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Red Clover Award
The Red Clover Award promotes the reading and discussion of the best of contemporary picture books in nearly all of Vermont's elementary schools. Each year over 20,000 K-4 students read, or have read to them, the ten nominated books.
An educator resource guide contains program guidelines and activities. Many activities in the guide are based on the Vermont Framework of Standards and provide dynamic and thoughtful learning experiences for children. Extending the discussions and activities will help to address even more.
Red Clover Winner 2009: Scaredy Squirrel Makes a Friend by Melanie Watt. Scaredy Squirrel is lonely, but he thinks that the pleasure of making a friend would be outweighed by the greater risk of potential danger. After all, there are a lot of things that bite out in the big world. The life lessons of the importance of overcoming one's fears and not judging outward appearance are wrapped up in a witty package of deceptively simple cartoonlike illustrations and lively text. The lovable little worrywart introduced in "Scaredy Squirrel" is back and he's as neurotic as ever. In his latest adventure, Scaredy sets out to make the perfect friend--preferably one with no teeth, and who is germ-free and predictable. Illustrations.
Red Clover Winner 2008: Flotsam by David Weisner. Wiesner offers an exceptional wordless book that finds wild magic in quiet, everyday settings. At the seaside a boy discovers an old-fashioned camera, film intact. A trip to the photo store produces astonishing pictures of animals and children around the world. After snapping his own image, the boy returns the camera to the sea where it's carried on a journey to another child. Masterful watercolors and ingeniously layered perspectives create a clear narrative and invites us to rethink how and what we see both out in the world and in our mind's eye.
Red Clover Winner 2007: The Great Fuzz Frenzy by Janet Stevens. When Violet the dog drops her tennis ball down a prairie dog hole, competition for its fluorescent green fuzz causes conflict. The antics of a prairie dog thief, an unexpected attack from above and a last-page joke all work together to make this a fun and satisfying story. Janet Stevens' mixed media illustrations combine painting with digital imagery to provide a cutaway view into the goings-on of this prairie dog town.
Red Clover Winner 2006: Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems. Using a combination of Brooklyn neighborhood photos and illustrated characters, Mo Willems takes readers along on an errand. Even a trip to the laundromat can be an exciting adventure for a toddler…not to mention for a bunny. The author is a 2005 Caldecott Honor recipient and author/illustrator of the Red Clover Award in 2004 for Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! Red Clover Award 2006. Book Sense Book of the Year Award, Children’s Illustrated Honor Book 2005. Caldecott Honor Book 2005. Download a sample activity using this book.
Not a Red Clover winner- but still a great kids book! Knuffle Bunny Too: A Case of Mistaken Identity by Mo Willems. Trixie can't wait to bring her one-of-a-kind Knuffle Bunny to school and show him off to everyone. But when she gets there, she sees something awful: Sonja has the same bunny. Suddenly, Knuffle Bunny doesn't seem so one-of-a-kind anymore. Chaos ensues until the bunnies are taken away by Ms. Greengrove. After school, Trixie finally gets her beloved bunny back. But in the middle of the night, Trixie realizes something. She has the wrong bunny! Daddy comes to the rescue again as a midnight swap is arranged with the other bunny, the other little girl, and the other daddy. Needless to say, the daddies are not very happy. By the end of the story Trixie has her beloved bunny back, but she has also gained something new: her very first best friend. In the tradition of the Caldecott Honor-winner KNUFFLE BUNNY: A CAUTIONARY TALE, this is another heartfelt, hilarious picture book that children (and their parents) will love.
Red Clover Award 2005: Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! by Mo Willems. In this hilarious picture book debut, the popular cartoonist ("Sesame Street, Sheep in the City") perfectly captures a preschooler's temper tantrum in the guise of a pigeon who pleads, wheedles, and begs his way through the story. (Baby/Preschool). When a bus driver takes a break from his route, a very unlikely volunteer springs up to take his place-a pigeon! But you've never met one like this before. As he pleads, wheedles, and begs his way through the book, children will love being able to answer back and decide his fate. In his hilarious picture book debut, popular cartoonist Mo Willems perfectly captures a preschooler's temper tantrum. Caldecott Honor Book 2004. Red Clover Award 2005.
Red Clover Winner 2004: I Stink by Kate & Jim McMullan. In this “Who am I?” story, a New York City garbage truck describes his nightly rounds. The sights and sounds of the city are depicted on every page using bold illustrations, playful language and humor. Its recipe for breakfast includes an alphabet of ingredients no child can resist, like "kitty litter" and "ugly underpants." Follow a night in the life of a cool garbage truck with a bad attitude as he makes the rounds and picks up an A-to-Z list of stinky garbage. Red Clover Nominee 2004. Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, Honor Picture Book 2002.
Red Clover Winner 2003:
Baloney, Henry P. by Jon Scieszka.
It’s a boy, it’s an alien—it’s Henry P. Baloney! Henry is on the verge of Permanent Lifelong Detention for being late one too many times to Miss Bugscuffle’s class. He’s quick on his ashi and comes up with one very alto tale. Using the decoder in the back of the book, readers can participate in Henry’s convoluted explanation. The illustrations are just as witty as the text.
The twisted team that gave the world "Squids Will Be Squids" and "The Stinky Cheese Man" now delivers a whole lot of "Baloney". Henry is an alien school kid who needs to come up with one very good excuse to explain why he is late for "szkola" again. Received from deep space by Scieszka, Henry's tall tale is graphically recreated in Smith's out-of-this-world full-color illustrations.
Red Clover Winner 2002: Farmer Brown thinks it's odd when he hears the sounds of typing coming from the barn, but his troubles really begin when his cows start leaving him notes. First they demand better working conditions, then they stage a strike! Full color. Technology in the form of an old typewriter spells power for the cows on Farmer Brown’s farm. The striking cows are in the middle of a job action: they want electric blankets—and so do the hens. With no milk and no eggs, the frantic farmer is forced to cave. Humor is the hallmark of Lewin’s watercolor illustrations. Caldecott Honor Book 2001. Book Sense Book of the Year Award, Children’s Illustrated Finalist 2001.
Red Clover Winner 2001: Bark, George by Jules Feiffer. What's going on with George? Young readers will find out in this hilarious picture book from Jules Feiffer who has won numerous prizes for his work, including the Pulitzer. Full color. Much to his mother’s astonishment, George can meow, quack, and moo! In fact, he does everything but bark, which is all a dog wants her puppy to do. A trip to the vet yields satisfying results, but George has one surprise in store for his mother and the readers. Feiffer uses cartoon drawings with bold lines to capture the humor and drama in one dog’s life.