Anna Dewdney Previous Read Aloud Award Winners!

Remembering Anna Dewdney

The winner of the 2023 Anna Dewdney Read-Together Award is…

The Proudest Color by Dr. Sheila Modir and Jeffrey Kashou; illus. Monica Mikai (Familius Books).

Sheila Modir is a pediatric psychologist and Jeffrey Kashou is a marriage and family therapist. As Middle Eastern Americans (Iranian and Palestinian) and as clinicians, they advocate for diversity, equality, and inclusion and work toward promoting resilience in children. While this is their first children’s book together, this happy couple from Southern California has teamed up on publications, presentations, and service work locally and internationally. Visit them at

Monica Mikai is an illustrator and former educator. She has an MFA from the New York Studio School, where she studied painting, and currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband, two sons, and her sassy cat, Nima.

Sheila Modir and Jeffrey Kashou will gather virtually to record a read-aloud of their winning title, followed by a conversation about their creative process and Q&A. We invite teachers, librarians, booksellers, and parents to submit your own questions, or the questions of young readers’ for the book’s authors to answer. Submit a question for the Q&A by May 19.

The 2023 winner was selected through an open voting process. Votes were cast by librarians, educators, booksellers, and caregivers across the country!

Read more about the 2023 winner here!

Read-Aloud video featuring the 2023 winners

CBC’s Marketing Associate, Paulina Ramirez, hosted a virtual event with Dr. Sheila Modir and Jeff Kashou, to record the read-aloud of their award-winning title, where they also answered fun, rapid-fire questions, and ended with a thoughtful conversation about the creative process of the book.

2023 Honor Books

Listen: How Evelyn Glennie, A Deaf Girl, Changed Percussion, by Shannon Stocker; illus. Devon Holzwarth (Dial Books)

Snow Globe Wishes, by Erin Dealey; illus. Claire Shorrock (Sleeping Bear Press)

The Bad Seed, by Jory John; illus. Pete Oswald (HarperCollins)

Tiny Spoon vs. Little Fork, by Constance Lombardo; illus. Jason Patterson and Dan Abdo (Hippo Park / Astra Publishing)

Penguin Young Readers, the Children’s Book Council, and Every Child a Reader continue their partnership for the 7th Annual Anna Dewdney Read-Together Award in honor of the late Anna Dewdney (1965-2016), author and illustrator of the beloved Llama Llama series.

See past winners here!

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 (2012-2017) 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, will be 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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