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.

The 2023 Irma Black Award Ceremony

Thousands of children in the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia, and the United Arab Emirates will participate in the voting process in 2023. We will be sharing videos from the gold and silver medalists on this page in late May. Please note that votes for 2023 are due on April 28 at 5:00 PM. If you have not registered yet, please visit our Register to Participate  webpage.

2023 Irma Black Contenders

The World Belonged to Us
The World Belonged to Us
The Best Kind of Mooncake
The Best Kind of Mooncake
John's Turn
John’s Turn

Bathe the Cat
Bathe the Cat
  • The World Belonged to Us by Jacqueline Woodson; illustrated by Leo Espinosa (Penguin)
  • John’s Turn by Mac Barnett; illustrated by Kate Berube (Candlewick)
  • Bathe the Cat by Alice B. McGinty; illustrated by David Roberts (Chronicle)
  • The Best Kind of Mooncake by Pearl AuYeung (Page Street Kids)

2022 Irma Black Award Winner

It Fell From the Sky
by The Fan Brothers (Simon & Schuster)

Honor Books

  • When My Cousins Come to Town by Angela Shanté; illustrated by  Keisha Morris (West Margin Press)
  • From the Tops of Trees by Kao Kalia Yang; illustrated by Rachel Wada (Carolrhoda Books)
  • 1619 Project: Born on the Water by Nikole Hannah-Jones and Renée Watson; illustrated by Nikkolas Smith (Kokila)