I was recently notified that the fourth book in my series, Adventures of the Sea Kids, was nominated for a 2016 Christian Literary Award. It was wonderful news to hear. It means the series has now won an astonishing 20 awards!
But the reason I mention this is not to brag about my successes. Rather, it’s to offer parents a better understanding of the meaning of some of the awards. There are both secular book awards and Christian book awards, and each of these programs focus on different criteria.
Although it is wonderful when a Christian book is recognized in both the secular and Christian world, rarely, if ever, does this happen. Hardly ever will you see a Christian children’s book awarded a Newbery or a Caldecott. The unfortunate truth is that many wonderful Christian books are overlooked in the secular award world merely because they are Christian.
So how can you tell if a Christian children’s book is an excellent book? First of all, read it! There are many outstanding Christian children’s books that never get entered in a book awards program simply because the author missed the deadline to enter, the book did not qualify based upon the publishing date, or the author chose not to submit the book for an award.
If you are specifically looking for an award-winning Christian children’s book to read to your kids, though, here is a brief description of two of my favorite Christian book awards programs:
The Illumination Book Award: The motto of this group reads, “Shining a Light on Exemplary Christian Books.” Their website states, “With more and more people searching for inspiration and seeking answers to life’s tough questions, books dedicated to Christian belief and personal development are a fast-growing segment of publishing and bookselling today. Books have always been powerful tools for helping us to understand Scripture and to explore various aspects of faith in a complicated world. How does one choose the ‘winners’ from the huge array of new titles released each year? The Illumination Book Awards are designed to ‘shine a light’ on the best of these new titles written and published with a Christian worldview.”
The Christian Book Award: The Evangelical Publisher’s Association (ECPA) sponsors the Christian Book Award® program, which “recognizes the highest quality in Christian books and Bibles and is among the oldest and most prestigious awards program in the religious publishing industry.”
If you’re interested in more Christian Book Awards, here is a link to a list of many more: http://web.nmsu.edu/~ebosman/church/bestsellers.shtml
If you are also interested in secular award-winning children’s books, I recommend checking out the following:
The Mom’s Choice Award: The Mom’s Choice Awards® (MCA) “evaluates products and services created for children, families, and educators. The program is globally recognized for establishing the benchmark of excellence in family-friendly media, products, and services. The organization is based in the United States and has reviewed thousands of items from more than 55 countries.”
These awards can help you find books that librarians across the country have identified as the best in their categories. But never forget that you are the best source to evaluate what your children read!
Please visit GLMPublishing.net for a list of our awarding-winning books, including our newest release for Christmas: God’s Gift! This colorful holiday story teaches young children about the true meaning of Christmas and Hanukkah. These holidays are not about the material gifts we receive from one another, but about the true gift given to us from God!