The Leg Bone’s Connected to the Knee Bone


It’s no surprise that kids learn more when they are enjoying themselves, so it should also be no surprise that The Human Body, by Pascale Hedelin and illustrated by Robert Barborini, took home Moonbeam gold. A winner in the Pop-up/Cut-out category, The Human Body allows children a fun-filled opportunity to learn everything from allergies, to bones, to digestion.  Interactive pages capture interest while teaching kids the real names and functions of the human body. A great book for all ages of children,  The Human Body might even teach you something new!

Look and Learn


Extraordinary Women, Extraordinary Cause


The Moonbeam Peacemaker Award was established to honor the best book for promoting world peace and human tolerance, in memory of Mattie J.T. Stepanek (1990-2004), whose poetry and messages of hope and peace have inspired millions of people around the world. This year’s gold winner, Extraordinary Women from the Muslim World, by Natalie Maydell and Sep Riahi, does just that. 

The book, filled with the illustrations of Heba Amin, introduces readers to 13 Muslim women in history who have lived extraordinary lives and influenced their communities in a positive way, often overcoming extreme hardship and inaccurate stereotypes that have been placed on the role of women in Islam. In addition to showing the impact these women have had throughout the years, Extraordinary Women from the Muslim World seeks to make a difference in the lives of Islamic women today, inspiring them to fervently pursue their goals. All proceeds from the special edition hardback series will be donated to Islamic Relief to benefit the women and children of Sudan.

Visit the Illustrator’s blog.

Visit the book’s website.

You’ve Got A Friend In Me…

“A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart, and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words.”



“A true friend is someone who thinks that you are a good egg even though he knows that you are slightly cracked.”

Bernard Meltzer


“A true friend is one who overlooks your failures and tolerates your success!”

Doug Larson 




Depending on whom you ask, friendship could mean a lot of different things. Why not let us know what you think? Send us a friend request on our MySpace page, where you can see what’s going on with all the different book awards and stay updated with the latest news. Stop by and leave a comment!


Fun in the Sun


What better way to spend a beautiful day in the sun than a trip to the beach with a family of delightful bunnies? Whether it’s flying a kite, building a sandcastle, or sitting around the campfire, Sunny Bunnies, by Margie Blumberg, is sure to keep young children entertained. The charming rhymes, combined with the bright illustrations of June Goulding, make for a lighthearted story children will love to hear over and over again.



Sunny Bunnies was the gold medal winner of the Picture Book – Preschool category. Click here to see what illustrator June Goulding had to say about winning a Moonbeam.


Singing to the Sun


Money, Power, or Love. If you had the choice, what would you choose?


This is the question Vivian French’s Prince Thorfin must ponder in her gold medal winning book, Singing to the Sun: A Fairy Tale. Born into an aristocratic family controlled by might and wealth, the prince begins a journey to choose his bride. Along with his two companions, the jester and the cat, he must choose between three princesses offering three very different rewards: money, power, or happiness.


Although it may seem predictable, the children’s book takes a surprising twist – but don’t let me ruin it for you! Accompanied by the magical artwork of Jackie Morris that brings the characters to life, the lessons within Singing to the Sun: A Fairy Tale are clearly portrayed and easily taken to heart.    




Author Spotlight

For those of you who are regular readers of our Moonbeam blog, you know all about our Author Spotlight posts. For those of you who don’t, we like to take the time to individually recognize some of our fantastic Moonbeam Award recipients.


Now that the 2008 winners have been announced, we have a whole new set of talented authors to choose from. If you are a Moonbeam medal recipient and would like your book featured on the blog, let us know! Please email our blogging intern, Julie, at


We ask that you send us some information about your book, your experience with winning a Moonbeam, or anything else you would like readers of the blog-o-sphere to know. We will put this information, along with a cover shot of the book, right here on the blog.


Congratulations again to all of our medalists!


