Anna Dewdney
Check Out Previous Read Aloud Award Winners and remember Anna Dewdney with this touching video:

The winner for the 2024 Anna Dewdney Read-Together Award is…

KINDergarten by Vera Ahiyya; illus. by Joey Chou (Random House Studio).

Vera Ahiyya was raised in El Paso, Texas with her wonderful mother and amazing grandparents. Vera has taught Kindergarten and First Grade for the last 18 years. Her online presence is dedicated to influencing other educators by spreading her vast knowledge and love of inclusive children’s books. She is the author of Rebellious Read Alouds, a professional development book for educators. She is also the author of You Have a Voice, Look How Much I’ve Grown in KINDergarten, and the forthcoming Getting Ready series.

Joey Chou is an animation artist and children’s book illustrator. He has illustrated the Little Golden Books, I’m a Reindeer, I’m a Ballerina, I’m a Unicorn, I’m a Dragon, and I’m a Narwhal.

In honor of this year’s Anna Dewdney Read Together Award winner, Penguin Young Readers will donate 250 copies of KINDergarten to three elementary schools.

The winner and honor books were chosen via voting over the last two months by librarians, teachers, booksellers, and caregivers across the country.

Read more about the 2024 winner here!

Q&A with 2024 Anna Dewdney Read-Together Award Winners

Vera Ahiyya and Joey Chou gathered virtually to record a thoughtful Q&A about their creative process. You can also watch them answer some fun rapid-fire questions, listen to Vera’s read-aloud of the book, and learn how to draw Leo from KINDergarten with a drawing demonstration from Joey!

More Videos

KINDergarten Read-Aloud with Vera Ahiyya

Learn How to Draw Leo from KINDergarten with Joey Chou

Rapid-Fire Questions with 2024 Anna Dewdney Read-Together Award Winners

2024 Honor Books

Bella & Blue: Bella Meets Blue by Berrie Torgan-Randall (The Little Press)

Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story by Kevin Noble Maillard; illus. Juana Martinez-Neal (Roaring Book/Macmillan)

Only for a Little While by Gabriela Orozco Belt; illus. Richy Sánchez Ayala (Balzar+Bray/HarperCollins)

Say Their Names by Caroline Brewer; illus. Adrian Brandon (Reycraft Books)

Tango Red Riding Hood by Rachel Hobbs; illus. Carolina Vázquez (Gnome Road Publishing)

Penguin Young Readers, the Children’s Book Council, and Every Child a Reader continue their partnership for the 8th Annual Anna Dewdney Read-Together Award in honor of the late Anna Dewdney (1965-2016), author and illustrator of the beloved Llama Llama series.

About the Anna Dewdney Read-Together Award

The Anna Dewdney Read-Together Award is given annually to a picture book that is both a superb read-aloud and also sparks compassion, empathy, and connection. The award commemorates the life and work of author/illustrator Anna Dewdney and celebrates her commitment to reading with young children and putting books into as many little hands as possible.

As a children’s book creator, a literacy advocate, and a parent, Dewdney believed, “A good children’s book can be read by an adult to a child, and experienced genuinely by both. A good children’s book is like a performance. Reading with children makes an intimate, human connection that teaches that child what it means to be alive as one of many beings on the planet. When we read a book with children, then children — no matter how stressed, no matter how challenged — are drawn out of themselves to bond with other human beings, and to see and feel the experiences of others. It is this moment that makes us human. In this sense, reading makes us human.” (Wall Street Journal)

Llama Llama Red Pajama, Dewdney’s tale of a baby llama calling out for Mama Llama at bedtime, is a beloved read-together book. The Anna Dewdney Read Together Award, co-sponsored by Penguin Young Readers, the Children’s Book Council, and Every Child a Reader, recognizes a picture book published within the last five years (2019-2023) in the United States that kids and grown-ups are currently discovering and enjoying together. The winning book is announced during Children’s Book Week, the celebration of books for young people and the joy of reading.

About Anna Dewdney

Anna Dewdney was the New York Times bestselling author and illustrator of Llama Llama Red Pajama. Other award-winning books in the Llama Llama series include Llama Lama and the Bully Goat, Llama Lama Time to Share, Llama Llama Misses Mama, Llama Llama Holiday Drama, and Llama Llama Mad at Mama. The latest book in the Llama Llama series, Llama Llama’s Little Lie, was released in August 2023. She was also the author/illustrator of Little Excavator, Nobunny’s Perfect, Roly Poly Pangolin, and Grumpy Gloria. Anna worked as a rural mail carrier and taught at a boys’ boarding school for many years before becoming a full-time author and illustrator. Anna was a committed advocate of literacy, speaking regularly on this topic and publishing articles in the Wall Street Journal and other national outlets.

About Penguin Young Readers

Penguin Young Readers is one of the leading children’s book publishers in the United States. The company owns a wide range of imprints and trademarks, including Dial Books, Dutton, Flamingo, Kokila, Nancy Paulsen Books, Penguin Workshop, Philomel, Puffin, G. P. Putnam’s Sons, Razorbill, Viking, and Frederick Warne. These imprints are home to such award-winning, New York Times- bestselling authors as, Laurie Halse Anderson, Max Brallier, Jan Brett, Eric Carle, Roald Dahl, Anna Dewdney, John Flanagan, John Green, Oliver Jeffers, Brad Meltzer, Ransom Riggs, Ruta Sepetys, Sabaa Tahir, Jacqueline Woodson, and dozens of other popular authors. Penguin Young Readers Group is also the proud publisher of perennial brand franchises such as The Little Engine That Could, the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys series, Peter Rabbit, Spot, the Classic Winnie the Pooh, the Very Hungry Caterpillar, Madeline, Mad Libs, the Last Kids on Earth, the Rangers Apprentice, and Who HQ among many others. Penguin Young Readers Group is a division of Penguin Random House LLC.

About Every Child a Reader

Every Child a Reader is a 501(c)(3) award-winning literacy charity whose popular national programs include Children’s Book Week, the longest-running literacy initiative in the country, celebrating 104 years in 2023; the Kids’ Book Choice Awards, the only national book awards chosen solely by children and teens; Get Caught Reading, a classroom poster project: and the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature program, in partnership with the Library of Congress.

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