Floyd’s Pick is a book award developed by the Choose to Read Ohio (CTRO) Advisory Council and presented in memory of children’s literature expert, advocate, and librarian Floyd Dickman. It is given annually to a book written by an Ohio author or a book illustrated by an Ohio illustrator that is representative of high-quality literature created for children, a book that Floyd Dickman would have enthusiastically promoted. It is to carry on the legacy of his work to support and share children’s literature in Ohio.
The CTRO Advisory Council established the Floyd’s Pick Book Award in December 2015 with a proclamation by Beverly Cain, then State Librarian of Ohio. It was so named for Floyd Dickman’s penchant for promoting children’s books that he particularly loved and wanted to share by announcing them as “Floyd’s Picks”.
Since then, the CTRO Advisory Council has selected one outstanding book of Ohio children’s literature annually to be designated as Floyd’s Pick. Starting with the 2019 award year, up to three Floyd’s Pick Honor Books may also be named.
The Floyd’s Pick seal features artwork generously contributed by Loren Long from his book Little Tree, which was the first Floyd’s Pick Book Award winner. The seal was designed by Marsha McDevitt-Stredney, Director of Marketing and Communications at the State Library of Ohio.
Great Books by Ohio Authors and Illustrators is a booklist featuring all the Floyd’s Pick winners and honor books from 2016-2022, and all the Choose to Read Ohio selections for young children from 2009-2022. It is available as a booklet that prints on one sheet of 8.5×14″ (legal size) paper, and in a version for on-screen viewing or to print as individual pages on 8.5×11″ (letter size) paper.
Luli and the Language of Tea by Andrea Wang, illustrated by Hyewon Yum (Neal Porter Books, 2022)
A charming, affirming, quietly triumphant story of reaching across barriers and creating a community. 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 lived in Yellow Springs for much of her childhood.
Courage Hats by Kate Hoefler, illustrated by Jessixa Bagley (Chronicle Books, 2022)
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.
The World Belonged to Us by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by Leo Espinosa (Nancy Paulsen Books, 2022)
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.
Jenny Mei Is Sad by Tracy Subisak (Little, Brown Young Readers, 2021)
A universally relevant story of friendship, compassion, and validating children’s emotions, Jenny Mei Is Sad has been named the seventh annual Floyd’s Pick Book Award winner, in memory of children’s literature expert, advocate, and librarian Floyd Dickman. This book opens space for discussion while staying faithful to a child’s understanding and response to helping a friend no matter what. Author Tracy Subisak was born and raised in Columbus, and now lives in Portland, Oregon.
Change Sings: A Children’s Anthem by Amanda Gorman, illustrated by Loren Long (Viking Books for Young Readers, 2021)
Change Sings: A Children’s Anthem by presidential inaugural poet Amanda Gorman celebrates how mighty things happen when people—especially children—come together. Cincinnati-based illustrator Loren Long, creator of the Otis series, previously won the inaugural Floyd’s Pick Book Award for Little Tree.
Family Reunion by Chad and Dad Richardson, illustrated by Ashleigh Corrin (Barefoot Books, 2021)
Family Reunion centers the joy, festivity, and love of a Black American extended family and the eye-opening experience of a young family member initially resistant to attending the reunion. Father-son team of Dad (Charles) and Chad Richardson live in the Cincinnati and Columbus areas, respectively.
Watercress by Andrea Wang, illustrated by Jason Chin (Neal Porter Books, 2021)
Watercress is the beautifully rendered, poignant, and ultimately celebratory story of a young girl who is embarrassed by her immigrant parents’ behavior and by her own outsider status, until she learns some important truths about family and memory over a dinner of foraged watercress. Andrea Wang spent her childhood in Yellow Springs and now lives in Colorado.
Hello by Aiko Ikegami (Creston Books, 2019).
“Some stories don’t need words to make their meaning clear — and some friendships can transcend barriers.
Hello by artist and author Aiko Ikegami is a wordless picture book for children ages 4-8 that shows that the power of friendship and communicating can span across the galaxies, making it a unique and unreservedly recommended addition to family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections.”
