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Children's & Youth Services | South Dakota Children's Book Awards

South Dakota Children's Book Awards

Prairie Bud Prairie Pasque AwardsThe Prairie Bud & Pasque Children’s Book Awards are sponsored by the South Dakota Library Association link to s d library association dot org.


2014-15 Prairie Bud (K-2) Nominees:

  • book cover of a is for musk ox
  • book cover of heroes of the surf
  • book cover of question boy and little miss know it all
  • book cover of the cloud spinner
  • book cover of victricia malicia
  • book cover of nelly may has her say
  • book cover of being frank
  • book cover of barnums bones
  • book cover of curious critters
  • book cover of ralph tells a story
  • book cover of oh no george
  • book cover of lemonade in winter
  • book cover of my happy life
  • book cover of a home bird
  • book cover of the quiet place

2014-15 Downloads & links:


A is for Musk Ox A is for Musk Ox  by Erin Cabatingan; Prairie Bud Nominee 2014-15; Book Cover used with permission from BN.com

Erin Cabatingan Web Link to erin cabatingan dot com

Musk Ox, our rambunctious anti-hero, literally chews through the cover of this anarchic alphabet book. Having eaten the apple that A was supposed to be for, he blithely inserts himself, claiming A is for Musk Ox—because musk oxen are Awesome and live in the Arctic, which includes Alaska! Zebra, his nemesis, is less than thrilled.

And so this cantankerous couple lead the reader on a romp through the alphabet with Musk Ox claiming every letter for himself, and Zebra doing his level best to keep him under control. Filled with Matthew Myers's hilarious artwork with lots of hidden details for kids to explore, this may be the funniest alphabet book ever created.

Text Complexity:

  • CCSS Grade Band: 2-3rd
  • Lexile: AD470L
  • ATOS: Not Available
  • School Library Journal: P-4th

Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

  • Grade Level: K-3rd
  • Age Range: 5 - 8 Years

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Heroes of the Surf Heroes of the Surf by Elisa Carbone; Prairie Bud Nominee 2014-15; Book Cover used with permission from BN.com

Elisa Carbone Web Link to elisa carbone dot com

Adventure on the high seas!

WHAM! The Pliny jolts as if Black Beard himself has just punched her in the belly. Pedro and I slide and smack—bang—into the bulwark.

"We're grounded," cries the first mate. "We've hit a shoal!"

In May of 1882, a large steamship ran aground off the coast of New Jersey. Elisa Carbone imagines what it was like for two boys on that ship: waking up in the middle of the night, waves crashing over the side, the storm too big to lower the lifeboats. And then the flashing of light from shore—the surfmen, true "heroes of the surf," come to rescue them. The award-winning author's meticulous research combined with Nancy Carpenter's spectacular illustrations make this thrilling adventure on the high seas one not to be missed!

Text Complexity:

  • CCSS Grade Band: 2-3rd
  • Lexile: 610L
  • ATOS: 3.8
  • School Library Journal: 2-4th

Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated

  • Grade Level: P-3rd
  • Age Range: 4 - 8 Years

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Question Boy Meets Little Miss Know-It-All Question Boy Meets Little Miss Know-It-All; Prairie Bud Nominee 2014-15; Book Cover used with permission from BN.com

Peter Catalanotto Web Link to peter catalanotto dot com

It's a factual face-off in this superhero picture book from all-star Peter Catalanotto.

Question Boy wants answers. He lives for them. But none of the town's action heroes—Oil Man, Paperboy, Police Woman—can satisfy Question Boy's heroic need to know!

Enter Little Miss Know-It-All. She has an answer for every who-what-where-when-and-how…and what she doesn't know she simply makes up.

And what about you? Ready for a wrangle? Keen on a quibble? Then come along to the town park to cheer the two of them on! Vibrant, rich illustrations merge fantasy with reality in this exploration of questions, answers, and what it means to be right.

Text Complexity:

  • CCSS Grade Band: Not Available
  • Lexile: Not Available
  • ATOS: 2.4
  • School Library Journal: P-1st

Publisher: Atheneum/Richard Jackson Books

  • Grade Level: P-3rd
  • Age Range: 4 - 8 Years

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The Cloud Spinner The Cloud Spinner by Michael Catchpool; Prairie Bud Nominee 2014-15; Book Cover used with permission from BN.com

Michael Catchpool

One small boy has a special gift—he can weave cloth from the clouds: gold in the early morning with the rising sun, white in the afternoon, and crimson in the evening. He spins just enough cloth for a warm scarf. But when the king sees the boy's magnificent cloth, he demands cloaks and gowns galore. "It would not be wise," the boy protests. "Your majesty does not need them!" But spin he must—and soon the world around him begins to change.