2008 Winners Announced!

The winners of the 2008 Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards have been announced! With over 1000 entries, picking the best was no easy task. Congratulations to all of the medalists and thank you to everyone who contributed! View the 2008 Winners page for a full list of winners.


Announcing the 2009 Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards Semifinalist Results
Semifinalists chosen from 1,085 entries
Here are the 2009 Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards semifinalist results, listed by category, in random order:1. Board Book / Cloth BookKisses Kisses Baby-O! by Sheree Fitch; illustrated by Hilda Rose (Nimbus Publishing); What Does The Sign Say? by Dr. Ricardo Lewitus (Self-Published/Palotec Products); My First Hike, written and illustrated by Catherine Maria Woolf (Dawn Publications)

2. Alphabet/Counting Book

Virginia: An Alphabetical Journey Through History, by Betty Bruce Shepard, Peter W. Barnes, and Cheryl Shaw Barnes; illustrated by Marsha Lederman (VSP Books); My Favorite Sounds, by Peggy Snow; illustrated by Brian Barber (Maren Green Publishing); Dogabet, written and illustrated by Dianna Bonder (Walrus Books)

3. Pop-up/Cut-out

Splish Splash, Dog Bash, by Anne & George White; illustrated by Jason O’Malley; engineered by Bruce Foster (Jumping Jack Press); Mo Smells Red: A Scentsational Journey, by Margaret Hyde; illustrations by Amanda Giacomini (Mo’s Nose LLC); The Human Body, by Pascale Hedelin; illustrated by Robert Barborini (Owlkids Publishing)

4. Activity Book 1 – Games, Arts & Crafts, etc.

Craft Sale, by American Girl (American Girl, LLC); Gigi Knits… and Purls, by Karen Thalacker, by Karen Thalacker; illustrated by Mindy Dwyer (Martingale & Company); Artastic!, written and illustrated by Jochen Gerner (Owlkids Publishing)

5. Activity Book2 – Educational, Science, History, etc.

What to Do When Your Brain Gets Stuck, by Dawn Huebner, Ph.D; illustrated by Bonnie Matthews (American Psychological Association/Magination Press); Complete the Picture Math Book 2, by Judy Wilson Goddard (The Critical Thinking Co.); Dot to Dot In the Sky, Joan Marie Galat; illustrated by Lorna Bennett (Walrus Books); Lessons on Liberty: A Primer for Young Patriots, by Peter Lillback & Judy Mitchell; illustrated by Judy Michell (The Providence Forum Press)

6. Book with Music/Theatrical

Christopher Kazoo & Bongo Boo, by R.O. Price; illustrated by Nancy Coffelt (Little School House Books); Old Makana Had a Taro Farm, by Dr. Carolan; illustrated by Joanna F. Carolan (Banana Patch Press); Colorful World, lyrics by CeCe Winans, Keith Thomas, & Alvin Love III; illustrated by Melodee Strong (Maren Green Publishing)

7. Audio Book

The Sign of the Salamander, by Eugenia Miller (Blue Kiss, LLC); Paraworld Zero, by Matthew Peterson (Parallel Worlds, LLC); The Sanctuary, by Ann E. Eskridge; illustrated by Carole Morriseau (Self-Published/Magnetic Cinema); The Desert is My Mother Audiobook, by Pat Mora; illustrated by Daniel Lechon (Lorito Books)

8. Picture Book – Preschool

Sunny Bunnies, by Margie Blumberg; illustrated by June Goulding (MB Publishing); Swing!, by Pamela Klein; illustrated by Joel Tanis (DuPage Press); Buddy’s Bedtime, by Pauleen O’Shea; illustrated by Jason Dohanish (Idlehour Press); The Sock Fairy, by Bobbie Hinman; illustrated by Kristi Bridgeman (Quality Books); Over on the Island, by Yuko Green and Sarah Tupou (Island Heritage Publishing)

