Theodore Seuss Geisel Award Winners

The Theodor Seuss Geisel Award is given annually to the author and illustrator of the most distinguished book for beginning readers. While honorees can range in reading level, they all have a standout quality to them, making winners excellent choices for new readers.

Included here are a few of our favorite Geisel winners and honor books that have the perfect combination of wit, charm, and accessible text for young children. The best part is that these books are so endearing, adults will love them too!

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Flubby Is Not a Good Pet by J.E. Morris

Flubby is a lovable, lazy cat who prefers to do things her own way. When her owner attempts to teach her tricks, they both discover that there is more to being a good pet than following directions. The simple sentences are perfectly paired with amusing illustrations that skillfully capture Flubby’s comical expressions. Lexile 140

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See the Cat: Three Stories About a Dog by David LaRochelle; illustrated by Mike Wohnoutka

This witty book is full of humor and fun and, best of all, perfect for emerging readers! A dog politely disagrees with an unseen narrator about what is occurring in this story with hilarious results! The short sentences are made up of mostly sight words and words that can be sounded out while the brief dialogue and the expressive illustrations allow children to practice reading with expression.  It was no surprise that this lovable story won the 2021 Geisel Award! Buy It Here


What About Worms (Elephant and Piggie Like Reading series) by Ryan T. Higgins and Mo Willems

An adorable tiger brags about his braveness, but admits that his one fear is worms. A comical sequence of events reveal that a group of worms are also scared of tigers until they learn more about them. This is a fantastic new addition to the lovable Elephant and Piggie Like Reading series

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The Mo Jackson series by David Adler; illustrated by Sam Ricks

There are surprisingly few easy readers available with a sports theme, but luckily the Mo Jackson series hits it out of the park. As the youngest and smallest boy on his team, Mo works extra hard to help his team win. Whether it is devising a surprise football play, trying to hit a home run, learning to pass a basketball, or practicing his soccer skills, Mo always does his best.  Lexile: 470L/ Guided Reading Level: I

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Ling and Ting Not Exactly the Same (series) by Grace Lin

This Theodore Seuss Geisel Honor book stars two amiable twin sisters who partake in a variety of adventures in six short chapters. There is an old-fashion charm to these books that is both playful and whimsical. Elements of Chinese culture such as making dumplings and learning to use chopsticks are effortlessly woven in adding to the allure of the stories. Each chapter is only a few pages long, leaving children eager to read Ling and Ting’s next escapade. Lexile: 390L / Fountas & Pinnell: K

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The Elephant and Piggie series by Mo Willems

This series is an absolute must-read. Filled with hilarious illustrations and comical dialogue from two of the most beloved characters in modern-day children’s literature, it is no surprise that several of the books in this series have won the Geisel award including:

A Big Guy Took My Ball, I Broke My Trunk, Let’s Go for a Drive, We Are in a Book, Are You Ready to Play Outside?, There is a Bird on Your Head, Waiting is Not Easy .



We are Growing by Laurie Keller

This quirky story stars a group of zany blades of grass who each celebrate a unique attribute. This is a fun book filled with clever humor, repeated text, and simple sentences to build literacy skills, and it has a great message of resilience and celebrating everyone’s differences. It is no wonder the book won the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award for best Easy Reader.  Lexile 270

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The Fox series by Corey R. Tabor

This delightful series is full of short simple sentences, charming illustrations, and amusing storylines. Each book stars a mischievous fox and his woodland friends. With its lovable characters and giggle-inducing storylines, this such a fun series for new readers.

Several books in this series have won the Geisel Medal including  Fox the Tiger, Fox At Night and Fox Has a Problem.


A Pig, A Fox and a Box by Jonathan Fenske

This Theodore Seuss Geisel Honor book stars a mischievous fox whose clever jokes on his friend Pig backfire with hysterical results. Readers with a quirky sense of humor will enjoy this funny rhyming book.  Lexile: 210L / Guided Reading Level: H

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Penny series by Kevin Henkes

Award-winning author and illustrator Kevin Henkes brings his refined charm to this easy reader series starring a friendly mouse named Penny. Adorned with Kevin Henkes’ signature artwork, these quaint stories follow Penny as she shares a song with her family, finds a neighbor’s marble, thinks of a name for her doll, and waits for snow.

Penny’s quiet nature and curiosity is sure to resonate with many children and the books have a classic feel about them that will be attractive to parents and kids. Lexile: 470L

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Tales For Very Picky Eaters by Josh Schneider

Made up of five hilarious chapters, a father tries to convince his son, James, to eat healthy food. When James declares that broccoli is disgusting, his father quickly suggests dirt, chewed gum, and dirty socks as alternative options. In the subsequent chapters, James’ clever father reveals several other comical stories to convince James to eat his food. This book won a Theodore Seuss Geisel Award for being an outstanding book for beginning readers. The chapters are only a few pages long making this easy reader fun to read one on one. I’ve read the first two chapters to a class of first grade students and they were all clamoring to check out the book to hear the rest of the funny tales. 

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Charlie and Mouse (series) by Laurel Snyder; illustrated by Emily Hughes

This heavily illustrated chapter book features two relatable brothers and their everyday adventures. From waking their parents up in the morning, to rounding up the neighborhood kids, and trying to earn money by selling rocks, these tales are accessible and will resonate with many children. The engaging illustrations are cleverly placed to break up the text and provide context. This award-winning series is not to be missed! Lexile: 420L/ Fountas & Pinnell: J

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You can find a list of past winners and honor books HERE.

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