Celebrating Youthful Curiosity and Discovery Through Books and Reading

2021 Moonbeam Award Winners  

Jenkins Group is proud to announce the winners of the 15th Annual, 2021 Moonbeam Children's Book Awards. Launched in 2007, the awards are intended to bring increased recognition to exemplary children’s books and their creators, and to celebrate children’s books and life-long reading. Congratulations to all of this year's winners!, and thanks to all the entrants for their participation!

Listed below are the Moonbeam Spirit Award winners, followed by the print category winners. Book Series and Ebook category winners appear on page 2 (click here). To see the printable PDF version of the results program, click here.

Medalists were chosen from  nearly 1,500 total entries that came from children's book authors, illustrators and publishers from all over the U.S. and from 22 other countries around the world. See the official results press release, plus other important links at the Medalist & Press Page.

Join the Moonbeam Medalist Discussion Group on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/4711633402192984

Creating books that inspire our children to read, to learn, and to dream is an extremely important task, and these awards were conceived to reward those efforts. Each year's entries are judged by expert panels of youth educators, students, librarians, booksellers, and book reviewers of all ages. Award recipients receive gold, silver and bronze medals and stickers depicting a mother and child reading and silhouetted by a full moon.

Congratulations to all!


A handful of standouts are chosen each year for their dedication to children’s literacy and for inspired writing, illustrating and publishing. This year we chose books in six different areas. All recipients will receive gold medals. 


Holden Hugs the World, written and illustrated by Jon Marro (Worlds Within Books)


"When Earth needed help
it called out for some Love,
So Holden went down
and gave Earth a hug."







Moment, by Robert Abad (Self-Published)

"For me, real education is about appreciating the stories that are mostly invisible, raw or hidden from us. It's in those moments where you get insight into someone else's life. That helps to create real connections, which allows you to work together to try and find a solution to a problem."





Wildlife on Paper: Animals at Risk Around the Globe, written and illustrated with paper sculptures by Kunal Kundu (West Margin Press)

"If we don't take care of our planet's species diversity, the magnificent wildlife we humans cohabitate with will cease to exist and our future generations will experience them on paper only."







Breathe, Ollie!, by Krista Betcher; illustrated by Kevin Cannon (Beaver’s Pond Press)


"Ollie stopped, took a big breath in as she lifted her arms, let that breath out as she lowered her arms, then continued her job of protecting the goal. Ollie realized it was that easy to calm her mind. Ollie's team won the game that day. Great recovery, Ollie!"





The Very Clever Bee, written and illustrated by Felicity Marshall (Propolis Publishing)

Advice from a Honey Bee

Create a buzz
Sip life's sweet moments
Mind your own beeswax
Work together
Always find your way home
Stick close to your honey
Bee yourself

- Ilan Shamir



30,000 Stitches: The Inspiring Story of the National 9/11 Flag, by Amanda Davis; illustrated by Sally Wern Comport (Worthy Kids)

The flag touched many hearts and many hands.
The hands of firefighters and soldiers,
of teachers and students.
The hands of mothers, fathers, brothers, and sisters.
The hands of many different people--
people like you and like me.




1. Board Book / Cloth Book


GOLD: Bedtime with Mommy, by Nancy I. Sanders; illustrated by Felia Hanakata (End Game Kidz)







SILVER: I Believe in You, by Elias Barks; illustrated by George Bletsis (Hazy Dell Press)







BRONZE: Mommy Goes to Work, by Jossy Lee; illustrated by Nila Aye (Woom)







2. Alphabet / Counting Book 


GOLD: Journey from A to Z with Teacher Judy, by Judy Lynn Ohlrogge and Alex Tandy; illustrated by Alfonso Lourido (Tandy Books)








SILVER: The Power of Positivity: The ABC’s of a Pandemic, by Ruth Maille; illustrated by Harry Aveira (Self-Published) 






BRONZE: 10 Hidden Heroes, by Mark K. Shriver; Illustrated by Laura Watson (Loyola Press)