Summary from Creston Books website.
The Arabic Quilt: An Immigrant Story by Aya Khalil, illustrated by Anait Semirdzhayan (Tilbury House, 2020).
“Kanzi’s family has moved from Egypt to America, and on her first day in a new school, what she wants more than anything is to fit in. Maybe that’s why she forgets to take the kofta sandwich her mother has made for her lunch, but that backfires when Mama shows up at school with the sandwich. Mama wears a hijab and calls her daughter Habibti (dear one). When she leaves, the teasing starts.
This authentic story with beautiful illustrations includes a glossary of Arabic words and a presentation of Arabic letters with their phonetic English equivalents.”
Summary from Tilbury House website.
Go, Girls, Go! illustrated by Allison Black, written by Frances Gilbert (Beach Lane Books, 2019).
Come along for a rollicking ride in this picture book celebration of vehicles that puts girls in the driver’s seat!
Girls can race…and girls can fly. Girls can rocket way up high!
Piloting fire trucks, trains, tractors, and more, the girls in this book are on the go! Join them for an exuberant journey that celebrates how girls can do—and drive—anything.
Summary from Simon & Schuster website.
The Oldest Student: How Mary Walker Learned to Read illustrated by Oge Mora, written by Rita Lorraine Hubbard (Schwartz & Wade, 2020).
“In 1848, Mary Walker was born into slavery. At age 15, she was freed, and by age 20, she was married and had her first child. By age 68, she had worked numerous jobs, including cooking, cleaning, babysitting, and selling sandwiches to raise money for her church. At 114, she was the last remaining member of her family. And at 116, she learned to read. From Rita Lorraine Hubbard and rising star Oge More comes the inspirational story of Mary Walker, a woman whose long life spanned from the Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement, and who–with perseverance and dedication–proved that you’re never too old to learn.”
Summary from Penguin Random House website.
Thank You, Omu! by Oge Mora (Little, Brown, 2018).
“Everyone in the neighborhood dreams of a taste of Omu’s delicious stew! One by one, they follow their noses toward the scrumptious scent. And one by one, Omu offers a portion of her meal. Soon the pot is empty. Has she been so generous that she has nothing left for herself?
Debut author-illustrator Oge Mora brings to life a heartwarming story of sharing and community in colorful cut-paper designs as luscious as Omu’s stew, with an extra serving of love. An author’s note explains that “Omu” (pronounced AH-moo) means “queen” in the Igbo language of her parents, but growing up, she used it to mean “Grandma.” This book was inspired by the strong female role models in Oge Mora’s life.”
Summary from Little, Brown and Company website.
Clackety Track: Poems About Trains illustrated by Jamey Christoph, written by Skila Brown (Candlewick, 2019).
Leila in Saffron illustrated by Dinara Mirtalipova, written by Rukhsanna Guidroz (Salaam Reads, 2019).
“Sometimes I’m not sure if I like being me. When Leila looks in the mirror, she doesn’t know if she likes what she sees. But when her grandmother tells her the saffron beads on her scarf suit her, she feels a tiny bit better. So, Leila spends the rest of their family dinner night on the lookout for other parts of her she does like.
Follow Leila’s journey as she uses her senses of sight, smell, taste, touch to seek out the characteristics that make up her unique identity, and finds reasons to feel proud of herself, just as she is.”
Summary from Simon & Schuster website.
Rabbit and the Motorbike by Kate Hoefler, illustrated by Sarah Jacoby (Chronicle Books, 2019).
“Rabbit isn’t sure he’ll ever be brave enough to go on an adventure. He’s a homebody who lives in a quiet field of wheat he dreams of leaving every night. His world is enlarged by his friend Dog and Dog’s tales of motorbike adventures. But one day, Dog is gone, and with him, go the stories Rabbit loves so much. Dare Rabbit pick up the motorbike and live his own story? This timeless fable of the journey from grief to acceptance will touch every reader. For those confronting loss and those eager to explore and experience, Rabbit’s bravery in the face of sadness will console, nurture, and inspire.”
