Center for Children’s Literature

Irma Black Award

The Irma Simonton Black and James H. Black Award for Excellence in Children’s Literature (Irma Black Award) goes to an outstanding book for young children—a book in which text and illustrations are inseparable, each enhancing and enlarging on the other to produce a singular whole. The Irma Black Award is unusual in that children are the final judges of the winning book.

7 Ate 9

2018 Irma Black Award Winner

7 Ate 9: The Untold Story
by Tara Lazar, illustrated by Ross MacDonald (Disney Hyperion)


  • How the Cookie Crumbled: The True (and Not-So-True) Stories of the Invention of the Chocolate Chip Cookie written and illustrated by Gilbert Ford (Simon and Schuster)
  • After the Fall: How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again written and illustrated by Dan Santat (Roaring Brook Press)
  • Sparkle Boy by Lesléa Newman; illustrated by Maria Mola (Lee and Low Books Inc.)

Register for 2019

2017 Irma Black Award Winner

The Night Gardener
This picture book by Terry Fan and Eric Fan details William’s journey when he discovers that the tree outside his window has been sculpted into a wise owl.


  • Quackers written and illustrated by Liz Wong (Knopf Books for Young Readers)
  • Little Red and the Very Hungry Lion written and illustrated by Alex T. Smith (Scholastic Press)
  • A Hungry Lion or a Dwindling Assortment of Animals written and illustrated by Lucy Ruth Cummins (Atheneum Books for Young Readers)

Award Ceremony Video Liz Wong Interview Lucy Cummins Interview