3. Book Arts / Pop-up / Cut-out 

(Category Cancelled)

4. Activity Book 1 – Games, Arts & Crafts, etc. 


GOLD: Montana History for Kids in 50 Objects with 50 Fun Activities!, by Step Lehmann (Farcountry Press)







SILVER: Advent Devotions & Christmas Crafts for Families: 24 Scripture Reflections & Simple Projects to Anticipate Christ’s Birth, by Victoria Duerstock (Good Books)






BRONZE: My Travel Memories, written and illustrated by Angela Ian Tam (Self-Published)








5. Activity Book 2 – Educational, Science, History 


GOLD: Look Closer: Paint with the Impressionists, by Kate Ryan (National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne)








SILVER (tie): The Road to Regulation & The Regulation Station | 2-Storybook Set & Tools to Try Cards for Kids: The Zones of Regulation Series, by Leah Kuypers and Elizabeth Sautter (Think Social Publishing)

Who Pooped in the Desert? Field Guide, Journal & Activity Book, written and illustrated by Steph Lehmann (Farcountry Press)



BRONZE: Doodles Black History: The 50 Most Influential African Americans of All Time, by Setria James (Doodles Ave.)






6. Best Illustrator


GOLD: Son, by Ariel Andrés Almada; illustrated by Sonja Wimmer (Cuento de Luz)








SILVER: Manu, the Boy Who Loved Birds, written and illustrated by Caren Loebel-Fried (University of Hawai’i Press)








BRONZE: The Mighty River, by Ginalina; illustrated by Kelley Wills (Peppermint Toast Publishing)






7. Picture Book – Preschool 

GOLD: We’re On Our Way To the Market, written and illustrated by Sandra Butt (Waterlea Books)






SILVER: Happy Leaf: Sweet Sun & Loving Wind, by Divya Ma Lovingly; Illustrated by Tze-Chiang Lim (Little Creek Press)






Bronze (tie): Charlie Mae's First Day, by Hannah Wilson; illustrated by Kim Soderberg (BookBaby)

Piper Fox Shows Kindness, by Jess Mollo; illustrated by Mark Carnell-Jones (SparkPublications)




8. Picture Book – 4-8 Year Old 

GOLD: Sail, written and illustrated by Dorien Brouwers (Little, Brown and Company)






SILVER (tie): How to Fold a Taco / Cómo doblar un taco, by Naibe Reynoso; illustrated by Ana Varela (Con Todo Press)

The Color of Your Skin, by Desirée Acevedo; illustrated by Silvia Àlvarez (Cuento de Luz)






BRONZE: Saint Nicholas the Giftgiver, written and illustrated by Ned Bustard (IVP Kids)







9. Picture Book – All Ages 


GOLD (tie): If You Could Ask Your Dog One Question..., by Kim Messina; illustrated by Nataliia Pavliuk (My Human “N” Me)

Light in the Forest, written and illustrated by Holly Carr (Plumleaf Press)





SILVER: Trying, by Kobi Yamada; illustrated by Elise Hurst (Compendium)







BRONZE: What the Map Left Out, written and illustrated by Katie Crawford Allen (Warren Publishing)  







10. Juvenile Fiction – Early Reader / First Chapter Books 


GOLD: Chicken Feathers, by Stephanie Cameron; illustrated by Scott DuBar (Clear Fork Publishing) 









SILVER: Melody’s Magical Flying Machine, by Elaine Ambrose; illustrated by Caroline Zina (Brown Books Kids)









BRONZE: Sky Cloud City (The Adventures of Hope & Trusty, Book 1), by Maria Kamoulakou; illustrated by Natalia Kapatsoulia (Little Centaur Press)







11. Pre-Teen Fiction – General 


GOLD: My Name is Layla, by Reyna Marder Gentin (TouchPoint Press)










SILVER: Listen (Sourland Mountain Series Book 2), by Kristin McGlothlin (Bird Upstairs)