9. Picture Book – 4-8 Year Old
Priscilla McDoodleNut DoodleMcMae Asks, “Why?”, by Janet Marie Sinke; illustrated by Craig Pennington (My Grandma and Me Publishers); My Name is Not Isabella, by Jennifer Fosberry; illustrated by Mike Litwin (Monkey Barrel Press); Monkey with a Tool Belt, written and illustrated by Chris Monroe (Carolrhoda/Lerner); Pete & Pillar: The Big Rain, written and illustrated by Jeffery Stoddard (Warner Press Kids); Whistling Wings, by Laura Goering; illustrated by Laura Jacques (Sylvan Dell Publishing); Paco and the Giant Chile Plant (Paco y la planta de chile gigante), by Keith Polette; illustrated by Elizabeth O. Dulemba; translated by Eida de la Vega (Raven Tree Press); The Feather Club, written and illustrated by Beth Erlund (Erlund Johnson Studios)

Until We Meet Again, by Susan Jones; illustrated by Shirley Antak (50/50 Publishing); Singing to the Sun: A Fairy Tale, by Vivian French; illustrated by Jackie Morris (Kane/Miller); First Snow in the Woods, by Carl R. Sams II & Jean Stoick (Carl R. Sams Photography); Stefania’s Dancing Slippers, by Jennifer Beck; illustrated by Lindy Fisher (Scholastic New Zealand) God’s Promise, by Maureen Moss; illustrated by Gerald Purnell (Illumination Arts); Keep Your Ear on the Ball, by Genevieve Petrillo; illustrated by Lea Lyon (Tilbury House Publishers); Arthur of Albion, by John Matthews; illustrated by Pavel Tatarnikov (Barefoot Books)

11. Juvenile Fiction – Early Reader/1st Chapter books

The Lost Treasure of Finistère, by Susan Ruellan (Ferne Press); Claude and Medea: The Hellburn Dogs, by Zoe Weil (Lantern Books); Mind Over Basketball, by Jane Weierbach and Elizabeth Phillips-Hershey; illustrated by Charles Beyl (American Psychological Association/Magination Press); Circle of Three: Enough Friendship to Go Around? byElizabeth Brokamp; illustrated by Joni Springfield (American Psychological Association/Magination Press); A Hog Ate My Homework! by Gary Metivier (Wild Horses Publishing)

12. Pre-Teen Fiction – Intermediate/Middle Grade

Lucy Doesn’t Wear Pink, by Nancy Rue (Zonderkidz); The Land of Curiosities: Adventures in Yellowstone, 1871-1872, by Deanna Neil; illustrated by David Erickson, Tom Newsom, David Lowe (The EcoSeekers); Eye of the Crow, by Shane Peacock (Tundra Books); The Orange Slipknot, by Jan Young; illustrated by Pat Lehmkuhl (Raven Publishing); Wonders of Valdovar, by Neil Johnson; illustrated by Victoria Flack (Marius Press)

13. Young Adult Fiction

The Girl in the Backseat, by Norma Charles (Ronsdale Press); Anna’s World, by Wim Coleman and Pat Perrin (ChironBooks); Meeting Lizzy, by SarahBeth Carter (LJW Publishing); Legacy, by Cayla Kluver (Forsooth Publishing); Power Plays, by Maureen Ulrich (Coteau Books); Isle of Fire, by Wayne Thomas Batson (Thomas Nelson)

14. Young Adult Fiction – Mature Issues

Trail Magic: Lost in Crawford Notch, by M.H. Sullivan (Romagnoli Publications); Watching July, by Christine Hart (Sumach Press); The Big Chair: A Story of Grief & Discovery, by Beth Rotondo; illustrated by Victoria Krassa (Stillpoint Press)

15. Children’s Poetry

I’m Allergic to School! by Robert Pottle; illustrated by Mike & Carl Gordon (Meadowbrook Press); A Voweller’s Bestiary, by JonArno Lawson (The Porcupine’s Quill); In Search of the Holey Whale, by Mozz (Goofy Guru Publishing)

