Building Block Award

 Bear contest logoThe Missouri Building Block Picture Book Award, sponsored and selected by the Youth Services Community of Interest (YSCI), is presented annually to the author and illustrator of the picture book voted most popular by preschool children in Missouri’s public libraries and is designed to encourage reading aloud to children from birth through kindergarten age.

Designed to encourage reading aloud to children from birth through kindergarten age, the award was first given in 1996. Parents and other caregivers are encouraged to read aloud to children from a list of ten titles selected annually by a group of Missouri children’s librarians. Colorful posters, bookmarks, activity sheets, and a manual of great ideas add to the fun.

See the Missouri Building Block Picture Book Award Procedures and the Missouri Building Block Picture Book Award Committee Handbook in Appendix G of the MLA Handbook MLA Handbook for details.

Nominate a picture book for the 2023 Missouri Building Block Award


Awards Chair: Katie Long (

Members of the Building Block Award subgroup of YSCI are listed on the YSCI page.

2022 Nominees – Click on the title for activity sheet

Building Block Ballot 2022

– Children up to age six can vote for the winner.  Voting closes 12/31/2022.  Report your votes HERE starting September 1, 2022.

Previous Winners and Nominees

Building Block Award Winners, 1996-2021

Building Block Award Nominees, 1996-2021

Promotional Materials (free downloadable files):

56 thoughts on “Building Block Award”

  1. Is there not a way to send in votes for the Building Block Picture Book Award by class or school? I do not want to enter each student in individually!

  2. Would it be possible to see the total number of votes per title? I would like to see how the state totals compare to my library totals.

    • I’ve asked Jerilyn to respond. I don’t know if this is public information or not; you might try her email above if you’d like to ask her directly. -Rachel, Webmaster

  3. From Jerilyn Hahn:

    “How libraries present the Building Block Award nominees varies. At some libraries, ballots are produced by the community/public relations department. Then the ballots are placed by a voting box (container of some
    kind.) Parents may read the books to their children in the library or at home and vote in the library. Many libraries hold voting during a story time—read 5 books, then vote. (We understand you can’t read all 10 during one story time.) Some libraries read one or two nominees a week for 5-10 weeks (using the activity guides) and vote after all the books have been shared. Hopefully those who vote had a chance to hear at least 5 books.

    In September this website will include a link to a paper ballot that parents and teachers may print out and an online link for individual votes. Those who submit multiple votes for schools and libraries may count all the ballots and submit the results via e-mail to”

  4. I found the links for activity sheets for each 2015 Building Block nominees, but I was wondering if there is a link for the whole activity packet.

    I would like save and print out it as a whole packet. Please email me back to let me know. If not I can save each one individually, but having a link to the whole packet would be very helpful.


    Marcia Rhinehart
    PK-12 Librarian
    Sturgeon R- V School District

    • We have sent out the following statement to groups so they can nominate titles:
      The Missouri Building Block Award Committee is seeking nominations for the
      2016 Building Block Picture Book Award. The Building Block Award,
      administered by the Youth Services Community of Interest of the Missouri
      Library Association, is presented annually to the author and illustrator of
      the picture book voted most popular by preschool children in Missouri’s
      public libraries. We need your input to ensure that we continue to have
      high quality, enjoyable picture books on our list of nominees.

      Here are some of the criteria:

      – Must be an original picture book, age appropriate (birth through
      first-grade) with child appeal.

      – Copyright must be within the last two years (2014-2015).

      – Must be a great read-aloud: rich vocabulary, flowing language and
      accurate grammar.

      – May be fiction or nonfiction.

      – Can *not* be a holiday book.

      Everyone is encouraged to nominate picture books. Please submit the titles
      directly to me at: I would really appreciate it if you
      would send the title, author, illustrator, publisher and publication date.

      If you would like to know more about the Building Block Award, please visit
      the Missouri Library Association’s handbook starting on page 169:

      Deadline for submissions is November 30.

