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.
The Red Clover Award is co-sponsored by the Vermont Center for the Book / Mother Goose Programs and the Vermont Departments of Education and Libraries.
The Red Clover Award nominees are selected by a committee comprised of Vermont teachers, librarians and sponsors. The committee reviews all picture books published in the prior year.
The list of nominees is published each March. Here are the book selection criteria:
The book must have been published in the prior year.
The award is for the entire book-text and illustrations.
Both the author and illustrator must be living at the time of the selection.
Only one title by the same combination of author and illustrator may be chosen in a given year.
The books must be appropriate, in the aggregate, for a range of children in grades K-4.
Both fiction and non-fiction are eligible.
The Red Clover Award was created in 1995 by Vermont's Windham County Reads, a non-profit literacy organization dedicated to bringing families and books together.
Conceived by Eileen Christelow and named for Vermont's state flower by Jessie Haas, this children's choice award was designed to help young children experience the unique genius of the picture book and develop a lasting appreciation for excellence in writing and illustration.
The Eyes of Gray Wolf, written by Jonathan London and illustrated by Jon Van Zyle, was the award winner during the program's initial year in Windham County, Vermont, and the program quickly went statewide under the leadership of Mother Goose Programs.