Want to keep up with what’s happening in Christian publishing for children? Follow the awards given out within the industry each year!
Books announced as finalists and the winning titles provide an overall look at what’s happening with Christian children’s publishing and the specific attributes that make these top books stand out. Here’s a look at three major awards for Christian children’s books.
The Selah Awards
The Selah Awards are open industry wide and internationally to authors published by traditional and nontraditional houses during the previous year. Most of the entry fee amounts go toward scholarships to the Blue Ridge Christian Writers Conference at Ridgecrest Conference Center near Asheville, North Carolina.
This year, with hundreds of books being submitted by authors and nearly 30 publishing houses, finalists were named in 14 categories—three of those devoted to children’s books. (And here at CCA we’re proud that two of our featured bloggers—Carol McAdams Moore and Crystal Bowman—made the finals!) Just this week, the Selah Award winners were announced, and they appear in bold in the lists below.
Children’s Picture Books
God Is Always With You by Michelle Medlock Adams (Candy Cane Press)
If Jesus Walked Beside Me by Jill Roman Lord (Candy Cane Press)
What Is Thanksgiving? by Michelle Medlock Adams (Candy Cane Press)
Middle Grade Novels
Bash and the Chicken Coop Caper by Burton W. Cole (B&H)
Johanna’s Journey by Cindy Murray Hamblen (Ambassador International)
Speak No Evil by Mary L. Hamilton (HopeSprings Books)
The Evangelical Christian Publishers Association Christian Book Award
Books are entered by their publishers in this competition. Judging is done by panels of two retailers, two authors, and two experts related to the specific category. Books must include explicit Christian content, an overtly Christian message, and/or a distinctively Christian world view. Each category also has its own judging criteria.
The five top-scoring books in each category are announced as finalists, and the top scoring book receives the award for that category.
The children’s category includes fiction and nonfiction and all types of books—from board books to Bible storybooks to devotionals and everything in between—for preschool and elementary ages. It’s broad … and that makes it very hard to call one book the best.
These books were 2015 finalists in the children’s category. I wrote about the winning book here.
101 Color & Sing Bible Stories by Stephen Elkins (Tyndale)
Goodnight, Ark! by Laura Sassi (Zondervan)
Love Letters from God by Glenys Nellist (Zondervan)
My Bible Animals Storybook by Dandi Daley Mackall (Tyndale)
One God, One Plan, One Life: A 365 Devotional by Max Lucado (Nelson)
Christian Retailing Best Awards
Sponsored by Christian Retailing magazine, the Best Awards recognize significant new books and new products in the Christian retail industry. Nominations must include clear Christian content, message or worldview. Books are to be judged on their impact, including their ability to
• speak to people’s hearts and evoke emotion
• open people’s minds to new ways of thinking
• encourage and affirm Christ-like living
Voting takes place using an online ballot. Along with Christian retailers, others who work in the industry are invited to vote, including authors, publishers, literary agents, gift company employees and book packagers. For the first time this year, Christian retailers’ votes will be weighted to maximize their impact.
The Best Award winners will be announced during the International Christian Retailing Show in Orlando in late June. Finalists in the children’s categories are
It Will Be Okay by Lysa TerKeurst (Zondervan)
The Knight and the Firefly by Amanda Jenkins, Daniel Fernandez, and Tara Reeves (B&H)
Whatever You Grow Up to Be by Karen Kingsbury (Zondervan)
Donkey in the Living Room by Sarah Cunningham (B&H)
For Such a Time as This by Angie Smith (B&H)
More Laugh-Out-Loud Jokes for Kids by Rob Elliot (Baker)
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