Summary from Chronicle Books website.
The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by Rafael López (Nancy Paulsen Books, 2018).
“There are many reasons to feel different. Maybe it’s how you look or talk, or where you’re from; maybe it’s what you eat, or something just as random. It’s not easy to take those first steps into a place where nobody really knows you yet, but somehow you do it.
Jacqueline Woodson’s lyrical text and Rafael López’s dazzling art remind us that we all feel like outsiders sometimes – and how brave it is that we go forth anyway. And that sometimes, when we reach out and begin to share our stories, others will be happy to meet us halfway.”
Summary from Penguin Random House website
First Star: A Bear and Mole Story by Will Hillenbrand (Holiday House, 2018).
“Will Hillenbrand’s beloved Bear and Mole return in First Star! It’s a beautiful summer afternoon, and Mole wants to stay outside and watch the stars turn on. Bear suggests they hike up to Camp Tiptop and stay the night. As dusk falls at the summit, Bear tells Mole the bearish legend of how the first stars came to be: long ago, First Father Bear, First Mother Bear, and First Little Bear were the only bears in the world, and there were no moon or stars…
In this beautiful and imaginative story, Hillenbrand spins an enchanting tale of friendship, storytelling, and starry nights.”
Summary from Holiday House website
Bark Park by Trudy Krisher, illustrated by Brooke Boynton-Hughes (Beach Lane, 2018).
“Come along and play with all of the dogs at Bark Park in this exuberant rhyming picture book that’s a treat for animal lovers of any age.
Welcome to Bark Park! There are dogs running and dogs relaxing, dogs riding and dogs sliding, dogs with a buddy and dogs getting muddy – all before returning home to bubble bath, a cozy dog bed, and sweet dreams of – what else? – being back at the park. Bark! Bark Bark!”
Summary from Simon & Schuster website
A New School Year: Stories in Six Voices by Sally Derby, illustrated by Mika Song
“In a unique narrative, readers meet a diverse group of six children ranging in age from Kindergarten through ﬁfth grade. With nerves and excitement each child gears up for a new school year by hustling in the morning, meeting new teachers and new classmates during the day, and heading home with homework and relief by day’s end.
Simple, bright illustrations focus on each child and his/her worries, hopes, and successes on the ﬁrst day of school.”
Summary from Penguin Random House website
The Remarkable Journey of Charlie Price by Jennifer Maschari
“A heartfelt, beautifully written novel of love, loss, and math—perfect for fans of Rebecca Stead and Sharon M. Draper.
Ever since twelve-year-old Charlie Price’s mom died, he feels like his world has been split into two parts. Before included stargazing and Mathletes and Saturday scavenger hunts with his family. After means a dad who’s completely checked out, comically bad dinners, and grief group that’s anything but helpful. It seems like losing Mom meant losing everything else he loved, too.
Just when Charlie thinks things can’t get any worse, his sister, Imogen, starts acting erratically—missing school and making up lies about their mother. But everything changes when one day he follows her down a secret passageway in the middle of her bedroom and sees for himself.
Imogen has found a parallel world where Mom is alive!
There’s hot cocoa and Scrabble and scavenger hunts again and everything is perfect . . . at first. But something doesn’t feel right. Whenever Charlie returns to the real world, things are different, and not in a good way. And Imogen wants to spend more and more time on the other side. It’s almost as if she wants to leave the real world for good. If Charlie doesn’t uncover the truth, he could lose himself, the true memory of their mother, and Imogen . . . forever.”
Summary from HarperCollins Publishers website
Little Tree by Loren Long
(Philomel Books/Penguin, 2015)
“For graduates, for their parents, for anyone facing change, here is a gorgeously illustrated and stunningly heartfelt ode to the challenges of growing up and letting go. A story of the seasons and stepping stones as poignant for parents as for their kids, from the creator of Otis the tractor and illustrator of Love by Matt de la Peña.”
Summary from Penguin Random House website
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.
