award is named for the organization's founder, Dorothy C. McKenzie.
The award is given periodically in recognition of an individual's contribution
to the field of children's literature.
C. McKenzie taught children's literature at California State College
at Los Angeles in the 1950's and 1960's. Her courses required students
to write papers as well as read 125 children's books and report on them.
She was known to have at least 4 sections of her popular children's
literature course, filled to more than usual capacity, with long waiting
lists to get into a section. When asked about her course, McKenzie replied,
"It is a course which is vitally important to all teachers, both
elementary and secondary. I believe this type of course helps to develop
critical sensitive readers - first the prospective teachers, then the
MORE about Dorothy C. McKenzie
DORTHY C. MCKENZIE AWARD WINNERS:
Marjorie has been an educator for over 40 years in schools and universities in Indiana, Ohio, Wisconsin, and California. Marjorie is one of the three people who helped Charlotte Huck begin the Charlotte S. Huck Children's Literature Festival held annually at the University of Redlands since 1997. She continues to coordinate its planning committee. Marjorie facilitates and hosts a children's literature discussion group which was started by Charlotte s. Huck in 1988, is a member of the Smiley Public Library planning committee, and a board member of the Children's Literature Council of Southern California having served on the award selection committee and Fall Gala planning committee. In 2011, she was named a Town and Gown Woman of Distinction. When she is not reading or writing or planning the Festival, Marjorie enjoys sharing her Redlands home with friends and family, gardening, the theater, music, the water, and showing her dogs in obedience and rally.
Owner of Once Upon a Time Bookstore.
||Claudette S. McLinn
As Executive Director of the Center for the Study of Multicultural Children’s Literature, Dr. Claudette S. McLinn has been a passionate and influential advocate for multicultural children’s literature and library service to children. Her distinguished service to the field of children’s literature has spanned many years and includes a career with LAUSD where she retired in 2011 as a District Coordinating Field Librarian. She has served as a member and chair of numerous American Library Association committees including prestigious award committees. Dr. McLinn received a Master of Library and information Science from Wayne State University and a Master of Science and Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership from Pepperdine University’s Graduate School of Education and Psychology. Dr. McLinn lives in Simi Valley.
Allyn Johnston is a longstanding children's book publisher who has been deeply dedicated to publishing directly from Southern California for almost 30 years. When Harcourt left for New York, Allyn insisted upon staying in California and was able to land a job with a publisher willing to create an imprint in San Diego. She has cultivated many of our most beloved local authors and illustrators.
Melissa Elliott is the senior Young Adult Services Librarian at Burbank Public Library. Her advocacy efforts for teens include co-founding a volunteer program through the UCLA Department of Information Studies to bring books and reading to incarcerated teens at Nidorf Juvenile Hall in Sylmar, CA. Books Beyond Bars. She has been a librarian for five years.
Sharon Hearn is a former teacher who received her Masters
Degree in education from UCLA. She currently owns Children’s
Book World in Los Angeles, one of the most popular bookstores in the city that works hard to foster community connections. She frequently brings children’s literature authors from around world to Los Angeles.
Retired from the Los Angeles Public Library as a Senior Librarian in the Children's Services Department. Maureen implemented the "Grandparents and Books" (now called, "STAR READERS") program to LAPL libraries which brought thousands of children to the libraries to be read to by adult volunteers.
Joanne Spring is a founding board member for Monrovia Reads. Its mission is "to create and support an environment where reading is valued and resources are provided in order that all community members know how to read and do read."
As a Children's Librarian in the Fairview Branch of the Santa Monica Public Library, Sylvia Anderle has dedicated her professional career to providing quality literary children's services and programming in English and in Spanish. Sylvia has also been involved in numerous professional and community organizations, including the Children's Literature Council's Board of Directors. She was recently honored by the New York Times as a "Librarian of the Year" for her dedicated service and her innovative Spanish language storytimes.
Susan retired from the Los Angeles Public Library as a Senior Librarian in the Children's Services Department. Susan also won the 2007 John Newbery Medal Award for her book, The Higher Power of Lucky.
||Jody Fickes Shapiro
Jody is the former owner of the Ventura children's bookstore, Adventures for Kids. Over the years, Jody brought hundreds of prominent children's book authors and illustrators to Southern California.