From author Michael Catchpool and illustrator Alison Jay comes a magical tale about the beauty and fragility of our natural world, and the wisdom and courage needed to protect it.

Text Complexity:

  • CCSS Grade Band: 2-3rd
  • Lexile: Not Available
  • ATOS: 4.1
  • School Library Journal: 1-5th

Publisher: Random House Children's Books

  • Grade Level: K-3rd
  • Age Range: 5 - 8 Years

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Victricia Malicia: Book Loving Buccaneer Victricia Malicia: Book Loving Buccaneer by Carrie Clickard; Prairie Bud Nominee 2014-15; Book Cover used with permission from BN.com

Carrie Clickard Web Link to c l clickard dot com

Victricia Malicia Calamity Barrett may have been born on her family's pirate ship, but this mild-mannered young lady is sick of the sea: she'd much rather be ashore with her nose permanently buried in a book. But when Scylla the Serpent—the scourge of the sea—appears, quick-thinking Vic saves the ship by thunking the serpent on the head with her trunk full of books. For her bravery she is rewarded with the thing she wants most: a home on a little island. She opens a bookstore, and Landlubber Books becomes the pirates' favorite port in a storm. As Carrie Clickard's nimble, jaunty rhymes roll off the tongue like waves onto shore, children will delight in Victricia's adventures while parents will relate to her family's attempts to understand their unusual daughter. Victricia may not be a typical pirate hero, but she is the captain of her own destiny in this rollicking tale of self-determination, sticking to your dreams, and the joy of reading.

Text Complexity:

  • CCSS Grade Band: 2-3rd or 4-5th
  • Lexile: 910L
  • ATOS: 4.9
  • School Library Journal: K-2nd

Publisher: Flashlight Press

  • Grade Level: 2-4th
  • Age Range: 7 - 9 Years

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Nelly May Has Her Say Nelly May Has Her Say by Cynthia DeFelice; Prairie Bud Nominee 2014-15; Book Cover used with permission from BN.com

Cynthia DeFelice Web Link to cynthia de felice dot com

Nelly May Nimble and her twelve brothers and sisters live with their parents in a tiny cottage in the Bottoms, where there's never enough food to feed so many hungry mouths. Nelly May decides that she is old enough to earn her keep and takes a job as Lord Ignasius Pinkwinkle's new housekeeper and cook. Along with her many chores, Lord Pinkwinkle also expects Nelly May to learn his own special language. So Nelly May gets to work, using a wet scooperooty to hold the water she mops the floor with and then cooking supper for him, the Most Excellent of All Masters. But late that night, when a spark from the flaming-pop-and-sizzle lands on the fur-faced-fluffenbarker's wigger-wagger, Nelly May puts her foot down. She'll save his roof-topped castleorum, but she will not be his fuzzy-dust-and-fooder any longer. In Nelly May Has Her Say, Cynthia DeFelice and Henry Cole team up for a fun-filled romp that makes a great read aloud.

Text Complexity:

  • CCSS Grade Band: Not Available
  • Lexile: Not Available
  • ATOS: Not Available
  • School Library Journal: P-3rd

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

  • Grade Level: P-3rd
  • Age Range: 4 - 8 Years

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Being Frank Being Frank by Donna W. Earnhardt; Prairie Bud Nominee 2014-15; Book Cover used with permission from BN.com

Donna W. Earnhardt

Frank follows the motto, "Honesty is the best policy." He tells the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Frank never lies to his schoolmates, he always tells the truth to adults, and he's always honest with police officers. The balancing act of finding tact, that fine line between telling the truth and telling too much truth, is the main theme of this story, and it's very funny—although not necessarily to his friend Dotti whose freckles remind Frank of the Big Dipper, or to the teacher who hears that her breath smells like onions, or to the principal who is told that his toupee looks like a weasel. No one is quite as impressed with Frank's honesty as he thinks they should be. He is sweet and straightforward, and, well, very frank, but with everyone annoyed at him, Frank is now honestly unhappy. He decides to visit his confidante and pal, Grandpa Ernest, who has a history of frankness himself. With a few lessons from Grandpa, Frank begins to understand that the truth is important, but so is not being hurtful. With amusing characters and expressive artwork, this story tells the powerful message of finding the good in everything—a lesson that sends compassion and understanding to take the place of rudeness in the complex concept of truth.

