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Eighth Annual Anna Dewdney Read-Together Award Winner and Honor Books Announced

May 9, 2024

Tune in for a virtual reading on TBD of the winning title by the author and illustrator, followed by a Q&A.

New York, NY – May 9, 2024 – Penguin Young Readers, the Children’s Book Council, and Every Child a Reader are honored to announce that KINDergarten, written by Vera Ahiyya, and illustrated by Joey Chou, published by Random House Studio, is the winner of the eighth annual Anna Dewdney Read-Together Award.

This award is given annually to a picture book that is both a superb read-aloud and 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.

Vera Ahiyya and Joey Chou will gather virtually to record a read-aloud of their winning book, followed by a conversation about their creative process and Q&A. 

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.

The Honor Books for 2024 are: 

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)

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.

Past winners can be viewed here.

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

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 GoatLlama Lama Time to ShareLlama Llama Misses MamaLlama Llama Holiday Drama, and Llama Llama Mad at Mama. She was also the author/illustrator of Little ExcavatorNobunny’s PerfectRoly 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 Ranger’s 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 105 years in 2024; Get Caught Reading, a classroom role model poster project: and the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature program, in partnership with the Library of Congress.


Penguin Contact: Garrett Bond, Publicity Manager, Brands, Penguin Young Readers 

CBC and Every Child a Reader Contact: Carl Lennertz, Executive Director, The Children’s Book Council

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