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Animal Behavior Society
Animal Behavior Society

Working towards a better understanding of animal behavior

Animal Behavior & Education

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

Animal Behavior Society's Outstanding Children's Book Award

Children's lives are enriched immeasurably by an appreciation of nature and science. In 2001, the Animal Behavior Society’s Education Committee established the Outstanding Children's Book Award in order to encourage and reward accurate and compelling authorship of children's books about animal behavior. Each year, the Outstanding Children’s Book Award subcommittee solicits publishers for outstanding children's books published that year. From the contributed books, members of the book award subcommittee select up to five finalists, and then coordinate review of the books by hundreds of elementary school children across the country. The students then read the finalist books and their rankings determine the recipient of that year's award.

To participate: To be considered for this annual award, please follow the general directions available here. Please contact the chair of the Children's Book Award Committee, Crista Coppola (, if you have any questions regarding this award.


WINNER           Honeybee: The Busy Life of Apis Mellifera by Candace Fleming (Holiday House Publishing)

FINALISTS       The Turtle Dove's Journey(Web of Life Books)
                     Running Wild (Annick Press)
                     Moms, Dads, and Lily Pads (RookeryBookeryCo)
                     If You Take Away the Otter

2021 Book Reviews   

WINNER           The Grizzly Mother, by Hetxw'ms Gyetxw (Brett D. Huson) (HighWater Press)

FINALISTS       Growing up Gorilla (Millbrook Press)
                     Hawks Kettle, Puffins Wheel (Kids Can Press)
                     Seashells, More Than a Home (Charlesbridge Press)
                     Wild in the Streets (Orca Books

2020 Book Reviews   

WINNER           Maggie Alaska’s Last Elephant by Curtis Jennifer Keats (Arbordale Books)

FINALISTS       The Hyena Scientists (Houghton Mifflin)
                     The Secret Life of the Little Brown Bat (Boyds Mills Pres)
                     A Frog’s Life (Holiday House)
                     The Seal Garden (Orca Books

2019 Book Reviews  

WINNER           Wolf Island by Nicholas Read, (Orca Books)

FINALISTS       Bird Brains, Moon Dance Press (Quarto)
                      Honey Girl, (Arbordale)
                    The Elephant Keeper (Kids Can Press)

2018 Book Reviews  

WINNER           Build, Beaver, Build!: Life at the Longest Beaver Dam by Sandra Markle (Lerner Books)

FINALISTS       Fish Tricks: The Wild and Wacky World of Fish by Haude Levesque (Early Light Books)
                     After a While Crocodile: Alexa’s Diary by Dr. Brady Barr and Jennifer Keats Curtis (Arbordale Publishing)
                     Crow Smarts: Inside the Brain of the World’s Brightest Bird by Pamela S. Turner and Andy Comins (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

2017 Book Reviews  

WINNER           The Queen’s Shadow: A Story about How Animals See by Cybèle Young
                       (Kids Can Press)

FINALISTS       Bite into Bloodsuckers by Kari-Lynn Winters and Ishta Mercurio (Fitzhenry & Whiteside)
                     The Octopus Scientists by Sy Montgomery (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
                     What’s the Buzz?: Keeping Bees in Flight by Merrie-Ellen Wilcox (Orca Book Publishers)

2016 Book Reviews  


WINNER           Behold the Beautiful Dung Beetle by Cheryl Bardoe, Illustrated by Alan Marks

FINALISTS       How to Speak Cat by Aline Alexander Newman and Gary Weitzman (National Geographic)
                      Feathers, Not Just for Flying by Melissa Stewart, and illustrated by Sarah S. Brannen (Charlesbridge)
                      Get the Scoop on Animal Puke!, by Dawn Cusick (Charlesbridge)

2015 Book Reviews  


WINNER           How to Speak Dog: A Guide to Decoding Dog Language, by Aline Alexander Newman and Gary Weitzman
                       (National Geographic Society)

FINALISTS        Bats: BIGGEST! LITTLEST!, by Sandra Markle (Boyds Mills Press)
                      In Deep with the Octopus, by Norma Dixon (Fitzhenry & Whiteside, Ltd.)
                      The Mystery of Darwin’s Frog, by Marty Crump (Boyds Mills Press)