Dr. Schon is the Director of the Center for the Study
of Books in Spanish for Children and Adolescents and
founding faculty at California State University, San Marcos.
has been a consultant on books in Spanish for young readers
and bilingual/bicultural educational materials to schools, libraries
and ministries of education in Mexico, Colombia, Guatemala,
Argentina, Venezuela, Chile, Spain, Italy, Ecuador, and the
United States. She has written twenty-two books and over 300
articles and chapters in books.
Emeritus, USC Department of Education, Learning & Instruction. An
expert in the field of linguistics, Dr. Krashen specializes in theories
of language acquisition and development. His recent research has focused
on reading and its effect on language acquisition and success. He has
published hundreds of books and articles, including The Power
of Reading (Libraries Unlimited, 1993).
Oliver and Stephen
Lin Oliver and Stephen Mooser are the founders of the Society
of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, an organization that,
under their guidance, has nurtured and inspired many of the creators
of literature for children for over 30 years.
Today, the organization is international in 70 regions and has approximately
18,000 members. The organization produces several publications, sponsors
two international conferences and several regional conferences each
year and is also active in presenting awards and grants to writers,
illustrators, and organizations such as libraries and schools that promote
children's literature. Because
of their love of children's literature, Ms. Oliver and Mr. Mooser have
helped hundreds of writers and illustrators achieve their potential.
her teaching, writing, and research, Charlotte Huck has encouraged many
adults to bring literature and the joys of reading to thousands of children.
Charlotte developed the graduate level program in children's literature
at The Ohio State University, was past president of the National Council
of Teachers of English, a former chair of the American Library Association's
Caldecott Medal Committee, and an Arbuthnot Award winner.
Day was recognized for a lifetime of service on behalf of young people
and their books. While working as a children's librarian for the Los
Angeles Public Library and in her retirement, Renny has been an organizer
in the community, teaching classes and advocating for children's literature.
She founded FOCAL (Friends of Children and Literature) and serves as
a mentor to many public and school librarians. On the national level,
Renny has been active in ALA and has contributed to publications in
the field; she served as editor of the Horn Book Index 1924-1989. She
is currently an Emeritus member of the Children's Literature Council
consultant and former head librarian and library media teacher for the
William S. Mortensen Library at Santa Monica High School, Mary Purucker
has taught courses in children's literature and young adult literature
at UCLA, CSULB, CSULA, and Pepperdine University. She was appointed
to the Library of California Board in 1997.
In 1999, Virginia
was a professor and chair at the Department of Information Studies
in the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at the
University of California, Los Angeles. Her research interests are:
children's information needs and information resources, childhood
and family literacy, the sociology of children's literature and childhood
reading, evaluation of library services, citizen participation and
voluntarism in public libraries. She also loves to write books for
children and is the author of the novel, "Making Up Megaboy,"
and the picture book, "Hi, Pizza Man!"
Robin Rector Krupp is an artist and author. She has presented
frequently to schools and other groups.
Marilyn Robertson was a librarian for the Los Angeles Unified School
Peter F. Neumeyer, Ph.D., has taught at Harvard, Stony
Brook, San Diego State, and other universities both in the United
States and in Europe. He has written numerous books for grownups and
children, and for six years had a children's book review column in
The Boston Globe. His most recent books are The Collector of Moments
and The Annotated Charlotte's Web (HarperCollins, 1994).
Penny Markey is the Retired Coordinator of Youth Services and
Assistant Library Administrator at the County of Los Angeles County
Public Library. Penny has been tireless in her efforts to bring library
services and books to children, parents and caregivers. She instituted The Begin at the Beginning with Books Programs, in which bilingual
library workers brought books and parenting information into the clinics
where low-income women receive care during their pregnancy. This was
the prototype for the Association of Library Service to Children (ALSC)
sponsored Born to Read program which serves underserved
children throughout the United States, encouraging reading and using
the library at an early age. Penny is an Emeritus Board Member of
the Children's Literature Council.
Zhita has a long and impressive list of accomplishments at boththe state and local levels on behalf of improving literacy and quality education in schools and libraries. "But even more impressive," says Judy Kantor who presented the award to Zhita, "are the feelings for Zhita expressed by those who wished to see her recognized. They described her as unassuming, and quick to give others credit, while being modest and her own leadership, professionalism, and hard work." Dr. Marilyn Robertson wrote, "Her advocacy on behalf of literacy, children, and libraries continues to make a profound difference to us all."
