From the many children’s books published each year, an adult group of writers, librarians, and educators choose approximately 16 to 20 books that they consider the best candidates for the award.
These books are then sent in four sets to the 3rd and 4th grade classrooms at the Bank Street School for Children. As part of their picture book evaluation curriculum, we ask these students to look critically at the art and words and whether these books would be relevant to younger children. Over the course of five weeks, the children read and discuss all of the books before selecting four finalists.
The four finalist titles are placed in 1st and 2nd grade classrooms or libraries in schools. The children in these classrooms read, examine, discuss, and re-read the books over a six-week period before they select the winning book.