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

South Dakota Children's Book Awards

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




2015-16 Prairie Bud (K-2) Nominees:

  • book cover of Dozens of Cousins
  • book cover of The Boy Who Loved Math
  • book cover of The Invisible Boy
  • book cover of Sophie's Squash
  • book cover of Daredevil:  The Daring Life of Betty Skelton
  • book cover of Odd Duck
  • book cover of I Wish I Had
  • book cover of How Big Were Dinosaurs?
  • book cover of Lifetime:  The Amazing Numbers in Animals' Lives
  • book cover of The First Drawing
  • book cover of Take Me Out to the Yakyu
  • book cover of Gone Fishing: A novel in verse
  • book cover of Outfoxed
  • book cover of Old Mikamba Had a Farm
  • book cover of Picture a Tree
  • book cover of The Year of Billy Miller

2015-16 Downloads & links:


Dozens of Cousins Dozens of Cousins by Shutta Crum; Prairie Bud Nominee 2015-16; Book Cover used with permission from BN.com

Shutta Crum Web Link to shutta dot com Author page on Facebook Author page on Pinterest Author page on Twitter Author channel on YouTube

"We are wild and fierce. We do not wait for invitations." It's time for the annual family reunion, and the dozens of cousins are running wild like beasties. Like hungry ogres! They hug fluttering aunts and soft-spoken elders, play in the creek, shimmy up trees, take "double-dog dares," and devour "the sweet juiciness of the world" along with hot dogs and watermelon. Hilarious side stories unfold in Catrow's fantastically colorful, chaotic spreads that gambol and splash with comical caricatures of grinning kinfolk large and small. A lively, lyrical celebration of the sweet, sweet abandon of running amok among those who love you best.

Text Complexity:

  • CCSS Grade Band: 2-3rd
  • Lexile: n/a
  • ATOS: 4.3
  • School Library Journal: PreS-Gr 3

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 Years

Web Link to book trailer


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The Boy Who Loved Math The Boy Who Loved Math  by Deborah Heiligman; Prairie Bud Nominee 2015-16; Book Cover used with permission from BN.com

Deborah Heiligman Web Link to deborah heiligman dot com Author page on Pinterest Author page on Twitter Author channel on YouTube

Most people think of mathematicians as solitary, working away in isolation. And, it's true, many of them do. But Paul Erdos never followed the usual path. At the age of four, he could ask you when you were born and then calculate the number of seconds you had been alive in his head. But he didn't learn to butter his own bread until he turned twenty. Instead, he traveled around the world, from one mathematician to the next, collaborating on an astonishing number of publications. With a simple, lyrical text and richly layered illustrations, this is a beautiful introduction to the world of math and a fascinating look at the unique character traits that made "Uncle Paul" a great man.

Text Complexity:

  • CCSS Grade Band: 2-3rd
  • Lexile: AD550L
  • ATOS: 3.4
  • School Library Journal: Gr 3–6

Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

  • Age Range: 3 - 8 Years

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The Invisible Boy The Invisible Boy  by Trudy Ludwig; Prairie Bud Nominee 2015-16; Book Cover used with permission from BN.com

Trudy Ludwig Web Link to trudy ludwig dot com Author page on Facebook Author page on Pinterest Author page on Twitter

Meet Brian, the invisible boy. Nobody ever seems to notice him or think to include him in their group, game, or birthday party... until, that is, a new kid comes to class. When Justin, the new boy, arrives, Brian is the first to make him feel welcome. And when Brian and Justin team up to work on a class project together, Brian finds a way to shine. From esteemed author and speaker Trudy Ludwig and acclaimed illustrator Patrice Barton, this gentle story shows how small acts of kindness can help children feel included and allow them to flourish. Any parent, teacher, or counselor looking for material that sensitively addresses the needs of quieter children will find The Invisible Boy a valuable and important resource. Includes backmatter with discussion questions and resources for further reading.

Text Complexity:

  • CCSS Grade Band: 2-3rd
  • Lexile: AD680L
  • ATOS: 2.8
  • School Library Journal: K-Gr 2

Publisher: Random House Children's Books

  • Age Range: 6 - 9 Years

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Sophie's Squash Sophie's Squash  by Pat Zietlow Miller; Prairie Bud Nominee 2015-16; Book Cover used with permission from BN.com

Pat Zietlow Miller Web Link to URL Author page on Facebook Author page on Twitter Author channel on YouTube

On a trip to the farmers' market with her parents, Sophie chooses a squash, but instead of letting her mom cook it, she names it Bernice. From then on, Sophie brings Bernice everywhere, despite her parents' gentle warnings that Bernice will begin to rot. As winter nears, Sophie does start to notice changes… What's a girl to do when the squash she loves is in trouble?