BRONZE: Rudy Doesn’t Like Roger, written and illustrated by Monica Zane (Monica Zane Publishing)








12. Pre-Teen Fiction – Fantasy 


GOLD: Rea and the Blood of the Nectar (Book 1 of the Chronicles of Astranthia), by Payal Doshi (Mango & Marigold Press)









SILVER: Boon on the Moon, by John Huddles (Notable Kids Publishing)









BRONZE: Under the Blue Comet (The Comet Kid Chronicles #1), by Tom Hoffman (Self-Published)








13. Pre-Teen Fiction – Mystery 


GOLD: Eucalyptus Street: Green Curse (Botanic Hill Detectives Mystery #2), by Sherrill Joseph (Acorn Publishing)








SILVER: CLUB US: Peril in Paris, by Mya Reyes (ValMar Publishing)









BRONZE: Secrets in September (A Fern Valley Mystery Book 1), by Doreen McAvoy (Elk Lake Publishing)  








14. Pre-Teen Fiction – Historical / Cultural 


GOLD: Daily Bread, by Antoinette Truglio Martin (Red Penguin Books)










SILVER: Red Dove: Tell Truth to Darkness (Red Dove Trilogy, Book 2), by Sonia Antaki (Guildfest)









BRONZE: A Jibaro’s Miracle, by Marisa de Jesús Paolicelli; illustrated by Susan E. Daly (A Caribbean Experience Con Amor Publishing)







15. Pre-Teen Fiction – Mature Issues 


GOLD: Second Dad Summer, by Benjamin Klas (Red Chair Press)









SILVER: The Tobin Tree, by Tana J. Leonhart (Custom Museum Publishing)










BRONZE: The Long Shadow, by Phyllis Wheeler (Elk Lake Publishing) 









16. Young Adult Fiction – General 


GOLD: The Knockout, by Sajni Patel (Flux)









SILVER (tie): Finding Balance, by Kati Gardner (Flux)

Kirsten Howard's Biggest Fan, by Patrick Hueller (INtense Publishing)










BRONZE: Camper Girl, by Glenn Erick Miller (Fitzroy Books)










17. Young Adult Fiction – Fantasy / Sci-Fi 


GOLD: Seam Keepers, by Celaine Charles (The Wild Rose Press)










SILVER: The Twelve Tasks (Book One of the Djed Chronicles), by Katharine E. Wibell (Phaesporia Press)









BRONZE: Trine Rising (The Kinderra Saga: Book 1), by C.K. Donnelly (Kibbe Creative Media)









18. Young Adult Fiction – Horror / Mystery 


GOLD: Surrender Your Sons, by Adam Sass (Flux)










SILVER: Whisper, by Tracy Bilen (Mirette)








BRONZE: Leisha's Song, by Lynn Slaughter (Fire and Ice)









19. Young Adult Fiction – Historical / Cultural 

GOLD: The Vinyl Underground, by Rob Rufus (Flux)









SILVER: Nile Cat, by Angela Cecil Reid (Queenford Farm)









BRONZE: Fedor, by Brant Vickers (Atmosphere Press)









20. Young Adult Fiction – Religion / Spirituality

GOLD: The Haunted Cathedral, by Antony Barone Kolenc (Loyola Press)









SILVER: See You Monday, by Kristen Terrette (Elk Lake Publishing)









BRONZE: Den, by Hope Bolinger (IlluminateYA)









21. Young Adult Fiction – Mature Issues 


GOLD: Quiet No More, by Nikki Barthelmess (Flux)










SILVER: Fish Scales, by Lynn Yvonne Moon (Indignor House Inc)












BRONZE: All the Things We Didn't See, by D.A. Reed (D.A. Reed, Author)








22. Poetry 

GOLD: A Cheer for the Year, by Raven Howell; illustrated by Meredith Messinger (Clear Fork Publishing)









SILVER: Wondrous You: Empowering Poems for Magical Kids, by Kayla Floyd; illustrated by Ellen Newcomb (Self-Published)