"I knew early on that there had to be a librarian in every school. . .
I somehow knew instinctively that kids needed this. . .I drew on my
own experiences in libraries (since age three), and I felt that if kids
could experience the joy and fun learning that happens in libraries
it would definitely be to their advantage. Retired LAUSD Librarian.
In Dr. Marilyn Robertson's presentation of this award to Peggy, she said and was later quoted in The Sampler:"Peggy is a trailblazer - a leader - a one-woman network. She was instrumental in establishing libraries in the elementary schools in the LAUSD. She worked with the district staff to convert a space, get shelving put in, and purchase a core collection in school after school over an eighteen-year period. She was also instrumental in making sure that library media centers were included as part of the basic design of any new schools. Today, (1993), Los Angeles's over 400 elementary schools all have school library media centers.
Children's book author and book reviewer for such publications as the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, Publishers Weekly, L.A. Parent and more. With James Marshall she wrote "Cinderella" but may be best known for her lengthy tenure as manager of children's books at Dutton's Book Store in Brentwood where she was a valued consultant to many area writers and parents. Barbara died in 1991.
A co-founder of the Southern California Project for the Year of the Young Reader. Betty is also the owner of the San Marino Toy and Book Co. and president of the Assn. of Booksellers for Children.
Betsy Brown, an artist and storyteller taught through the use of puppets. She taught puppetry in grade schools, at Cal State Northridge and at Los Angeles Valley College. She presented workshops on puppetry at UC and Cal State campuses and produced interactive puppet shows. In 1997 she received the annual Professional Artists in Schools Award. She was recognized by the Los Angeles Public Library and Mayors Tom Bradley and Richard Riordan for her artistic teaching. The Betsy Brown Puppetry Collection is housed at the UC Santa Barbara. Betsy died in 2001.
Terry Dunnahoo is a published author of children's books and young adult books. Some of the published credits of Terry Dunnahoo include The United States Mint, How to Survive High School: A Student's Guide, Boston's Freedom Trail (Places in American History).
Carolyn Johnson served as Children’s Director of the Fullerton library for 22 years and then spent 10 years as the library director. Now the Children’s Library in Fullerton bears her name. When she served as President of SCCLCYP in 1981, Carolyn Johnson wrote to the Secretary of Education, urging that the Department advocate adequate funding for libraries and professional librarians in the nation’s school districts. Carolyn died in 2014.
Dr. Bauer is a teacher, librarian,
storyteller, art editor, book reviewer, producer-instructor of her
own educational television show, university professor --
all related to her specialty: children and books. She is the author
of seventeen books, including the recently published Read for the
Fun of It, the resource book Celebrations: Read-Aloud Holiday and Theme Book Programs, the classic This Way to Books, and
the well known Handbook for Storytellers. Caroline has served on the
Board of Directors of the childrens division of the American
Library Association and the Ersted Award for distinguished teaching.
A dynamic instructor, she has presented in every one of the fifty
states, across Canada and in over sixty-three other countries on five
Fadiman was a writer, critic, editor, and moderator of the top-10 radio hit "Information Please" from 1938 to 1952. "He took great pride in A World Treasury of Children's Literature, an anthology he compiled in 1985. He put together more than 20 other anthologies during his career and wrote introductions to about 65 classics, including War and Peace and Moby Dick .He died June 20, 1999,
Winifred Ragsdale was active in many different professional realms.
She taught at USC, served as an acting children’s librarian for the
San Bernardino County Library and was branch and regional
librarian for the Los Angeles County Public Library. She consulted
for various cooperative library systems. Winifred was the Director of
the George G. Stone Center for Children’s book at Claremont
Graduate School. She also edited the Council’s publication The
Director of the Beverly Hills Public Library, Michael Cart is now a
full-time writer, lecturer and consultant. The author or editor of eleven
books, he is a columnist for "Booklist" magazine, teaches
at UCLA and Texas Woman's University, and is the recipient of the 2000
Grolier Foundation Award for distinguished service to young people and
reading. He is the Founding Editor of RUSH HOUR, a new literary journal
for older young adults that will be published by Random House, beginning
in April 2004.
and Edward Radlauer
The Radlauers coauthored informational books for reluctant readers that focus on topics like motorcycles, minibikes, horses and surfing.
