2021 Children's Book Awards PDF Print Email


2021 Awards Announcements

The Children’s Book Award Committee of the Wisconsin Library Association’s Youth Services Section annually selects outstanding books for youth by Wisconsin-connected authors and awards the Elizabeth Burr/Worzalla Award, Outstanding Books of the Year, and Notable Wisconsin Authors/Illustrators.

Elizabeth Burr/Worzalla Award

Awarded to the most distinguished work in children’s and young adult literature written and/or illustrated by a Wisconsin book creator. The Elizabeth Burr/Worzalla Award is made possible by the Worzalla Publishing Company, Stevens Point, through a grant to the WLA Foundation.

Ten Ways to Hear Snow

Cathy Camper

Picture book Ten Ways to Hear Snow, written by Cathy Camper, illustrated by Kenard Pak, and published by Kokila, an imprint of Penguin Books USA, has won the esteemed 2021 Elizabeth Burr/Worzalla Award. The Children’s Book Award Committee of the Wisconsin Library Association’s Youth Services Section annually presents the Burr/Worzalla Award to the most distinguished work in children’s and young adult literature written and/or illustrated by a Wisconsin book creator. Ten Ways to Hear Snow is a stunning addition to the picture book genre from Camper, who was born in Wisconsin.

A snowy day, a trip to Grandma’s, time spent cooking with one another, and space to pause and discover the world around you come together in this perfect book for reading and sharing on a cozy winter day.

One winter morning, Lina wakes up to silence. It’s the sound of snow — the kind that looks soft and glows bright in the winter sun. But as she walks to her grandmother’s house to help make the family recipe for warak enab, she continues to listen. As Lina walks past snowmen and across icy sidewalks, she discovers ten ways to pay attention to what might have otherwise gone unnoticed. With stunning illustrations by Kenard Pak and thoughtful representation of a modern Arab American family from Cathy Camper, Ten Ways to Hear Snow is a layered exploration of mindfulness, empathy, and what we realize when the world gets quiet.  (book description from cathycamper.com)

About the Author

Born and raised in Wisconsin, Cathy Camper is the author of the Lowriders in Space series, Bugs Before Time: Prehistoric Insects and Their Relatives, and Ten Ways to Hear Snow. She is also the author of two zines, Sugar Needleand The Lou Reeder, and is a founding member of the Portland Women of Color Zine collection and a graduate of VONA/VOICES workshops for writers of color. 

She has also written articles, reviews, and stories for the magazines CricketWired, and Giant Robot, the LAMBDA Literary website, and was on the board of the Arab Literary magazine Mizna. A huge believer of diversity and authenticity, Camper advocates for representation for all in books, magazines, and other media.

She currently lives in Portland, Oregon working as an outreach librarian for kids in grades K-12. In her spare time, Camper likes to make art out of seeds and is a huge proponent for daydreaming.

Notable Wisconsin Author

For her incredible body of work in children’s literature, Wisconsin resident Pat Zietlow Miller was selected as the 2021 Wisconsin Notable Children’s Author. Miller has written a variety of stories for children with relatable characters and engaging, inclusive storylines. She has received much acclaim for her writing, including starred reviews, honors, and awards for her works. The Children’s Book Award Committee is delighted to present this award to such an inspiring and dedicated storyteller.

 About the Author

Pat Zietlow Miller’s first book, Sophie’s Squash, was published in 2013. It won a Golden Kite Award, the only award in children’s literature awarded by a group of peers; it was also a Charlotte Zolotow Honor and an Ezra Jack Keates New Writer Honor book. She has gone on to write other gems such as The Quickest Kid in ClarksvilleBe Kind, and When You Are Brave. On her website, Pat shares that she knew in seventh-grade she wanted to be a writer. Her English teacher “read her paper about square-dancing skirts out loud in class and said: “This is the first time anything a student has written has given me chills”.

Pat was born in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. She received her Bachelor’s degree from UW-Oshkosh, majoring in Journalism and English. She later returned to UW-Oshkosh to pursue a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership and now spends her days writing for an insurance company, while continuing to write books in her free time. In an interview with the Society of Children’s Book Writer’s and Illustrators, Pat Zietlow Miller shared why picture books are her passion, “I loved children’s books as a kid and kept loving them as an adult. I think children’s books — and picture books especially — are full of truth and beauty. And, truth and beauty are something you never outgrow.”

Since her first book was published in 2013, Pat has continued to create memorable, highly acclaimed (and more award-winning) works. Her books feature universal themes of friendship, strength, and courage that appeal to people of all ages; they show readers that they can be scared while still being good and kind and that these traits are important to who we are as human beings. As Pat told the Wisconsin State Journal in an interview, “The thing that guides me the most … the core ... is a universal human emotion. So no matter if you’re 4 or 94, you can say ‘Oh, I’ve felt that way.’ Hopefully that’s what gives the book universal appeal, because I really think picture books really are for everybody”. As of 2020, she has 11 books published, with two more coming out in 2021. 

Pat lives in Madison, Wisconsin.


LinkedIn | https://www.linkedin.com/in/pat-zietlow-miller-08496a7




Outstanding Books of the Year

Noteworthy honor titles are selected for Outstanding Achievement in children’s literature, written and/or illustrated by Wisconsin book creators. 

Alone in the Woods written by Rebecca Behrens
American Immigration: Our History, Our Stories written by Kathleen Krull
Doodleville written and illustrated by Chad Sell
Everything’s Not Fine written by Sarah Carlson
Feast of Peas written by Kashmira Sheth
Never Fear, Meena’s Here! written by Karla Manternach
Nina Soni, Sister Fixer written Kashmira Sheth
Outside In written by Deborah Underwood
Robobaby written and illustrated by David Wiesner
Skunk and Badger written by Amy Timberlake