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Orbis Pictus Award

for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children

located in the Curriculum Lab

 

 
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2003  2002   2001   2000   1999   1998  1997   

1996  1995   1994   1993  1990  1991  1990

Description of the Award

 

 

 

 

Orbis Pictus Award 

 

 

 

What is the Orbis Pictus Award?

The Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children was established in 1989 to promote and recognize excellence in nonfiction writing for children.  One award winner and up to five honor books are named.

 

Who decides the winner?

Nominations may be from NCTE members or the educational community.  The title must have informational literature as is central purpose.  Included are biographies; excluded are textbooks, historical fiction, folklore or poetry.  The award is presented at the Books for Children Luncheon at the Annual NCTE Convention, usually held in November.

     

When did the award begin?

In 1987, the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) established the Orbis Pictus Award.  Sylvia Vardell built a case for celebrating nonfiction, described the new award, and outlined four features of outstanding books--accuracy, organization, design and style.

 

What special criteria are used to select this award?

Nominated books must be published in the United States in the previous calendar year, be useful in classroom teaching grades k-8, and meet the criteria listed below.

Accuracyfacts current and complete, balance of fact and theory, varying point of view, stereotypes avoided, author's qualifications adequate, appropriate scope, authenticity of detail

Organizationlogical development, clear sequence, interrelationships indicated, patterns provided (general-to-specific, simple-to-complex, etc.)

Designattractive, readable, illustrations complement text, placement of illustrative material appropriate and complementary, appropriate media, format, type

Stylewriting is interesting, stimulating, reveals author's enthusiasm for subject; curiosity and wonder encouraged, appropriate terminology, rich language

 

Why is it called the Orbis Pictus Award?

The award's name commemorates Johannes Amos Comenius's (1657) work Orbis Pictus (The World in Pictures,) considered to be the first book actually intended for children.

 

What does the award look like?

The circular award is a seal from the title page of Orbis Pictus that features a scene surrounded by Latin phrase.  Surrounding this seal is the phrase, "National Council of Teachers of English Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children."

     

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YEAR AUTHOR TITLE   (Curriculum Lab Call Number)
2007 Montgomery, Sy QUEST FOR THE TREE KANGAROO: AN EXPEDITION TO THE CLOUD FOREST OF NEW GUINEA   (YP  599.2  M788qu)
  Bardoe, Cheryl GREGOR MENDEL: THE FRIAR WHO GREW PEAS  (J  92  M537ba)
  Freedman, Russell FREEDOM WALKERS: THE STORY OF THE MONTGOMERY BUS BOYCOTT   (YP 323.1  F853fr)
  Lasky, Kathryn JOHN MUIR: AMERICA'S FIRST ENVIRONMENTALIST   (J  92  M953la)
  McClafferty, Carla Killough SOMETHING OUT OF NOTHING: MARIE CURIE AND RADIUM  (YP  92  C975me)
  Thimmesh, Catherine TEAM MOON: HOW 400,000 PEOPLE LANDED APOLLO 11 ON THE MOON
Recommended Aston, Diane Hutts AN EGG IS QUIET   (J  591.4  A856eg)
Recommended Bausum, Ann FREEDOM RIDERS: JOHN LEWIS AND JIM ZWERG ON THE FRONT LINES OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT   (YP  323.1  B351fr)
Recommended Hatkoff, Isabella OWEN & MZEE: THE TRUE STORY OF A REMARKABLE FRIENDSHIP   (J  599.635  H364ow)
Recommended Johnson, Delores ONWARD: A PHOTOBIOGRAPY OF AFRICAN AMERICAN POLAR EXPLORER MATTHEW HENSON
Recommended Markely, Sandra RESCUES
Recommended Marrin, Albert SAVING THE BUFFALO   (YP  599.643  M359sa)
Recommended Rubin, Susan Goldman CAT WITH THE YELLOW STAR: COMING OF AGE IN TEREZIN
Recommended Hudson, Cheryl Willis CONSTRUCTION ZONE   (J  690  H885co)
     

 

2006 Freedman, russell CHILDREN OF THE GREAT DEPRESSION  (YP  973.91 F853ch)
  Jackson, Donna ER VETS: LIFE IN AN ANIMAL EMERGENCY ROOM
  Jurmain, Suzanne FORBIDDEN SCHOOLHOUSE: THE TRUE AND DRAMATIC STORY OF PRUDENCE CRANDALL AND HER STUDENTS
  Delano, Marfe ferguson GENIUS: A PHOTOBIOGRAPHY OF ALBERT EINSTEIN  (YP 92 E35de)
  Bartoletti, Susan Campbell HITLER YOUTH: GROWING UP IN HITLER'S SHADOW  (YP 943.086 B292hi)
  Siy, Alexandra and Dennis Kunkel MOSQUITO BITE
   

