The Naked and the Read


The children of Missouri (and neighboring states) have spoken, selecting Naked!, written by Michael Ian Black and illustrated by Debbie Ridpath Ohi, as the winner of the 2015 Missouri Building Block Picture Book Award. Over 20,000 preschoolers and kindergarteners participated this year. Naked! was the overwhelming choice, receiving 6,078 votes. Digger Dog, written by William Bee and illustrated by Cecilia Johansson, finished second with 3,227 votes.

Contrary to popular assumptions, Naked! is not a story about a man’s nightmarish journey into the depths of his soul. Instead, it is a joyous, playful look at a child’s activities after his nightly bath. Our hero runs around the house naked, then runs around the house wearing only a cape, all the while sneaking cookies, before finally succumbing to exhaustion and bed.

The Missouri Building Block committee wants to thank all of the teachers, librarians, parents, and caregivers who read to their kids and helped them vote. Your support is what made this such a successful event. For more information about the Missouri Building Block Picture Book Award program, go to our website at