Award Winning Books

By Miriam Ramos

Does your child love to read about animals? Then check out the ASCAP’s list of award winning books. Among them you’ll find a book about saving the mountain gorilla population, a tale based on the true story of two male penguins living in New York City’s Central Park Zoo, and many more wonderful books to enjoy.

For the sixth year, the ASPCA® Henry Bergh Children’s Book Award celebrates books with humane themes. The award is granted annually in each of nine categories (Fiction: Companion Animals, Ecology/ Environment, Humane Heroes; Nonfiction: Companion Animals, Ecology/Environment, Humane Heroes; Poetry; Illustration and Young Adult). The book award program has expanded to include The ASPCA® Henry Bergh Young Adult Award, The ASPCA® Henry Bergh Illustration Award and The ASPCA® Roger Caras Achievement Award.

Norman Bridwell, author of the world-famous Clifford The Big Red Dog® book series and twelve other authors and illustrators were honored at the Sixth Annual ASPCA Henry Bergh Children’s Book Award ceremony on June 26th at the American Library Association annual conference in New Orleans. Norman Bridwell, was honored with the first-ever ASPCA® Roger Caras Achievement Award. This award honors an outstanding individual or organization that has inspired children and made a contribution to the animal community through literature, actions or other means.

The 2005 fourteen award-winning titles include a historical story of a heroic horse that refuses to retire after his firefighting days come to an end; a book, with simple text and colorful illustrations, that teaches the basics of kindness to animals; a book that brings real-life baby birds to life on the page in detailed, Audubon-like drawings; and the inspiring story of a boy that with the help of his dog takes on the challenges of moving and making friends.

All of the winning titles for 2005 and for previous years are included in the ASPCA on-line children’s annotated bibliography, Kids, Animals and Literature. This searchable database of hundreds of children’s books allows parents, educators, and students to find accurate and humane literature on animals and the environment. The bibliography includes fiction, non-fiction, and poetry written for preschoolers through young adults. Reviewed by ASPCA staff and qualified volunteers, the user-friendly database provides brief reviews and useful resources for each book.

With summer upon us and children out of school, this year’s award winners along with titles from our on-line bibliography are a wonderful addition to any summer reading list. There is a wide-range of books to help children further develop their reading skills while learning about animals. Parents can choose from an extensive list of age-appropriate books with humane themes and accurate information about domestic and wild animals for their children to learn from and enjoy.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals® (ASPCA®) is a national organization providing education, awareness, legal and legislative programs nationwide. Through humane education, the ASPCA develops materials and programs that teach children and adults about animals and foster kindness to, respect for, and acknowledgement of the value of all of the living beings that share the Earth.

For information on the book award and other ASPCA educational materials visit . The following are the 2005 ASPCA Henry Bergh Children’s Book Award and Honor winners.

Non-Fiction Companion Animals:

Tails Are Not for Pulling (set) by Elizabeth Verdick

Free Spirit Publishing


ER Vets: Life in an Animal Emergency Room by Donna M. Jackson

Houghton Mifflin Company

Non-Fiction Environment and Ecology:

Scientists in the Field series:

• Gorilla Doctors: Saving Endangered Great Apes by Pamela S. Turner

• The Prairie Builders by Sneed B. Collard III

Houghton Mifflin Company

Non-Fiction Humane Heroes:

The Least of These by Joan Harris

West Winds Press

Fiction Humane Heroes:

Magnus at the Fire by Jennifer Armstrong

Simon & Schuster

Fiction Companion Animals:

Dog Sense by Sneed B. Collard III


A Dog’s Life: The Autobiography of a Stray by Ann M. Martin


Fiction Environment and Ecology

And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell

Simon & Schuster


So What’s It Like to Be a Cat? By Karla Kuskin

Simon & Schuster

Young Adult:

Defiance by Valerie Hobbs

Farrar, Straus and Giroux


Winner, 2005 ASPCA® Henry Bergh Illustration Award

Earth Mother by Ellen Jackson illus. by Leo & Diane Dillon

Walker & Company


Cool Time Song by Carole Lexa Schaefer illus. by Pierr Morgan

Penguin Putnam

Miriam Ramos is the Director of the ASPCA Humane Education Department and has worked with the ASPCA for ten years.

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