 

 
2005 Blumberg, Rhoda YORK'S ADVENTURES WITH LEWIS AND CLARK: AN AFRICAN-AMERICAN'S PART IN THE GREAT EXPEDITION  (YP 917.8 B658yo)
  Jenkins, Steve ACTUAL SIZE
  Hoose, Phillip THE RACE TO SAVE THE LORD GOD BIRD   (YP  598.72  H789ra)
  Giblin, James Cross SECRETS OF THE SPHINX  (YP 932 G446se
  Burleigh, Robert SEURAT AND LA GRANDE JATTE: CONNECTING THE DOTS
  Freeman, Russell VOICE THAT CHALLENGED A NATION: MARIAN ANDERSON AND THE STRUGGLE FOR EQUAL RIGHTS  (YP 92 A549fr)
   

 

 
2004 Murphy, Jim AMERICAN PLAGUE: THE TRUE AND TERRIFYING STORY OF THE YELLOW FEVER EPIDEMIC OF 1793  (YP 614.541 M978am
  Mann, Elizabeth EMPIRE STATE BUILDING: WHEN NEW YORK REACHED FOR THE SKIES  (YP 690.52 M281em)
  Byrd, Robert LEONARDO: BEAUTIFUL DREAMER  (J 92 L581by)
  Lasky, Kathryn MAN WHO MADE TIME TRAVEL  (J 681 L345ma
  Hopkinson, Deborah SHUTTING OUT THE SKY: LIFE IN THE TENEMENTS OF NEW YORK, 1880-1924
     

 

2003 Ryan, Pam Munoz WHEN MARIAN SANG: THE TRUE RECITAL OF MARIAN ANDERSON: THE VOICE OF A CENTURY  (J 92 A548ry)
  Freedman, Russell CONFUCIUS: THE GOLDEN RULE  (J 92 C748fr)
  O'Connor, Jane EMPEROR'S SILENT ARMY: TERRACOTTA WARRIORS OF ANCIENT CHINA
  Fleischman, John PHINEAS GAGE: A GRUESOME BUT TRUE STORY ABOUT BRAIN SCIENCE
  Bial, Raymond TENEMENT: IMMIGRANT LIFE ON THE LOWER EAST SIDE
  Old, Wendie C. TO FLY: THE STORY OF THE WRIGHT BROTHERS  (J 92 W954ol)
     

 

2002 Bartoletti, Susan Campbell BLACK POTATOES: THE STORY OF THE GREAT IRISH FAMINE, 1845-1850   (YP  941.5  B292bl)
Kurlansky, Mark THE COD'S TALE
Kerley, Barbara THE DINOSAURS OF WATERHOUSE HAWKINS (J567.9 K39di)
Rappaport, Doreen MARTIN'S BIG WORDS: THE LIFE OF DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. (J 92 K53ra)
 

 

2001 Stanley, Jerry HURRY FREEDOM: AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE GOLD RUSH CALIFORNIA
Giblin, James Cross THE AMAZING LIFE OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN (J 92 F831gi)
Adler, David A. AMERICA'S CHAMPION SWIMMER: GERTRUDE EDERLE (J 92 E22ad)
Stanley, Daine MICHELANGELO
Govenar, Alan B. OSCEOLA: MEMORIES OF A SHARECROPPER'S DAUGHTER
Arnosky, Jim WILD & SWAMPY
 

 

2000 Bridges, Ruby THROUGH MY EYES (YP 379.263 B851th)
Myers, Walter Dean AT HER MAJESTY'S REQUEST: AN AFRICAN PRINCESS IN VICTORIAN ENGLAND (YP 92 B712my)
Reich, Susanna CLARA SCHUMANN: PIANO VIRTUOSO
Johnson, Sylvia MAPPING THE WORLD
Montgomery, Sy THE SNAKE SCIENTIST
Jenkins, Steve THE TOP OF THE WORLD
 

 