16. Non-Fiction – Picture book

By the Sword, by Selene Castrovilla; illustrated by Bill Farnsworth (Boyds Mills Press); Going Around the Sun: Some Planetary Fun, by Marianne Berkes; illustrated by Janeen Mason (Dawn Publications); The 4 Little Pigs, by Jeanette Ramnarine; illustrated by Franfou (Four Piggies Publishing); The View From Under the Pew, by Diane Winters-Johnson; illustrated by Margaret Freed (Abingdon Press)

17. Non-Fiction – Young Adult

What in the World! by Michael Smith (East West Discovery Press); Out of Line, by Tina Grimberg (Tundra Books); From Slave to Superstar of the Wild West – The Awesome Story of Jim Beckwourth, by Tom DeMund (Legends of the West Publishing); Great Peacemakers, by Ken Beller and Heather Chase (LTS Press); Women Astronomers: Reaching for the Stars, by Mabel Armstrong (Stone Pine Press)

18. Multicultural – Picture book

One Million Men and Me, by Kelly Starling Lyons; illustrated by Peter Ambush (Just Us Books); I Am Raven, by David Bouchard & Andy Everson (More Than Words Publishers); Pancho Finds a Home, by Karen Cogan; illustrated by Blanche Davidson (Azro Press); Gift from the Forest, written and illustrated by Maile Getzen (Maka Pueo Press); Mei Ling in China City, by Icy Smith; illustrated by Gayle Garner Roski (East West Discovery Press)

19. Multicultural Fiction – Chapter Book

Carlito’s Story, by Max Benavidez & Katherine Del Monte (Lectura Books); Up Mountain One Time, by Willie Wilson; illustrated by Karen Bertrand (Bonne Resolution Press); Little Leap Forward, by Guo Yue & Clare Farrow (Barefoot Books)

20. Multicultural Non-Fiction

Ancient Iran, by Massoume Price (Anahita Productions Ltd.); Mountain WolfWoman, by Diane Young Holiday (Wisconsin Historical Society Press); Birth of the Fifth Sun, by Jo Harper; illustrated by Irma Martinez Sizer (Texas Tech University Press); Children of the USA, by Maya Ajmera and the Global Fund For Children (Charlesbridge Publishing); Ethiopian Voices: Tsion’s Life, by Stacy Bellward; photographs Erlend Berge (Amharic Kids); Tribal Alphabet, by Nan Richardson; illustrated by Claudia Pearson (Umbrage Editions)

21. Comic/Graphic Novel

The Clockwork Girl, by Sean O’Reilly and Kevin Hanna; Todd Demong, Art Director (Arcana Comics); Ropes of Revolution, by J. Gunderson; illustrated by Brent Schoonover (Stone Arch Books); The Secret Adventures of Hamster Sam: Attack of the Evil Boll Weevils! written and illustrated by Dave McDonald (DM Creative Publishing)

22. Religion/Spirituality

God is in the Window, by Kimberly King; illustrated by Erik Jones (; Tiny Bear’s Bible, by Sally Lloyd-Jones; illustrated by Igor Oleynikov (Zonderkidz); Kiddish Yiddish: Jewish Traditions & Culture in Rhyme, by Barbara Feltquate; illustrated by Tom Post (Bardolf & Company); The Dragonfly Secret: A Story of Boundless Love, by Clea and John Adams; illustrated by Barbara L. Gibson (Feather Rock Books); Samsara Dog, by Helen Manos; illustrated by Julie Vivas (Kane/Miller); The Old Shepherd’s Tale, by Christopher Nye; illustrated by Henri Sørensen (Housatonic Press)

23. Holiday

First Christmas, by Alastair MacDonald; illustrated by Adel Nassief (Welcome Books); A Halloween Story, by Alberto Fernandez; (Maroma Books); Florida Santa, by Ruth E Clark; illustrated by Sarah Caterisano (Hibiscus Publishing)