Whereas, Floyd Dickman was a founding member of the Choose to Read Ohio Advisory Board when it was established in 2008; and
Whereas, Floyd Dickman was recognized both in Ohio and nationally as an expert on and advocate for children’s literature; and
Whereas, Floyd Dickman worked tirelessly as an advocate for children’s literature and Ohio libraries;
NOW, Therefore, BE IT PROCLAIMED, that on this day, December 8, 2015, the State Librarian of Ohio and the Choose to Read Ohio Advisory Board wish to honor and recognize Floyd’s contributions to the Ohio library community by establishing a special CTRO title selection to be known as “Floyd’s Pick”, which will be selected annually, and will represent an outstanding title in Ohio children’s literature for that year.
January 22, 2016
Floyd’s Pick is an award given annually to a book written by an Ohio author or a book illustrated by an Ohio illustrator that is representative of high-quality literature created for children. This book will be one that Floyd Dickman would have enthusiastically promoted, and is to carry on the legacy of his work to support and share children’s literature in the State of Ohio.
Books will be considered for:
- Child appeal
- Engaging, authentic voice, avoiding didacticism
- Ease of availability
- Visual appeal
- Accurate and balanced coverage of the topic, if an informational book
- Originality of work
- Intended audience must include children within the age range of 0-10. Eligible books can be intended for children anywhere in this age range. A book that also appeals to children older than 10 may be eligible, provided its intended audience includes children 10 or younger.
- Date of publication falls within the given timeframe for the year being considered (October 1 – September 30 prior to the award year; e.g. eligible books for 2022 are published Oct. 1, 2020 – Sept 30, 2021).
- One winner and up to three honor books may be selected.
- Books by the same author or illustrator may not win Floyd’s Pick in two consecutive years; however, two books by the same creator may be selected as honor book and winner, or both as honor books, in consecutive years.
- Floyd’s Pick winners and honor books are eligible to be selected to the Choose to Read Ohio booklist.
- Nominations and selected titles are determined by CTRO Advisory Council Members. Titles being considered are published from October 1 of the preceding year – September 30 of the current year. For example, titles eligible for the 2022 Floyd’s Pick award are published between October 1, 2020 and September 30, 2021.
- Titles may be nominated at any time until October 10 of the year leading up to the award year. CTRO Advisory Council members will meet once or twice (as needed) to deliberate after October 10. CTRO Advisory Council members vote on finalists in early December. The vote may be by show of hands at a meeting or by online poll. The winner and any honorees are contacted in mid-December. The winner and any honorees are formally announced in early January.
- Floyd’s Pick is coordinated by the Choose to Read Ohio Advisory Council and administered by the State Library of Ohio and Ohioana Library.
- Year-round: CTRO advisory council members may nominate titles at any time. Nominations for the upcoming award year are open from October 1 of the preceding year through October 10 of the current year. For example, nominations for the 2022 award year are open from October 1, 2020 through October 10, 2021. Nominations for the 2023 award year are open from October 1, 2021 through October 10, 2022. There is a 10-day overlap in October when nominations are open for two award years. Publication date determines the award year for which a given title is eligible.
- Late October – early November: CTRO advisory council meets to discuss nominated titles, narrowing the list to a smaller group of finalists.
- Early December: CTRO advisory council meets (if needed) for final deliberations. CTRO advisors vote individually.
- Mid-December: CTRO advisory council notifies winner and honorees. Ohioana Library staff prepare to invite winner and honorees to Ohioana Book Festival for award ceremony, panel, and book signing.
- January: Announce winner and honorees widely.
- April: Present awards at or in conjunction with Ohioana Book Festival.
- An “Ohio author or illustrator” must be an Ohio native or an Ohio resident for at least three years (either in the present or past).
For more information
Contact Janet Ingraham Dwyer, Library Consultant and CTRO project coordinator.
Jenny Mei Is Sad Selected As 2022 Floyd’s Pick Book Award Winner (January 19, 2022)
CTRO Advisory Board and State Librarian Beverly Cain Establish Floyd’s Pick (January 22, 2016)