Follow This Blog: RSS feed
A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Announcing the Danziger Awards for Hilarious Kids Books

If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.

I don’t know about you but I’m tired of hearing myself whine. Every time there’s a cool sounding award for humor given out to an adult book you can count on hearing me pipe up. “Wah wah, no funny book awards for kids, wah wah, when’s that gonna change?”

But Betsy, you say wisely, aren’t you forgetting the Sid Fleischman Humor Award as given out by SCBWI?

Nope. I am well aware of that worthy award. But you are aware that it can only be given out to SCBWI members, yes?  What this country wants, nay, needs is not one but MANY humor awards for children’s books.  I’ve heard talk about starting them here or there but nothing ever seems to come of it. So I’m taking the bull by the horns . . . and then I’m passing the buck (and mixing a couple metaphors while I’m at it).


Someone put this woman on a medal. Stat!

Announcing the fully crowdsourced Danziger Awards for Hilarious Kids Books. Named after the great and very funny Paula Danziger, these awards break down into different categories per year.  They are:

– The Funniest Picture Book of 2017

– The Funniest Fiction for Older Children of 2017

– The Funniest Debut Author for Kids of 2017

– The Funniest Debut Illustrator for Kids of 2017

– The Memorial Dead Funny Person Award (2017)

You are charged to nominate books and people in each of these categories. But, as with most things in this world, there are rules. Here’s an FAQ:

What books can I nominate?

Any books for kids published in 2017. I’m not considering reprints right now, though that may change in the future.

What people can I nominate?

Funny ones. Make sure they actually make (or made) books for kids, though.

How many times can I nominate something?

Just once. You can be good.

Can I nominate my friend?

You can. If a bunch of you stack the deck in favor of someone I might not post the results, though. I want honest answers here, people. If possible, abstain from telling all your friends and family members to vote for you.

Can I nominate myself?

You can. I wouldn’t advise it, but you can.

Hey . . . wait a minute. You had a funny book out in 2017. Is this just self-promotion?

Knowing me, probably, but I’m recusing myself from the winners so don’t vote for FUNNY GIRL unless you want to waste a vote.

When will the voting close?

I’ll keep it up one month. So vote until November 13th.

Can I only nominate Americans?

Nope. Nominate whosoever you desire. Just make sure they had a book out in America in 2017.

Anything else?

Yeah. Polls like this can be pretty white when all is said and done. If you can inject some diversity into your nominees, please do so. Also, don’t just nominate dudes. Please.

Ready to go? Then fill out this survey and then wait to see what the results truly are.

About Elizabeth Bird

Elizabeth Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.


  1. Eric Carpenter says

    There’s no spot for funniest nonfiction, but if there was I’d nominate Sarah Albee’s Poison.

    • Elizabeth Bird says

      Good thought, that. This year I’m testing the waters. Next year I’ll be sure to add that one in as well.

  2. This is so great, Betsy!!! We all need funny. And Danziger is such a worthy namesake.

  3. Fran Manushkin says

    These awards tickle my fancy, Betsy. Kids are made into readers when they have funny books! Bravo!

  4. Quick clarification: How are you defining “debut”? I just read Andrea Tsurumi’s Accident, (on your recommendation) and I’m laughing my head off, but she has a previously published book of comics for grown-ups. Does she qualify as a debut author and/or illustrator?

    • Elizabeth Bird says

      Excellent question. The answer is: I have no idea. I’d say the clearest way is to say the person hasn’t written for children before. BUT if someone has written their first picture book, and yet has written funny chapter books for years . . . yeah, that could count. I’m awful easy on all this.

  5. THIS! This is the best thing I read today!! “Polls like this can be pretty white when all is said and done. If you can inject some diversity into your nominees, please do so. Also, don’t just nominate dudes. Please.”
    I wish I could hug you right now!!!!!!!
    Thank you for shining a wonderful spotlight on recommending all the fabulous diverse females who write and illustrate fabulous females!! Sharing this all over my social media and my FB group committed to teaching literacy skills with diverse (multiracial and multicultural books). Join us; you would be an AMAZING person to keep us focused!!

  6. Judy Newman says

    Paula would have loved this! (If I could write this comment backwards in honor of Paula I would. But, alas, she remains the only person I’ve known who could do that! )


    • Elizabeth Bird says

      So true. So very true. Of course I might point out that there are several children’s poetry awards NOT from ALA, but that you yourself have helped to establish. And yet for humor I only found one. Poetry at least has the NCTE Award for Excellent in Poetry for Children, the Lee Bennett Hopkins Award for Poetry, the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, The CLPE children’s poetry award in Britain, etc. Ah well.

      Now about graphic novel prizes for kids . . .

  8. You are my hero Betsy! Thank you for this!

  9. What a great idea! It’s about time. Thanks for doing this!

  10. Hooray for this!

  11. I love this. Can we also please begin with a Lifetime Achievement Award for David Lubar?

  12. This is such wonderful news. Paula is probably tossing glitter up in celebration.

  13. Yay!