BRONZE (tie): Witches, Bats, and Mystical Cats, by Julie Chapman; illustrated by Anthony Richichi (Saratoga Springs Publishing)

Magical Meadow, by Dr. Jennifer Schmidt; illustrated by Christina Allen (Corn Crib Studio & Publishing)






23. Non-Fiction – Picture Book 


GOLD: Fearless Trailblazers: 11 Latinos Who Made U.S. History / Pioneros Audaces: 11 Latinos que hicieron historia en Estados Unidos, by Naibe Reynoso; illustrated by Jone Leal (Con Todo Press)








SILVER: Little Giants: 10 Hispanic Women Who Made History / Pequeňas Gigantes: 10 Hispanas que hicieron historia, by Raynelda A. Calderon; illustrated by Donna Wiscombe (Cayena Press)









BRONZE: Louis Riel Day: The Fur Trade Project, by Deborah L. Delaronde; illustrated by Sheldon Dawson (Theytus Books)





24. Non-Fiction – Chapter Book 


GOLD: Race & Inclusion: Standing Up to Racism and Building a Better World, by Deanna Singh; illustrated by Shellene Rodney (American Girl) 










SILVER: The Spectrum Girl’s Survival Guide: How to Grow Up Awesome and Autistic, by Siena Castellon (Jessica Kingsley Publishers)









BRONZE: The Friendship Book, by Wendy L. Moss, PhD (Magination Press)








25. Animals / Pets - Fiction 


GOLD: How to Eat a Peach, by Karen Schaufeld; illustrated by Kurt Schwarz (Quidne Press)







SILVER: Could I Please Have a....Dog?, by Marshall Silverman; illustrated by Ida Osterman (Warren Publishing)





BRONZE: The Legend of Jet the Gerbil, by Michael Keller; illustrated by Patrizia Donaera (Wise Ink)






26. Animals/Pets Non-Fiction 


GOLD: Pets: Getting Them, Caring for Them, and Loving Them, by Mel Hammond; illustrated By Maike Plenzke (American Girl)






SILVER: Jade: Lost in Yellowstone, by Michelle Caffrey; illustrated by Steph Lehmann (Farcountry Press)









BRONZE: Saving Scruffy, by Randy Katz; illustrated by Edwin Camacaro (Self-Published)





27. Social Activism


GOLD: That They Lived: African Americans Who Changed the World, by Rochelle Riley and Cristi Smith-Jones (Wayne State University Press)





SILVER: Untold: Defining Moments of the Uprooted, edited by Gabrielle Deonath and Kamini Ramdeen (Mango & Marigold Press)








BRONZE: Our Gay History in Fifty States, by Zaylore Stout (Wise Ink)








28. Comic/Graphic Novel


GOLD: Mup: The Complete Graphic Novel, by Raea Gragg (Self-Published)  










SILVER: Nothing, written and illustrated by Michael Molinet (Notable Kids Publishing)







BRONZE: The Global Kid: The World’s First VR/AR Political Comic Book, by Dr. Maha Hosain Aziz (Self-Published)







29. Religion/Spirituality


GOLD: The Seed of Faith: A Christmas Miracle, by Daniel Petronelli; illustrated by Emily Pritchett (Walnut Ridge Publishing Company)









SILVER: Goodnight Jesus, by Judy Andry; illustrated by Leanne Franson (Susan Schadt Press)






BRONZE (tie):
Dream Big, My Precious One, by Jill Roman Lord;illustrated by Brittany E. Lakin (Worthy Kids)

Psalm 23: You Are With Me, illustrated by Lucinda Rae (Ori Publications)




30. Holiday


GOLD: Pumpkin Baby!, by Elias Barks; illustrated by Meg Hunt (Hazy Dell Press)







SILVER: The Quiet Crazy Easter Day, by Jill Roman Lord; illustrated by Kelly Breemer (B&H Kids)