Miriam Cox was an associate Professor of English specializing in children’s literature and mythology at California State College at Fullerton and a lecturer in English at UC Irvine. She was an author who
published articles and poetry for children and adults. She believed that the greatest gift parents and teachers can give children is a love of good
author of more than twenty well-received books for young readers, Sue
Alexander enjoys putting librarians and teachers in contact with authors,
illustrators and others involved with young people and books. Her wide
array of friends throughout the publishing industry as well as her involvement
in the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators - and her
love of books and libraries -- provides the impetus to be a "matchmaker."
The late John Donovan, in the introduction to the 1992 Children's Book
Council volume "Children's Books: Awards and Prizes, refers to Sue as
"…children's book promoter extraordinaire." Sue joined the Council the
year her first book, "Small Plays for You and a Friend" was published,
at the insistence of Dorothy C. McKenzie, and has been active in the
organization ever since.
Nettie Frishman served as the West Valley Regional Children’s Librarian for Los Angeles Public Library, and worked with LAPL for 33 years. She served on the Boards of the California Library Association and the American Library Association. She represented Los Angeles at the New
York World’s Fair Library of the Future in 1966 and later served on the
Newbery and Caldecott Committee. She was active in the Association of Jewish Librarians and was instrumental in renaming their award the Sydney Taylor Award. She also served as SCCLCYP’s The Sampler editor and introduced the feature “An Author Speaks” and the “Wet Print” column which lists recently published books by Southern California Authors and Illustrators.
Helen Fuller was a librarian for Long Beach Public Library.
Sylvia was an associate professor of library science at Immaculate Heart College and USC. She has served as president of the Southern District of the California Library Association, and was a volunteer for Reading is Fundamental. Sylvia also wrote the book Telling Stories to Children.
Helen Hinckley Jones is the author of many books including Over
the Mormon Trail, and Rails of the West. She also taught writing
classes at Pasadena City College and through the PCC Community
Services program and was the general chairperson and impetus
behind Writer’s Week, an event where authors gathered to share
secrets of writing.
Edith Wynn Horton and the dedicated and ongoing efforts of RIF (Reading is Fundamental). Their goal is to bring books into the lives of children who have never had books of their own before.
Betty Kalagian worked hard to serve blind children through the anthology Expectations, published annually by the Braille Institute.
Lloyd Severe was the manager of Brown’s Bookstore in Pasadena and served on the community advisory board to the Friends of the Flintridge Library. He also served on the Council’s board.
A storyteller from San Marino, Laramee Haynes received
this award for his outstanding community service in his storytelling.
"Anyone who can talk can tell a story. But first he must be moved
or touched by the story and feel an urge to communicate. The storyteller
needs only to learn the hinges of the story. He can tell it in his
own words pretty much, leaving his listeners to weave out of their
own imaginations such details as they like." (Pasadena Union,
In 1961 at the organization's First Annual Awards Banquet
honoring authors and illustrators of children's literature residing
in Southern California, Blanche Campbell represented the California
Booksellers organization and presented an award to author Scott O'Dell
for his book, Island of the Blue Dolphins.
Frances Clarke Sayers began her career at NYPL where she worked from
1918 to 1923 under Anne Carroll Moore. After a brief stint in California
at LAPL and University Elementary School she returned to New York
and eventually served as the head of Children’s Services there from 1941
to 1952. She then returned to California and became a lecturer on
children’s literature and librarianship at the School of Library Service
and Department of English at UCLA. As noted in her obituary in 1989
Sayers “was known nationally for her efforts to improve the quality of
children’s literature” and as Dorothy Anderson said her work “changed
the consciousness of several generations of people involved in children’s literature.”
Rosemary Livsey was a librarian for the Los Angeles City Public Library
and eventually became the Children’s Services coordinator in 1968. She spoke out on the importance of having children’s librarians, especially to
reach preschoolers and their parents, the importance of reading to children in general, and the importance of libraries. In 1943 she also served on one of a number of committees put together by the national
Office of Civilian Defense and sponsored by the southern district of CLA
to discuss the role of the library in a postwar nation.
Mary Rogers Smith had a 45 year career as a librarian. She served
as Los Angeles County Library coordinator of library services for
children for 12 years, and before that worked as a children’s librarian
for the New York Public Library. She also served as President of the
Southern California Council on Literature for Children and Young
One of the founders of the Council, Dorothy
met with nine fellow faculty and staff members of the California State
College at Los Angeles and with invited representatives of libraries,
schools, booksellers, and the Los Angeles Times. Their purpose was
to promote greater interest in literature for children and young people
and to help in developing standards of excellence in the field. In
this year (1964) the Dorothy C. McKenzie Award was given to its founder.
