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Children's Book Collection in the Special Collections Research Center: Awards & Highlights

A Research Guide to the Children's Book Collection in the University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center, which contains more than 3,000 children's books.

Special Collections Research Center

Phone:  859.257.8611



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"Literature written specifically for an audience of children began to be published on a wide scale in the seventeenth century. Most of the early books for children were didactic rather than artistic, meant to teach letter sounds and words or to improve the child's moral and spiritual life. In the mid-1700s, however, British publisher John Newbery (1713–1767), influenced by John Locke's ideas that children should enjoy reading, began publishing books for children's amusement."

Source:  Root, Shelton L., Jr., and Barbara Z. Kieffer. "Children's Literature." Encyclopedia of Education. Ed. James W. Guthrie. 2nd ed. Vol. 1. New York: Macmillan Reference USA, 2003. 285-292. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 23 Jan. 2012.

John Newbery Medal

The Newbery Medal was the first children's book award in the world.  It is named for Eighteenth Century British bookseller John Newbery.  Since 1922, it has been awarded annually by the American Library Association to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children. (read more)

Caldecott Medal

The Caldecott Medal was named in honor of nineteenth-century English illustrator Randolph Caldecott. Since 1937, it is awarded annually by the American Library Association to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children. (read more)

Hans Christian Anderson Awards

Every other year the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) presents the Hans Christian Andersen Awards to a living author and illustrator whose complete works have made a lasting contribution to children's literature. The award was established in 1956 and is the highest international recognition given to an author and an illustrator of children's books. (read more)

Mrs. Leicester's School by Charles and Mary Lamb


Charles Lamb’s sister Mary was the chief author of Mrs.

Leicester’s School, to which Lamb also contributed. 


Note provided by Dr. James Birchfield, Curator of Rare Books Emeritus.

The Butterfly's Ball and The Grasshopper's Feast by William Roscoe


In 1806 banker William Roscoe published The Butterfly’s Ball

and The Grasshopper’s Feast.  Their immense popularity bred

innumerable imitations, such as The Peacock at Home, The Feast

of the Fishes, The Lion’s Parliament, and The Tiger’s Theatre


Note provided by Dr. James Birchfield, Curator of Rare Books, Emeritus.

Beauty and the Beast by Charles Lamb



Charles Lamb’s Prince Dorus and Beauty and the Beast were published

in the Juvenile Library series of his friend William Godwin the

anarchist, whose daughter Mary was the author of Frankenstein

and the wife of the Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley.  Godwin’s

first wife, Mary Wollstonecraft, was the author of A Vindication

of the Rights of Woman (1792). 


Image scan of title and note provided by Dr. James Birchfield, Curator of Rare Books Emeritus.