Text Complexity:

  • CCSS Grade Band: 2-3rd
  • Lexile: AD550L
  • ATOS: 2.8
  • School Library Journal: K-Gr 2

Publisher: Random House Children's Books

  • Age Range: 3 - 7 Years

Book page on Facebook Web Link to book trailer


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Daredevil:  The Daring Life of Betty Skelton Daredevil:  The Daring Life of Betty Skelton  by Meghan McCarthy; Prairie Bud Nominee 2015-16; Book Cover used with permission from BN.com

Meghan McCarthy Web Link to URL Author page on Facebook Author page on Pinterest Author channel on YouTube

In the 1930s most girls were happy playing with dolls. But one girl, Betty Skelton, liked playing with airplanes, watching them fly around outside, and even flying airplanes herself! She lived for an adventure—in the air, the water, and on land—and nothing could stop her, especially not being a girl. When Betty Skelton was young there weren't many women flying airplanes or racing cars, but she wouldn't let that stop her. She was always ready to take on a challenge, and she loved to have fun. Beetty rode motorcycles, raced cars, jumped out of planes, and flew jets, helicoptors, gliders, and blimps. And by the time she was an adult, Betty was known in the press as the "First Lady of Firsts!" This vibrantly illustrated picture book biography reveals the exciting life of a brave pioneer who followed her dreams and showed the world that women can do anything!

Text Complexity:

  • CCSS Grade Band: 2-3rd
  • Lexile: AD640L
  • ATOS: 3.9
  • School Library Journal: K-Gr 2

Publisher: Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 Years

Web Link to book trailer


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Odd Duck Odd Duck  by Cecil Castellucci; Prairie Bud Nominee 2015-16; Book Cover used with permission from BN.com

Cecil Castellucci Web Link to castellucci dot wordpress dot com Author page on Facebook Author page on Pinterest Author page on Twitter Author channel on YouTube

Theodora is a perfectly normal duck. She may swim with a teacup balanced on her head and stay north when the rest of the ducks fly south for the winter, but there's nothing so odd about that. Chad, on the other hand, is one strange bird. Theodora quite likes him, but she can't overlook his odd habits. It's a good thing Chad has a normal friend like Theodora to set a good example for him. But who exactly is the odd duck here? Theodora may not like the answer. Sara Varon (Robot Dreams) teams up with Cecil Castellucci (Grandma's Gloves) for a gorgeous, funny, and heartwarming examination of the perils and pleasures of friendship.

Text Complexity:

  • CCSS Grade Band: 2-3rd
  • Lexile: AD540L
  • ATOS: 3
  • School Library Journal: Gr 2-4

Publisher: First Second

  • Age Range: 6 - 10 Years

Web Link to book trailer


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I Wish I Had I Wish I Had  by Giovanna Zoboli; Prairie Bud Nominee 2015-16; Book Cover used with permission from BN.com

Giovanna Zoboli Web Link to Giovanna Zoboli web page Author page on Facebook Author page on Twitter

With its sharp eyes, the blackbird can see every blade of grass in the meadow. The wings of the wild goose can carry it far away. And the song of the whale fills the wide ocean. Each animal has skills and beauty wholly unique to itself. And in this lyrical book, a child describes the skill and the beauty possessed by various animals. Giovanna Zoboli's fluid and lyrical descriptions, complemented by Simona Mulazzani's bright and charming illustrations, will leave the reader charmed by its sense wonder and awe.

Text Complexity:

  • CCSS Grade Band: 2-3rd and 4-5th
  • Lexile: AD800L
  • School Library Journal: PreS-Gr 1

Publisher: Eerdmans, William B. Publishing Company

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 Years

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How Big Were Dinosaurs How Big Were Dinosaurs?  by Lita Judge; Prairie Bud Nominee 2015-16; Book Cover used with permission from BN.com

Lita Judge Web Link to Lita Judge dot net Author page on Facebook Author page on Pinterest Author page on Twitter Author channel on YouTube

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to take a Velociraptor for a walk, or try to brush a Tyrannosaur's teeth? We think of dinosaurs as colossal giants, but how big were they REALLY? With kid-friendly text and seriously silly illustrations, this fact-filled book puts dinosaurs next to modern animals so that you can see exactly how they size up. And a huge fold-out chart compares the dinos to each other, from the tiniest Microraptor to Argentinosaurus, the largest animal to ever walk the land.

