Launched in 2000 to further inspire excitement around books and reading, the SMART Book Award is an annual activity in which SMART Reading students across Oregon vote for their favorite children’s books. Nominees for the SMART Book Award are selected each year by SMART Reading staff and volunteers. In January and February, thousands of SMART Reading students can be found busily reading the nominated books and casting votes for their favorite title. The results of this unique, child-selected book awards program are revealed annually in March.

2023 SMART Book Award Winner Announced: 

Kids across Oregon have voted and we’re delighted to announce that the winner of the 2023 SMART Book Award is Chalk by Bill Thomson!

Chalk doesn’t have any words but the vibrant pictures tell the story, and leave space for readers to draw on their own imagination and creativity. This book was chosen for the SMART Book Awards because it encourages kids to visualize a story, make predictions, and ask questions – all of which are critical skills for early readers, and it’s accessible and fun for readers of all ages.

We also encourage you to check out the other 2023 nominees: Yo? Yes! by Chris Raschka, Your Fantastic Elastic Brain by Joanne Deak, Hair Love by Matthew A Cherry, and The Boy Who Loved Math by Deborah Heiligman

Past SMART Book Award Winners

  • 2020 – What if You Had Animal Teeth / ¿Y si tuvieras dientes de animal? by Sandra Markle
  • 2019 – I’m Trying to Love Spiders by Bethany Barton
  • 2018 – Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin
  • 2017 – Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes by Eric Litwin
  • 2016 – Who Would Win: Komodo Dragon vs. King Cobra by Jerry Pallotta (Standard) and National Geographic Readers: Safari by Gail Tuchman (PreK)
  • 2015 – Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late by Mo Willems
  • 2014 – Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes by Eric Litwin
  • 2013 – Grumpy Cat by Britta Teckentrup
  • 2012 – Hi! Fly Guy by Tedd Arnold
  • 2011 – Snowmen at Night by Caralyn Buehner
  • 2010 – How Do Dinosaurs Get Well Soon by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague
  • 2009 – Skippyjon Jones by Judith Byron Schachner *This book has since been removed from our collection because it perpetuates racist stereotypes. 
  • 2008 – Bark George by Jules Feiffer
  • 2007 – Silly Sally by Audrey Wood
  • 2006 – Stanley’s Party written by Linda Bailey, illustrated by Bill Slavin
  • 2005 – Dog Breath by Dav Pilkey
  • 2004 – George Shrinks by William Joyce
  • 2003 – A Bad Case of Stripes by David Shannon
  • 2002 – Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type written by Doreen Cronin, illustrated by Betsy Lewin
  • 2001 – If You Give a Mouse a Cookie written by Laura Numeroff, illustrated by Felicia Bond
  • 2000 – The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear by Don and Audrey Wood