Luli and the Language of Tea book jacket
January 17, 2023

Luli and the Language of Tea by Andrea Wang, illustrated by Hyewon Yum (Neal Porter Books, 2022, ISBN 9780823446148), has been named the eighth annual Floyd’s Pick Book Award winner, awarded by the Choose to Read Ohio (CTRO) Advisory Council 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.

The CTRO Advisory Council has also selected two Floyd’s Pick Honor Books for 2023:

Courage Hats by Kate Hoefler, illustrated by Jessixa Bagley (Chronicle Books, 2022, ISBN 9781797202761)

The World Belonged to Us by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by Leo Espinosa (Nancy Paulsen Books, 2022, ISBN 9780399545498)

Book covers for Courage Hats by Kate Hoefler and The World Belonged to Us by Jacqueline Woodson

Floyd’s Pick Book Award winner Luli and the Language of Tea is a charming, affirming, quietly triumphant story of reaching across barriers and creating a community. The CTRO Advisory Council noted its entirely fresh treatment of how people are both different and alike, its sweetly exuberant illustrations, and its depiction of a child’s creativity and self-empowerment. Five-year-old Luli attends childcare while her parents take an English as a Second Language class, but the playroom is quiet. Luli can’t speak English; neither can anyone else. Then Luli has a brilliant idea to host a tea party and bring all the children together.

Andrea Wang is the author of several notable books for children, including Watercress, which was awarded the Caldecott Medal, a Newbery Honor, and the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature, and is a previous Floyd’s Pick Honor Book. Andrea Wang lived in Yellow Springs, Ohio, for much of her childhood.

Floyd’s Pick Honor Book Courage Hats is a whimsical, imaginative, and very relatable story of facing the unknown and finding a friend. Mae and Bear learn that courage is something that comes from your heart, but if you can’t find it there, you can wear it on your head at first. Author Kate Hoefler lives in central Ohio. Her book Rabbit and the Motorbike is a previous Floyd’s Pick Honor Book.

Honor Book The World Belonged to Us celebrates childhood, place, memory, and the expansiveness and elation of play. When school lets out for the year, the kids on one Brooklyn block take advantage of everything summertime has to offer. Jacqueline Woodson is the author of many acclaimed and beloved books for all ages, including previous Floyd’s Pick Book Award winner The Day You Begin. She was born in Columbus.

Floyd Dickman was a Library Consultant at the State Library of Ohio and a tireless advocate for children’s literature and librarianship. He had a tremendous positive impact on library and literacy services in Ohio and across the country. During his career, Floyd was awarded the Ohio Library Council Librarian of the Year award and was named Outstanding Friend by the Ohio Family Literacy Task Force. Upon Floyd’s retirement in 1999, the State Library of Ohio Board’s retirement resolution recognized his 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. He remained an active teacher, advisor, and champion for many years after retirement. Floyd Dickman passed away in June 2015.

The CTRO Advisory Council established Floyd’s Pick in December 2015 with a proclamation by Beverly Cain, then 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. For more on the Floyd’s Pick Book Award, see:
library.ohio.gov/services-for-libraries/library-programs-development/ctro/floyds-pick.

Choose to Read Ohio (CTRO) spotlights Ohio authors and illustrators and promotes reading across Ohio. Started in 2009 by the State Library of Ohio and the Ohioana Library with the Ohio Center for the Book and Ohio’s libraries, CTRO celebrates the bounty and diversity of published literature by Ohioans and invites Ohioans of all ages to read and enjoy books together. Every two years, a booklist of twenty representative titles for all ages is selected, with the input of dozens of Ohio librarians, educators, and others invested in readers and reading. Learn more: library.ohio.gov/ctro.

Media Contact:

Marsha McDevitt-Stredney, Public Information Officer and Director, Marketing & Communications (614) 644-6875 marshams@library.ohio.gov