Text Complexity:

  • CCSS Grade Band: 4-5th and 6-8th
  • Lexile: NC1040L
  • ATOS: 5.2
  • School Library Journal: Gr 1-3

Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

  • Age Range: 6 - 9 Years

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Lifetime:  The Amazing Numbers in Animals' Lives Lifetime:  The Amazing Numbers in Animals' Lives  by Lola Schaefer; Prairie Bud Nominee 2015-16; Book Cover used with permission from BN.com

Lola Schaefer Web Link to URL Author page on Facebook Author page on Pinterest

In one lifetime, a caribou will shed 10 sets of antlers, a woodpecker will drill 30 roosting holes, a giraffe will wear 200 spots, a seahorse will birth 1,000 babies. Count each one and many more while learning about the wondrous things that can happen in just one lifetime. This extraordinary book collects animal information not available anywhere else—and shows all 30 roosting holes, all 200 spots, and, yes!, all 1,000 baby seahorses in eye-catching illustrations. A book about picturing numbers and considering the endlessly fascinating lives all around us, Lifetime is sure to delight young nature lovers.

Text Complexity:

  • CCSS Grade Band: 2-3rd and 4-5th
  • Lexile: AD860L
  • ATOS: 3
  • School Library Journal: K-Gr 4

Publisher: Chronicle Books LLC

  • Age Range: 5 - 8 Years

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The First Drawing The First Drawing  by Mordicai Gerstein; Prairie Bud Nominee 2015-16; Book Cover used with permission from BN.com

Mordicai Gerstein Web Link to URL

Imagine you were born before the invention of drawing, more than thirty thousand years ago. You would live with your whole family in a cave and see woolly mammoths walk by! You might even see images of animals hidden in the shapes of clouds and rocks. You would want to share these pictures with your family, but wouldn't know how. Who would have made the world's first drawing? Would it have been you?

Text Complexity:

  • CCSS Grade Band: 2-3rd
  • ATOS: 2.9
  • School Library Journal: K-Gr 3

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

  • Age Range: 3 - 6 Years

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Take Me Out to the Yakyu Take Me Out to the Yakyu by Aaron Meshon; Prairie Bud Nominee 2015-16; Book Cover used with permission from BN.com

Aaron Meshon Web Link to aaron meshon dot com Author page on Pinterest Author page on Twitter Author channel on YouTube

Join one little boy and his family for two ballgames—on opposite sides of the world! You may know that baseball is the Great American Pastime, but did you know that it is also a beloved sport in Japan? Come along with one little boy and his grandfathers, one in America and one in Japan, as he learns about baseball and its rich, varying cultural traditions. This debut picture book from Aaron Meshon is a home run—don't be surprised if the vivid illustrations and energetic text leave you shouting, "LET'S PLAY YAKYU!"

Text Complexity:

  • CCSS Grade Band: 2-3rd
  • Lexile: AD610L
  • ATOS: 1.8
  • School Library Journal: K-Gr 2

Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers

  • Age Range: 2 - 5 Years

Web Link to book trailer


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Gone Fishing: A novel in verse Gone Fishing: A novel in verse by Tamera Will Wissinger; Prairie Bud Nominee 2015-16; Book Cover used with permission from BN.com

Tamera Will Wissinger Web Link to tamera will wissinger dot com Author page on Facebook Author page on Twitter Author channel on YouTube

Nine-year-old Sam loves fishing with his dad. So when his pesky little sister, Lucy, horns in on their fishing trip, he's none too pleased. All ends well in this winsome book of poems—each labeled with its proper poetic form. Together the poems build a dawn-to-dusk story of a father-son bond, of sibling harmony lost and found—and, most of all, of delicious anticipation. Charming line drawings animate the poetry with humor and drama, and the extensive Poet's Tackle Box at the end makes this the perfect primer to hook aspiring poets of all ages.