Text Complexity:

  • CCSS Grade Band: 2-3rd
  • Lexile: Not Available
  • ATOS: 3.3
  • School Library Journal: K-1st

Publisher: Flashlight Press

  • Grade Level: K-2nd
  • Age Range: 5 - 7 Years

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Barnum's Bones: How Barnum Brown Discovered the Most Famous Dinosaur in the World Barnum's Bones: How Barnum Brown Discovered the Most Famous Dinosaur in the World  by Tracey Fern; Prairie Bud Nominee 2014-15; Book Cover used with permission from BN.com

Tracey Fern Web Link to tracey fern dot com

Barnum Brown's (1873-1963) parents named him after the circus icon P.T. Barnum, hoping that he would do something extraordinary—and he did! As a paleontologist for the American Museum of Natural History, he discovered the first documented skeleton of the Tyrannosaurus Rex, as well as most of the other dinosaurs on display there today.

Text Complexity:

  • CCSS Grade Band: 4-5th or 6-8th
  • Lexile: 1010L
  • ATOS: 6.2
  • School Library Journal: K-4th

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

  • Grade Level: K-4th
  • Age Range: 5 - 8 Years

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Curious Critters Curious Critters by Dave FitzSimmons; Prairie Bud Nominee 2014-15; Book Cover used with permission from BN.com

Dave FitzSimmons Web Link to curious hyphen critters dot com

Amazing animals — from a beautiful butterfly to a crabby crayfish — posed for portraits. Good thing photographer and writer David FitzSimmons jotted down what the pink katydid, jabbering jay, poetic opossum, and other Curious Critters had to say!

Text Complexity:

  • CCSS Grade Band: 2-3rd
  • Lexile: 870L
  • ATOS: 4.1
  • School Library Journal: 2-5th

Publisher: Wild Iris Publishing

  • Grade Level: 1-3rd
  • Age Range: 2 - 8 Years

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Ralph Tells a Story Ralph Tells a Story by Abby Hanlon; Prairie Bud Nominee 2014-15; Book Cover used with permission from BN.com

Abby Hanlon Web Link to abby hanlon dot com

Nothing ever happens to Ralph. So every day when it's time to write stories, Ralph thinks really hard. He stares at his paper. He stares at the ceiling. But he has no stories! With the help of his classmates, Ralph realizes that a great story can be about something very little… and that maybe he really does have some stories to tell. Debut author/illustrator Abby Hanlon's endearing text and charming watercolor and colored pencil illustrations prove that writing can be fun!

Text Complexity:

  • CCSS Grade Band: Not Applicable
  • Lexile: 330L
  • ATOS: 2.3
  • School Library Journal: K-3rd

Publisher: Amazon Childrens Publishing

  • Grade Level: 1-3rd
  • Age Range: 6 - 8 Years

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Oh No, George! Oh No, George! by Chris Haughton; Prairie Bud Nominee 2014-15; Book Cover used with permission from BN.com

Chris Haughton Web Link to chris haughton dot com

George is a dog with all the best intentions. And his owner, Harry, has all the best hopes that George will be a well-behaved dog when he leaves him alone for the day. But when George spies a delicious cake sitting on the kitchen table, his resolve starts to waver. You see, George loves cake… Uh-oh. What to do now? It's so hard to be a good dog when there are cats to chase and flowers to dig up! What ever will Harry say when he gets back? Chris Haughton's fetchingly funny story and vibrant, retro illustrations are sure to lure dog lovers of all ages — and anyone who has ever met a temptation too good to resist.

Text Complexity:

  • CCSS Grade Band: Not Applicable
  • Lexile: Not Applicable
  • ATOS: 1.1
  • School Library Journal: P-2nd

Publisher: Candlewick Press

  • Grade Level: Not Applicable
  • Age Range: 2 - 5 Years

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Lemonade in Winter: A Book About Two Kids Counting Money Lemonade in Winter: A Book About Two Kids Counting Money by Emily Jenkins; Prairie Bud Nominee 2014-15; Book Cover used with permission from BN.com

Emily Jenkins Web Link to emily jenkins dot com

In a starred review, Publishers Weekly declared this delightful picture book "a beautifully restrained tribute to trust and tenderness shared by siblings; an entrepreneurship how-to that celebrates the thrill of the marketplace without shying away from its cold realities; and a parable about persistence."