      Our Pinterest page is:

  5. I was forwarded the question about whether the Building Blocks were available in Spanish. I Checked I did general Google searches, and I checked Barnes and Noble. Here is what I found:
    Digger Dog was on a downloadable website:
    I do not know if you have to join.

    This Book Just Ate My Dog! is available on in Spanish ISBN-10: 8469601415
    Oh So Brave Dragon was available from but it looks like they are only listing it.

    I have not checked WorldCat. I hope this helps.

  6. I was wondering when the 2017-18 list will be posted. I am trying to spend the last of my budget money so the next librarian won’t have to worry about what to order (I get to retire!!!). Thanks!

    • The list has been posted! Webmaster’s still waiting for activity sheets & other material, but the actual list is linked from this page now.

  7. I don’t remember receiving an email announcement for the BB winner, but I see it has been announced. Would you please email me a breakdown of the votes. My students are always interested in knowing which books won 2nd and 3rd place. Thanks!

    • It’s been a heated battle to the end. In fact, we believe this may have been one of the tightest races in Missouri Building Block Award history! At the final hour, Bunnies!!! snuck past Little Penguin Gets the Hiccups by Tadgh Bentley and Rex Wrecks It! by Ben Clanton.

  8. I have currently been asked when the 2018 nominee book list will be out for the Building Block Award. I am new to being a Children’s Librarian and do not have the answer to this. Could someone tell me when I will be able to find the new list?

    • We hope to have the new list decided by the end of this week. We will be working on suggestions of activities to accompany each book and hope to have everything posted by mid March.

    • Hi, Lysha,
      The spine label templates aren’t formatted to a specific label size. You would want to print them on colored paper, cut them out, and cover them with clear label protectors.

  9. I just received the Building Block Award list from BTSB for 2019 but one book is missing from the list. I am not seeing it here on the website. Will that be posted soon?
    Can I be your Dog?
    Rabbit Listened
    Cookiesaurus Rex
    Crunch the Shy Dinosaur
    Beware the Monster
    I Just Ate my Friend
    Eat Pete
    Perfect Day
    Hello Hello

    What is the tenth title for next year?

  10. When will the list of nominees for the Building Blocks for 2019-2020 school year be available? I saw one email that gave 9 of the nominees. Thank you!

  11. Here are the 2019 books:
    Can I Be Your Dog? by Troy Cummings
    A Perfect Day by Lane Smith
    Crunch, The Shy Dinosaur by Cirocco Dunlap
    Beware the Monster by Michaël Escoffier
    The Rabbit Listened by Cori Doerrfeld
    Cookiesaurus Rex by Amy Fellner Dominy and Nate Evans
    Eat Pete by Michael Rex
    Hello Hello by Brendan Wenzel
    Where is Bear? by Jonathan Bentley
    I Just Ate My Friend by Heidi McKinnon

  12. I have tried to print the paper ballot to use with my students, but the link is not correct. Would love a paper ballot if that’s still an option!

  13. Any chance the online ballot will stay open through the 17th? As a school, I’m in the predicament that some students won’t here all the books if I have to submit totals in the middle of the week. With snow days, inservice days, and get to know you days, I’m almost done, but not quite. Just trying to plan ahead!

    • As of yesterday, Jonathan Schoff informed another teacher that they didn’t have all the ballots turned in yet, but to get them in as quickly as possible.

  14. When looking for the 2021 Nominees, I noticed that one of your listed books contains an innovative spelling.
    The Pidgeon Has to Go to School by Mo Willems has a typo in the title. Pigeon doesn’t have a “d” in the spelling.
    I am looking forward to reading these books!

  15. It would be very helpful to school librarians if the date for this was pushed back to the same time as our other awards (March). It is hard to read all these books to kindergarten and pk students when we are spending so much time teaching them how to use the library at the beginning of the school year.

  16. When will the 2022 list be available? Several of us are needing to add them to our school library orders. When will the 2021 winner be announced?


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