Text Complexity:

  • ATOS: 2.6
  • School Library Journal: Gr 1–4

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

  • Age Range: 9 - 12 Years

Web Link to book trailer


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Outfoxed Outfoxed  by Mike Twohy; Prairie Bud Nominee 2015-16; Book Cover used with permission from BN.com

Mike Twohy Author page on Facebook

Quack, quack—woof? A quick-thinking duck keeps a fox on his toes in this witty romp from a New Yorker cartoonist. One dark night in the henhouse, a hungry fox in search of his dinner gets more than he bargains for. Instead of a chicken, Fox grabs a duck. A very smart duck. A duck so sly, he plans to convince Fox that he isn't a duck but a—dog! Yes, a dog. This clever story and its accompanying visual narrative will delight readers young and old—because if it looks like a duck, and it quacks like a duck, it HAS to be a duck… right?

Text Complexity:

  • Lexile: AD340L
  • ATOS: 1.9
  • School Library Journal: K-Gr 2

Publisher: Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 Years

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Old Mikamba Had a Farm Old Mikamba Had a Farm by Rachel Isadora; Prairie Bud Nominee 2015-16; Book Cover used with permission from BN.com

Rachel Isadora Author channel on YouTube

This fabulous version of the classic nursery song "Old MacDonald" introduces children to a menagerie of African animals and their sounds. It is beautifully illustrated by Caldecott Honor winner Rachel Isadora, with her signature collage-style artwork. Old Mikamba had a farm, E-I-E-I-O. And on this farm he had... a giraffe, a baboon, and an elephant! Meet Old Mikamba, who watches over a wide variety of animals on his game farm in the plains of Africa. Children will discover a whole new set of fun animal sounds as they are invited to sing along and roar with the lions, bellow with the rhino, whinny with the zebras, honk with the wildebeests, and more! A wonderful introduction to African wildlife that is great fun to read aloud, this truly irresistible rendition of a beloved song includes a list of animal fun facts and gives children a huge variety of animal sounds to imitate as they pore over the detailed animals, landscapes and patterns in the stunning illustrations.

Text Complexity:

  • School Library Journal: PreS-Gr 2

Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books

  • Age Range: 3 - 5 Years

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Picture a Tree Picture a Tree by Barbara Reid; Prairie Bud Nominee 2015-16; Book Cover used with permission from BN.com

Barbara Reid Web Link to barbara reid dot c a Author page on Facebook Author page on Twitter Author channel on YouTube

Picture a tree--what do YOU see? Picture a tree, from every season, and from every angle. These wondrous beings give shade and shelter. Now look again. Look closer. The possibilities are endless." In this gorgeous new picture book, Barbara Reid brings her vision, her craft, and her signature Plasticine artwork to the subject of trees. Each page is a celebration, and you will never look at trees in quite the same way again.

Text Complexity:

  • School Library Journal: PreS-Gr 2

Publisher: Whitman, Albert & Company

  • Age Range: 4 - 7 Years

Web Link to book trailer


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The Year of Billy Miller The Year of Billy Miller by Kevin Henkes; Prairie Bud Nominee 2015-16; Book Cover used with permission from BN.com

Kevin Henkes Web Link to kevin henkes dot com Author channel on YouTube

Award-winning, nationally bestselling author Kevin Henkes introduces second-grader Billy Miller in this fast-paced and funny story about friendship, sibling rivalry, and elementary school. The Year of Billy Miller includes black-and-white art by Kevin Henkes and is perfect for fans of the Ramona books; Frindle, by Andrew Clements; and the Clementine series. The New York Times declared: "Henkes's delightful story is restrained and vivid... forgoing the overdramatic or zany, it shows the substance, warmth and adaptability of beautifully common family love." When Billy Miller has a mishap at the statue of the Jolly Green Giant at the end of summer vacation, he ends up with a big lump on his head. What a way to start second grade, with a lump on your head! As the year goes by, though, Billy figures out how to navigate elementary school, how to appreciate his little sister, and how to be a more grown up and responsible member of the family and a help to his busy working mom and stay-at-home dad. Newbery Honor author and Caldecott Medalist Kevin Henkes delivers a short, satisfying, laugh-out-loud-funny school and family story that features a diorama homework assignment, a school poetry slam, cancelled sleepovers, and epic sibling temper tantrums. This is a perfect short novel for the early elementary grades.

Text Complexity:

  • CCSS Grade Band: 2-3rd
  • Lexile: 620L
  • ATOS: 4.2
  • School Library Journal: Gr 1-3

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

Web Link to book trailer


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605-773-3131

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

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