Book cover for Hello by by Aiko Ikegami
January 6, 2021

Floyd's Pick Book Award icon

The State Library of Ohio and the Choose to Read Ohio (CTRO) Advisory Council are pleased to announce that Hello by Aiko Ikegami (Creston Books, 2019) has been named the sixth annual Floyd’s Pick Book Award winner, in memory of children’s literature expert, advocate, and librarian Floyd Dickman.

The Floyd’s Pick Book Award is given annually to a book written by an Ohio author or illustrated by an Ohio illustrator that is representative of high-quality literature created for children. It is given to carry on the legacy of Floyd Dickman’s work to support and share children’s literature.

A charming wordless picture book about an intergalactic friendship, Hello was praised by the CTRO Advisory Council for its excellent pictorial storytelling, stellar use of color, and thematic sweetness. A visiting explorer fails to get the attention of Earth’s resident adults, who are occupied with the bustle of their daily lives, but a young girl notices and extends a smile and a crayon, and a magical adventure begins.

A Tokyo native, Aiko Ikegami moved to the United States in 1993 and now lives in Columbus. An artist from childhood, she pursued studies in psychology and pharmacology, and practiced neuropharmacology before becoming an author and illustrator of children’s picture books.

The CTRO Advisory Council has also selected three Floyd’s Pick Honor Books for 2021

The Arabic Quilt by Aya Khalil, illustrated by Anait Semirdzhyan (Tilbury House Publishers, 2020).

Go, Girls, Go! by Frances Gilbert, illustrated by Alison Black (Beach Lane Books / Simon & Schuster, 2019).  

The Oldest Student: How Mary Walker Learned to Read  by Rita Lorraine Hubbard, illustrated by Oge Mora (Schwartz & Wade / Penguin Random House, 2020)3  book covers for Floyd’s Pick Honor Books for 2021

The Arabic Quilt, subtitled An Immigrant Story, depicts the challenges of navigating third grade in a new school, in a new country. With some help from her mother and her teacher, protagonist Kanzi finds a creative way to share her heritage with all her new classmates. Author Aya Khalil immigrated as a child from Egypt to the United States and now lives in Toledo.

Go, Girls, Go! celebrates girls, transportation, and empowerment. Its bright colors and joyful, exuberant refrain make it ideal for toddlers and preschoolers of all genders, who will enjoy mimicking the sounds of vehicles and shouting out “Go, girls, go!” Illustrator Allison Black lives in Columbus.

The Oldest Student tells the true story of Mary Walker. Born into slavery, she worked diligently throughout her life, raised a family, and nursed a dream of learning to read that didn’t blossom until she was well over 100 years old. Illustrator Oge Mora grew up in Columbus and now lives in Rhode Island. Oge Mora’s first picture book, Thank You, Omu!, is the 2020 Floyd’s Pick Book Award winner.

Floyd Dickman was a Library Consultant at the State Library of Ohio and a tireless advocate for children’s literature and librarianship who had a tremendous positive impact on library and literacy services in Ohio and across the country. Upon his retirement in 1999, the State Library of Ohio Board’s retirement resolution recognized Floyd’s leadership, commitment, and passion for library services, children’s literature and family literacy. Floyd is also remembered as a dedicated mentor to librarians and library science students. During his career he was awarded the Ohio Library Council Librarian of the Year award and was named Outstanding Friend by the Ohio Family Literacy Task Force. Floyd Dickman passed away in June 2015.

The CTRO Advisory Council established Floyd’s Pick in December 2015 with a proclamation by Beverly Cain, State Librarian of Ohio. Ohio author and illustrator Loren Long, winner of the first Floyd’s Pick Book Award for Little Tree, graciously provided the Floyd’s Pick Book Award artwork.  Click here for more information on Floyd’s Pick.

Choose to Read Ohio (CTRO), a project of the State Library of Ohio, Ohioana Library, and the Ohio Center for the Book, spotlights Ohio authors and promotes reading across Ohio. Every two years, a booklist of 20 representative titles for all ages is selected, with the input of dozens of Ohio librarians, educators, and others invested in readers and reading.

Media Contact:

Marsha McDevitt-Stredney, Public Information Officer and Director, Marketing & Communications (614) 644-6875