2014 Book Reviews  


WINNER           Ribbon's Way, by Sarah Turner (Sono Nis Press)
FINALISTS        Get the Scoop on Animal Poop, by Dawn Cusick (Charlesbridge Publishing)
                      Puffling Patrol, by Ted Lewin and Betsy Lewin (Lee & Low Books)

2013 Book Reviews  


WINNER           Animal Eggs: An Amazing Clutch of Mysteries and Marvels!, by Dawn Cusick and Joanne O'Sullivan
                       (EarlyLight Books)

FINALISTS        Leaps and Creeps, by Robin Koontz (Marshall Cavendish Benchmark)
                      Seabird in the Forest, by Joan Dunning (Boyds Mills Press)
                      Bug Shots: The Good, the Bad, and the Bugly, by Alexandra Sly and Dennis Kunkel (Holiday House)

2012 Book Reviews  


WINNER           How Animals Work, by David Durnie (DK Publishing)
FINALISTS        Animal Snoops, by Peter Christie (Annick Press)
                      Tricky Behavior, by Kimerly Jane Pryor (Marshall Cavendish Benchmark)
                      What in the Wild, by David Schwartz and Yael Schy (Random House Children's Books)

WINNER          Bug Butts, by Dawn Cusick (EarlyLight books)
FINALISTS        Bubble Homes and Fish Farts, by Fiona Bayrock (Charlesbridge)
                      The Strange Life of the Land Hermit Crab, by Wendy Pfeffer (Mondo Publishing)
                      Animal Aha!, by Diane Swanson (Annick Press)

WINNER           Animals at Play, by Marc Bekoff (Temple University Press)
FINALISTS        Ookpik: The Travels of a Snowy Owl, by Bruce Hiscock (Boyds Mills Press)
                      Wolfsnail: A Backyard Predator, by Sarah Campbell (Marshall Cavendish Benchmark)
                      The Puzzle of the Platypus: And Other Explorations of Science in Action, by Jack Myers (Boyds Mills Press)

WINNER            Where in the Wild? Camouflaged Creatures Concealed and Revealed, by David Schwartz and Yael Schy (Tricycle Press)
FINALISTS         Survival Secrets of of Sea Animals, by Mary Jo Rhodes and David Hall (Children's Press)
                        Octopuses, by Sandra Markle (Lerner Publications Company)

WINNER            Why Do Dogs Have Wet Noses?, by Stanley Coren (Kids Can Press)
FINALISTS         Hey There, Stink Bug, by Leslie Bulion (Charlesbridge Publishing)
                       Little Lost Bat, by Sandra Markle (Charlesbridge Publishing)
                       Well-Schooled Fish and Feathered Bandits, by Peter Christie (Annick Press)

WINNER            Lupe: a wolf pup's first year, by Rebecca L. Grambo (Whitecap Books Ltd.)
FINALISTS         Animal groups: how animals live together, by Etta Kaner (Kids Can Press)
                        Baby Ground Squirrel, by Aubrey Lang (Fitzhenry & Whiteside)
                        Rain, Rain, Rainforest, by Brenda Guiberson (Henry Holt and Co.)

WINNER            Amazing Things Animals Do, by Marilyn Baillie (Maple Tree Press)
FINALISTS         A Little Lemur Named Mew, by Joyce A. Powzyk (Millbrook Press)
                       Borealis: A Polar Bear Cub's First Year, by Rebecca L. Grambo (Whitecap Books Ltd.)
                       It's a Hummingbird's Life, by Irene Kelly (Holiday House)

WINNER            Animal Talk: How Animals Communicate through Sight, Sound and Smell, by Etta Kaner and Greg Douglas
                       (Kids Can Press)

FINALISTS         Where Does a Tiger-Heron Spend the Night, by Margaret Carney and Melanie Watt (Kids Can Press)
                        Giant Pandas, by Gail Gibbons (Holiday House)
                        Look Closer, by Gay Holland (Millbrook Press)

WINNER            A Pair of Wings, by Marilyn Singer (Holiday House)
FINALISTS         Headgear that Hides and Plays, by Diane Swanson (Douglas & McIntyre)
                       Will You Sting Me? Will You Bite?, by Kimerly Jane Pryor (Stemmer House Pub Audio)
                       Slap, Squeak, and Scatter: How Animals Communicate, by Steve Jenkins (Houghton Mifflin Books for Children)