMA) to help Kindergarten through 3rd grade readers become familiar with books, illustrators and authors; encourage children to read critically; and to develop a statewide awareness of outstanding literature for children.[1]

The award name and image was chosen as a symbol of growth, change and freedom[2] and to help familiarize students with the state's insect.[3]

Award Process[edit]

The award is given annually (beginning in 2005)[4] to a single author and/or illustrator by a collective vote of Kindergarten through 3rd grade students in Illinois.[5] The award is administered by a steering committee that seeks nominations from public librarians, school library media specialist, teachers, and students.[1] A volunteer reading committee then forms a master list of 20 of the nominated titles[6] which include a range of interests and reading levels as well as 3 of each of the following types of children's books:

Students vote in February of each year for their favorite from the master list and the results are announced the following month.

Criteria for nomination[edit]

  • Nominator must have read the book
  • Book copyrighted within the past 5 years
  • Be in print at the time of selection
  • Author and/or illustrator must be living at the time of selection of mater list
  • Book must be of interest and appeal to children in grades kindergarten through 3rd grade
  • Must have literary merit
  • May be fiction or nonfiction
  • No title or series may be on two consecutive master lists
  • If a title in a series has been awarded, other books in that series are ineligible for 5 years
  • Book must not be a textbook, anthology, translation, toy, puzzle, pop-up or formula fiction[7]


Yellow background distinguishes winners from those runners-up that are listed.

Year Writer Illustrator Title Citation
2005 David Shannon Shannon David Gets in Trouble Winner
2005 Helen Lester Lynn Munsinger Hooway for Wodney Wat 2nd Place
2005 Lauren Child Child I Will Never Not Eat a Tomato 3rd Place
2006 Keiko Kasza Kasza My Lucky Day Winner
2007 Caralyn Buehner Mark Buehner Superdog: The Heart of a Hero Winner
2008 Chris Van Dusen[8] Van Dusen If I Built a Car Winner
2009 Kevin O'Malley O'Malley, Carol Heyer and Scott Goto  Once Upon a Cool Motorcycle Dude  Winner
2010 Melanie Watt Watt Scaredy Squirrel Winner
2011 Jan Thomas Thomas Rhyming Dust Bunnies Winner
2012 Chris Barton Tom Lichtenheld Shark vs. Train Winner
2012 Amy Krause Rosenthal  Tom Lichtenheld Duck! Rabbit! 2nd Place
2012 David Ezra Stein Stein Interrupting Chicken 3rd Place


  1. ^ a b ISLMA Monarch Award Guidelines
  2. ^ ISLMA
  3. ^ "Insect". Retrieved 5 December 2022.
  4. ^ "Highland Park Public Library". Highland Park Public Library. Archived from the original on 2012-03-16. Retrieved 2011-01-03.
  5. ^ "Champaign Public Library - Monarch Award". Archived from the original on 24 December 2010. Retrieved 5 December 2022.
  6. ^ Merli, Melissa. "Former storyteller to share story line of her second book"[permanent dead link], The News-Gazette, 20 April 2008, accessed 1 January 2011.
  7. ^ 2012 Monarch Criteria
  8. ^ Winnacunnet student wins award at FFA convention Daily News (Newburyport, MA). [dead link]

External links[edit]