24. Book with Merchandise (plush toy, etc.)
You and Me Make Three (with B.B. the Bear), by Wendy Lokken, Gwendy Mangiamele & Edna Cucksey Stephens; illustrated by Heather Drescher (EDCO Publishing); The Lonely Little Monster (with Monster),
written and illustrated by Andi Green (Monsters in My Head); Nana Star and the Moonman (with Moonman), by Elizabeth Sills and Elena Patrice; illustrated by Linda Saker (ee publishing & productions)

25. Spanish Language Book

Ensonacion y el Jardin de Suenos/Dreamygirl’s Field of Wishes, by Jorge Betancourt Polanco (Stephens Press); Corazón de Piedra, by Ana Monnar; illustrated by Nancy Michaud (Readers are Leaders); El tirburón que me enseñó ingles/The shark that taught me English, by Michelle Markel; illustrated by Bo Young Kim (Lectura Books); Piedrin y Goliat: El Verdadero Heroe/Stony and Goliath: The True Hero, by David P. Alcorta; illustrated by Jill M. Schmidt (Book Publishers Network)

26. Environmental Issues

A Child’s Introduction to The Environment, by Michael Driscoll & Prof. Dennis Driscoll; illustrated by Meredith Hamilton (Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers); In My Backyard, by Margriet Ruurs; paper sculpture by Ron Broda (Tundra Books); The Forever Forest: Kids Save a Tropical Treasure, by Kristen Joy Pratt-Serafini with Rachel Crandell; illustrated by Kristin Joy Pratt-Serafini (Dawn Publications); Adventures of Riley: Tigers in Terai, by Amanda Lumry & Laura Hurwitz; illustrated by Sarah McIntyre (Eaglemont Press); Planet Earth: 25 Environmental Projects You Can Build Yourself, by Kathleen M. Reilly (Nomad Press)

27. Health Issues

Speech Class Rules, by Ronda M. Wojcicki, M.S., CCC-SLP; illustrated by Loel Barr (The Speech Place Publishing); All Children Have Different Eyes, by Edie A. Glaser and Maria Burgio, Ph.D; illustrated Doina Paraschiv (Vidi Press); Harry Goes to the Hospital, by Howard J. Bennett, M.D; illustrated by M.S. Weber (American Psychological Association/Magination Press); Why is Mommy Sleeping?, by Yopi Havlik; illustrations by April Willy (Yopi’s Pledge, LLC); Grandfather’s Story Cloth, by Linda Gerdner & Sarah Langford; illustrated by Stuart Loughridge (Shen’s Books)

28. Mind-Body-Spirit

Beauty’s Secret, by Debra Gano; illustrated by Dawn Pitre (Heartlight Girls); Choose Your Life: A Travel Guide for Living, by Karen Gedig Burnett; illustrated by Sabrina Melo da Silva (GR Publishing); We Are Girls Who Love To Run/Somos Chicas y Nosotras Nos Encanta Correr, by Brianna K. Grant; illustrated by Nicholas A. Wright (Balanced Steps); The Sad Mad Glad Book: The Anatomy of Your Attitude, by Chuck Stump & Jim Strawn (Four Dolphins Press); The Land of Smaerd, by Andrea von Botefuhr; illustrated by Bryn Barnard (Know Wonder Publishing)

29. Best First Book

Anna Smudge: Professional Shrink, by MAC; illustrated by Glenn Fabry (Toasted Coconut Media); First Dog: Unleashed in the Montana Capitol, by Jessica Solberg; illustrated by Robert Rath (Farcountry Press); The Land of Curiosities: Adventures in Yellowstone, 1871-1872, by Deanna Neil; illustrated by David Erickson, Tom Newsom, David Lowe; conceived by David Neil (The EcoSeekers); My Daddy is a Soldier, by Anne M. Stratford; illustrated by Steph Laberis (Diamond Fly Publishing); The Student from Zombie Island: Conquering the Rumor Monster, by Michael J. Moorehead; illustrated by Kathy Parks (Five Star Publications); The Baffelgogging Blundernagging Brothers, in Curse of the Bog Frog, by Aaron Mason & Doug Warr; illustrated by Jason Walton (Whirlwhim)