1999 Armstrong, Jennifer SHIPWRECK AT THE BOTTOM OF THE WORLD: THE EXTRAORDINARY TRUE STORY OF SHACKLETON AND THE ENDURANCE
Burleigh, Robert BLACK WHITENESS: ADMIRAL BYRD ALONE IN THE ANTARCTIC
Holmes, Thom FOSSIL FEUD: THE RIVALRY OF THE FIRST AMERICAN DINOSAUR HUNTERS
Jenkins, Steve HOTTEST, COLDEST, HIGHEST, DEEPEST
Lobel, Alita NO PRETTY PICTURES: A CHILD OF WAR (CCSU Polish Collection DS135 P63 L63)
 

 

1998 Pringle, Laurence AN EXTRAORDINARY LIFE: THE STORY OF A MONARCH BUTTERFLY
Dorros, Arthur A TREE IS GROWING
Giblin, James Cross CHARLES LINDBERGH: A HUMAN HERO (YP 92 L742gi)
Hampton, Wilborn KENNEDY ASSASSINATED! THE WORLD MOURNS: A REPORTER'S STORY
Stanley, Jerry DIGGER: THE TRAGIC FATE OF THE CALIFORNIA INDIANS FROM THE MISSIONS TO THE GOLD RUSH
Wick, Walter A DROP OF WATER: A BOOK OF SCIENCE AND WONDER (J 546.22 W636dr)
 

 

1997 Stanley, Diane LEONARDO DA VINCI (YP 92 L581st)
Blumberg, Rhoda FULL STEAM AHEAD: THE RACE TO BUILD A TRANSCONTINENTAL RAILROAD
Freedman, Russel THE LIFE AND DEATH OF CRAZY HORSE (YP 92 C911fr)
Osborne, Mary Pope ONE WORLD, MANY RELIGIONS
 

 

1996 Murphy, Jim THE GREAT FIRE(YP 977.3 M978gr)
Coleman, Penny ROSIE THE RIVETER: WOMEN WORKING ON THE HOME FRONT (YP 331.4 C716wo)
Pringle, Laurence DOLPHIN MAN: EXPLORING THE WORLD OF DOLPHINS
 

 

1995 Swanson, Diane SAFARI BENEARTH THE SEA: THE WONDER WORLD OF THE NORTH PACIFIC COAST
Dewey, Jennifer Owings WILDLIFE RESCUE: THE WORK OF DR. KATHLEEN RAMSAY
Freedman, Russell KIDS AT WORK: LEWIS HINE AND THE CRUSADE AGAINST CHILD LABOR
McKissack, Patricia C. CHIRSTMAS IN THE BIG HOUSE, CHRISTMAS IN THE QUARTERS
 

 

1994 Murphy, Jim ACROSS AMERICA ON AN EMIGRANT TRAIN (YP 828.803 M978ac)
Brandenburg, Jim TO THE TOP OF THE WORLD: ADVENTURES WITH ARCTIC WOLVES (J 599.74 B817to)
Brooks, Bruce MAKING SENSE: ANIMAL PERCEPTION AND COMMUNICATION (YP 591.1 B873ma)
 

 

1993 Stanley, Jerry CHILDREN OF THE DUST BOWL: THE TRUE STORY OF THE SCHOOL AT WEEDPATCH CAMP
Cone, Molly COME BACK, SALMON: HOW A GROUP OF DEDICATED KIDS ADOPTED PIGEON CREEK AND BROUGHT IT BACK TO LIFE
Cummings, Pat TALKING WITH ARTISTS (YP 741.642 T146)
 

 

1992 Burleigh, Robert FLIGHT: THE JOURNEY OF CHARLES LINDBERGH (J 92 L742bu)
Conrad, Pam PRAIRIE VISIONS: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF SOLOMON BUTCHER
Myers, Walter Dean NOW IS YOUR TIME! THE AFRICAN-AMERICAN STRUGGLE FOR FREEDOM (YP 973.0496 M996no)
 

 

1991 Freedman, Russell FRANKLIN DELANO ROOSEVELT
Ekoomiak, Normee ARCTIC MEMORIES (JPB Ekoomiak)
Lauber, Patricia SEEING EARTH FROM SPACE (J 525 L366)
 

 

1990 Fritz, Jean THE GREAT LITTLE MADISON (J 92 M182fr)
Blumberg, Rhoda THE GREAT AMERICAN GOLD RUSH (J 979.4 B658gr)
Lauber, Patricia THE NEWS ABOUT DINOSAURS (J 567.91 L366ne)
 

 

 

 

Connect to the  NCTE Orbis Pictus Award Site.

 

  

                                                                     

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