A lemonade stand in winter? Yes, that's exactly what Pauline and John-John intend to have, selling lemonade and limeade—and also lemon-limeade. With a catchy refrain (Lemon lemon LIME, Lemon LIMEADE! Lemon lemon LIME, Lemon LEMONADE!), plus simple math concepts throughout, here is a read-aloud that's great for storytime and classroom use, and is sure to be a hit among the legions of Jenkins and Karas fans.

Text Complexity:

  • CCSS Grade Band: 2-3rd
  • Lexile: AD410L
  • ATOS: 2.5
  • School Library Journal: P-2nd

Publisher: Random House Children's Books

  • Grade Level: P-2nd
  • Age Range: 3 - 7 Years

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My Happy Life My Happy Life by Rose Lagercrantz; Prairie Bud Nominee 2014-15; Book Cover used with permission from BN.com

Rose Lagercrantz

A sweet, funny illustrated chapter book about a young girl with a lot of optimism—even if sometimes life makes it hard to be happy.

Dani is probably the happiest person she knows. She's happy because she's going to start school. She's been waiting to go to school her whole life.

Then things get even better—she meets Ella. Dani and Ella stick together through wet and dry, sun and rain, thick and thin. They do everything together.

But then things start to happen that Dani isn't prepared for…

Text Complexity:

  • CCSS Grade Band: 2-3rd or 4-5th
  • Lexile: 500L
  • ATOS: Not Available
  • School Library Journal: 1-3rd

Publisher: Gecko Press

  • Grade Level: Not Available
  • Age Range: 6 - 10 Years

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The Long, Long Journey: The Godwit's Amazing Migration The Long, Long Journey: The Godwit’s Amazing Migration by Sandra Markle; Prairie Bud Nominee 2014-15; Book Cover used with permission from BN.com

Sandra Markle Web Link to sandra hyphen markle dot blog spot dot com

Crackle! Crackle! Crunch! What's hatching from that egg? It's a young bar-tailed godwit. She will spend the summer in Alaska learning to fly, find her own food, and escape from scary predators. Her long, long journey begins in October when she flies to New Zealand. This 7,000-mile flight is the longest nonstop bird migration ever recorded. Follow along on her amazing voyage!

Text Complexity:

  • CCSS Grade Band: 2-3rd
  • Lexile: AD710L
  • ATOS: 3.8
  • School Library Journal: 1-3rd

Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group

  • Grade Level: Not Available
  • Age Range: 4 - 7 Years

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Home for Bird Home for Bird by Philip C. Stead; Prairie Bud Nominee 2014-15; Book Cover used with permission from BN.com

Philip C. Stead Web Link to philip stead dot com

While out foraging for interesting things, Vernon the toad finds a new friend - a small blue bird who is curiously silent. Vernon shows Bird the river and the forest and some of his other favorite things, but Bird says nothing. Vernon introduces Bird to his friends, Skunk and Porcupine, but Bird still says nothing.

"Bird is shy," says Vernon, "but also a very good listener."

Vernon worries that Bird is silent because he misses his home, so the two set off on a journey to help find a home for Bird.

Text Complexity:

  • CCSS Grade Band: Not Applicable
  • Lexile: AD360L
  • ATOS: 2.2
  • School Library Journal: P - 1st

Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

  • Grade Level: P-3rd
  • Age Range: 3 - 8 Years

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The Quiet Place The Quiet Place by Sarah Stewart; Prairie Bud Nominee 2014-15; Book Cover used with permission from BN.com

Sarah Stewart

When Isabel and her family move to the United States, Isabel misses all the things she left behind in Mexico, especially her aunt Lupita and hearing people speak Spanish. But she also experiences some wonderful new things—her first snow storm and a teacher who does not speak Spanish but has a big smile. Even better, Papa and her brother Chavo help her turn a big box into her own quiet place, where she keeps her books and toys and writes letters to Aunt Lupita. As she decorates and adds more and more on to her quiet place, it is here that Isabel feels the most at home in her new country while she learns to adjust to the changes in her life.

Set in the 1950s and told through Isabel's letters to her aunt, Sarah Stewart and Caldecott Medalist David Small have created a charming and unforgettable young heroine who will win the hearts of readers in this story of immigration and assimilation.

Text Complexity:

  • CCSS Grade Band: 2-3rd or 4-5th
  • Lexile: AD620L
  • ATOS: 3.5
  • School Library Journal: K-3rd

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

  • Grade Level: K-4th
  • Age Range: 5 - 9 Years

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Jasmine Rockwell EMAIL
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605-773-5066
605-773-3131, Option 5, 1

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605-295-3152
605-773-3131, Option 5, 3

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