BRONZE: The Candy Tree of Muttenz, by Karena Stoner; illustrated by Luisa Galstyan (Blue Dot Books) 








31. Book with Merchandise (plush toy, etc.)



GOLD: The Jar from Afar (with gold gift jar), by Paula Osborn; illustrated by Annie Wilkinson (Big Love Publishing)





SILVER: ‘Twas the Night Before ChristMOOSE (with backpack, hat, plush moose and water bottle), by Vicki Addesso Dodd; illustrated by Patrick Jankowski (Saratoga Springs Publishing)






BRONZE: A Bike for Buster (with plush horse), by Junior & Reba McLaughlin; illustrated by Blueberry Illustrations (Self-Published)







32. Spanish Language Book


GOLD: Remi: El Manatí Perdido, by Lise Ménard; illustrated by Vector Family (Mi Mar Maravilloso) 







SILVER: El dragón de la cola de cartón, by Esmeralda Pérez Cortés; Illustrated by Alynor Díaz (Snow Fountain Press)









BRONZE: Cosquillas de lluvia, by Anya Damirón; illustrated by Héctor Borlasca (Andalo)






33. Environmental Issues


GOLD: Love the Earth: Understanding Climate Change, Speaking Up for Solutions, and Living an Earth-Friendly Life, by Mel Hammond; illustrated by Monique Dong (American Girl)








SILVER: The Tapping Stick, by D.A. Jennings; illustrated by Dan Kane (Inlet Shade Publishing)








BRONZE: Grandma Lisa’s Humming, Buzzing, Chirping, Garden, by Lisa Doseff; illustrated by Duncan Robertson (Pollination Press)





34. Health Issues


GOLD (tie): The River of Birds, by Libby Moore; illustrated by Michael Boardman (Bird Upstairs/Red Pine Press)

Finn and the Ferocious Flu, by Seth Eliot Santoro, CEC; illustrated by Robert Dersley (Smile From the Inside)




SILVER: You Can Do It, Chickadee, by Maria Luisa Salcines and Maelia Salcines; illustrated by Maria Ballarin (Mascot Books)







BRONZE: Padapillo, by Valerie James Abbott; illustrated by Gina Wojtysiak (KWE Publishing)






35. Mind-Body-Spirit/Self-Esteem


GOLD: The Social Black Belt, by Dr. Christopher Cortman and Michael Keelen (Self-Published)










SILVER: Guy Stuff: Feelings, by Dr. Cara Natterson (American Girl)










BRONZE: Loved & Cherished: 100 Devotions for Girls, by Lynn Cowell and Michelle Nietert (Zonderkidz)








36. Best First Book – Picture Book

GOLD: My Important Girl, by Leslie Yeransian Dolsak; illustrated by Ekaterina Filyakova (6000 Sunsets)









SILVER: Uh Oh, Kenzo!, by Devin Alphin & Erica Doggett Alphin; illustrated by Elena Aiello (Crown the Kid Books)








BRONZE: Montana’s Memory Day: A Nature-Themed Foster/Adoption Story, by Sue Lawrence; illustrated by Erika Wilson (Mascot Books)







37. Best First Book – Chapter Book


GOLD: Blood and Silver, by Vali Benson (Tellwell Talent)










SILVER (tie): The Odyssey & Henry’s Box (Book 1 of The Adventures of Charlie & Baxter), by Sarah J. Aris; illustrated by Stephanie Nieves (Red Rogue Press)

Isle of Tatsu, by Susan Foust (Bookbaby)






BRONZE: Best Friends from Opposite Sides of the Tracks, by Kenneth D. Brubaker Jr. (Halo Publishing International)



38. Best Book by Youth Author (under 18)


GOLD: Angelina’s Opinions, by Angelina Wang (Tyldoweb Publishing)










SILVER: The Other Realm, by Tristan Hui (StoneSoup)









BRONZE: Phoebe’s Mental-Health Journey, written and illustrated by Ariel W. Abbott (Self-Published)