30. Best Illustrator
Zelda and Esmeralda, by Susan Elizabeth Ross; illustrated by Bonnie Bews (Yellow Toadstool Press); The Journey of Bushky Bushybottom, written and illustrated by Jeri Landers (Ochre Moon Press); Dance in a Buffalo Skull, by Zitkala-Sa; illustrated by S.D. Nelson (South Dakota State Historical Society Press); Jack London’s Dog, by Dirk Wales; illustrated by Barry Moser (Great Plains Press); The Twelve Days of Christmas, by Olivia Price; illustrated by Leo F. Monahan (Intervisual Books)

Special Awards:

During this year’s judging we realized how much we needed a category for books dedicated to helping kids learn to read, so we’ve added the “Reading Skills/Literacy” category and here are the semifinalists:

31. Reading Skills/Literacy

Bumpy Books: Feel It, See It, Hear It, Say It

, created by Ann Edwards and Karen Goldberg (Bumpy Books); Abadaba Alphabet: Learning Letter Sounds, by Sheila Moore; illustrated by Carol Holsinger (Abadaba Reading); Sort it Out! by Barbara Mariconda; illustrated by Sherry Rogers (Sylvan Dell Publishing); We Both Read: Thumbelina, by Hans Christian Andersen and adapted by Sindy McKay; illustrated by Quentin Gréban (Treasure Bay)

Last year we gave three books Moonbeam Spirit Awards, because of their dedication and compassion for children, humanity, and literacy. These books were hard to categorize, but impressed our judges with their inspired writing and illustrations and their enthusiasm for words, pictures, and the printed page. Here are this year’s Moonbeam Spirit Award semifinalists:
32. Moonbeam Spirit Awards

Can You See? by Terri Saville-Sewell (Self-Published/BookSurge); Where Rainbows Live, written and illustrated by Denise Vanderlugt (Self-Published/Bookbuilders); Beatrice and the Magic Garden Hat, by Donna Lee; illustrated by Ann Gates Fiser (Chi Whiz Creations); My Champion, written and illustrated by S.K. Carnes (Self-Published/Illumina Publishing)

We established the Moonbeam Peacemaker Award to honor the best book for promoting world peace and human tolerance in memory of Mattie J.T. Stepanek (1990-2004), whose poetry and messages of hope and peace have inspired millions of people around the world.

33. Moonbeam Peacemaker Award

Extraordinary Women from the Muslim World, by Natalie Maydell and Sep Riahi; illustrated by Heba Amin (Global Content Publishing)

10. Picture Book – All Ages


Semifinalists Announced

Semifinalists for the 2009 Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards have been announced! You can view the complete list by visiting the article at Independent Publisher Online. Finalists will be announced on October 24th. Congratulations to all of those wonderful authors who have made it so far!

Judging Update

2008 Moonbeam Awards Judging is Underway!

Judging of this year’s contest is now underway, and the judges are amazed by the quality of books entered, and the creative energy that went into them. It gives us all great hope for the future to see how much children’s book authors and publishers care about the nurturing of young minds.

We’ve counted up the entries and are happy to announce a 21% increase in participation this year. A total of 1,085 entries into our 30 categories divides up to an average of 36 books per category. Of course it didn’t work out that evenly – we sure didn’t get 36 pop-up book entries! In fact, the two largest categories, Best First Book and Picture Book 4-8 Year Old received 130 entries each. The next two largest categories are Best Illustrator with 92 entries and Pre-Teen Fiction with 85 entries. The smallest is the afore-mentioned Pop-up/Cut-out category, with just 5 entries.

In spite of the large number and the great quality of entries, we’re hoping to remain on this judging and results announcement schedule:

Semi-finalist results announced October 3, 2008.
Final results announced October 17, 2008.

Best of luck to all participants!

Jim Barnes, Awards Director