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Animal Behavior & Education




The Animal Behavior Society's Education Committee was formed to promote quality instruction and training in the area of animal behavior.



Outstanding Children's Book Award


Review Criteria

Entries should be fiction or non-fiction books written in English for children. We are seeking illustrated books appropriate for children 9–11 years old, grades 3–5. Appropriate books include those that provide a realistic treatment of what animals do (i.e., how they interact with the environment and other animals) not simply descriptions of what the animal is or where it is found. Only those books published in the year prior to the award will be considered in a given award cycle. Books submitted for consideration will be reviewed according to excellence in the following categories: (A) Quality of presentation; (B) Coverage of animal behavior content that is factual and/or conceptual; and (C) Explanation of the process of the science of animal behavior. Books selected as finalists will all excel at category A, as well as category B and/or C. See below for specifics.

A. Quality of Presentation

  • Likely to appeal to and inspire children
  • Novelty, originality, and creative merit
  • Clear, logical, and appealing organization
  • Illustrations and/or photographs that are accurate and aesthetically engaging

B. Coverage of Animal Behavior

  • General educational value about animal behavior, such as:
  • Accurate non-fictional descriptions about how animals behave and why
  • Compelling and accurate fictional depictions of animals that highlight how animals behave and why
  • Realistic depiction of how animal habitats and/or animal social structures affect behavior.

C. Explanation of the Process of the Science of Animal Behavior

  • Explanations of the process of generating and attempting to falsify hypotheses about animal behavior
  • Corrections of misconceptions and fallacies about animal behavior and related disciplines
  • Engaging coverage of scientists that study animal behavior.

Review Process

First Round: A panel consisting of members of the ABS Education Committee will review the books according to the established criteria. In March, a list of up to 4 finalist books will be selected and publishers will be notified. If none of the books are deemed outstanding by the judges, they may decline to give an award in that year.

Second Round: Finalist notification will include a request for additional copies. A large number of age-appropriate children will review all finalist books and rank them. The finalist book receiving the highest average rank from the children reviewers will be selected as the recipient of that year's ABS Outstanding Children's Book Award (by approximately June 1st). The finalists and award recipient will be announced at that summer's Annual Meeting of the Animal Behavior Society.


Submission Contact Information

Deadline for submissions for next year's award is February 15, 2018.

Entries should be fiction or non-fiction books written primarily in English for children. We are seeking illustrated books appropriate for children approximately 9-11 years old, grades 3-5, not chapter books more suitable for older children. Only those books published in the year prior to the award will be considered in a given award cycle.

If you are a publisher interested in submitting a book or books for this year's award, please contact the following person for details on the submission process: Jennifer Mather (Book Award Chair): mather@uleth.ca