Angeles State College Times - December 7, 1964
Honored: Literature Award Goes to Lady 'Dynamo'"
is a human dynamo." That is the impression friends
and associates have of Dorothy C. McKenzie, assistant professor
of English at CSCLA. In addition to a heavy teaching schedule,
especially classes in "Interpreting Children's Literature,"
Mrs. McKenzie can manage to review children's books for
a newspaper, pioneer to education television, originate
a council on children's literature, entertain authors and
students at her home, and be friends and counselor to her
Ainsworth of the Los Angeles Times put it this way, a year
ago, at the 3rd annual awards banquet of the Southern California
Council on Children's Literature:
"Every once in a while you meet somebody who reminds
you of a Halley's comet for sparkle and energy and the ability
to focus attention on a trajectory
In a such a category
I'd have to place Dorothy C. McKenzie who in a couple of
years, has sparked a notable literary addition to the Southern
My nominee for the top award for getting
it all started is Dorothy McKenzie."
McKenzie did receive this top award, at this year's banquet,
held in November. She received a standing ovation from the
700 persons present. How does Professor McKenzie accomplish
all that she does with just the same length of day which
the rest of us have? She replied to this question,
"I couldn't do it without such a wonderful family."
The family is her husband, George, and a son, Roderick,
who is earning a Ph.D in economic geography at UCLA.
the recent banquet of the Council, George McKenzie gave
a tribute to his wife, calling her, "That grand bold
lady from Pasadena." Mrs. McKenzie remarked, "It's
all right to call me that, as long as he doesn't forget
the "b" in "bold."
up our "bold lady's" achievements one at a time,
let us first mention her specialty here at the college.
The course in "Children's Literature," although
not an easy one (required: to read 125 children's books
and report on them, in addition to other reports), is a
popular one. She has had four sections, filled to more than
usual capacity, and waiting lists. Mrs. McKenzie says of
"It is a course which is vitally important to all teachers,
both elementary and secondary. I believe this type of course
helps to develop critical sensitive readers - first the
prospective teachers, then the children.
reviewing could be called professor McKenzie's first avocation.
She has contributed her popular children's book reviews
to the Pasadena Independent Star-News for several years.
should next be mentioned. Last year, another far-reaching
community contribution was made by Mrs. McKenzie through
her television program "Concourse - the Convergence
of Youth, Books an Ideas."
program brought to its viewers enlivening discussions about
books and their place in today's world with guests representing
many interests: notable authors, visiting scholars, authorities
in various fields, and young readers, all contributing to
a dynamic exchange of ideas.
finally, there is the great achievement of starting the
Southern California Council on Literature for Children and
Young People. This idea was born in a conversation between
Mrs. McKenzie and William Lloyd, public relations director
at CSCLA. Lloyd also commented on Mrs. McKenzie's great
energy by saying, "She is a buzz saw."
Council has a two-fold purpose: to promote greater interest
in literature for children and young people and to help
in developing standards of excellence in the production
and selection of books in this field. The work of the Council
is accomplished through the cooperative effort of its members
who include authors, illustrators, publishers, booksellers,
teachers, parents, librarians, editors, etc.
Hendrick, West Coast representative of The Christian Science
Monitor, in an article entitled "Bridges of Understanding,"
discussed both the Council and Dorothy McKenzie.
"Mrs. McKenzie said once that she could guarantee wonderful
results for American foreign policy if the State Department
would just fit her out with a jeep, give her a load of American
children's books, and turn her loose in the world's jungles.
At the same time she has pointed out how much could be done
---how much is needed to be done - in parts of Los Angeles
where children, as a matter of course, suffer almost total
mental malnutrition. The Council represents a commitment,
really, to support the enrichment of youth."
must not neglect mentioning that Mrs. McKenzie's classrooms
are without limits. She invites students to her home to
discuss books and meet authors, she loans books by the dozen,
and she is not afraid of becoming involved in her students'
personal problems. Professor McKenzie said, "Teaching
is really involvement. The important thing is your concern
with people. The subject matter is secondary." She
is an ideal teacher, for she is concerned with helping her
students, and those she advises, build quality and meaning
in their lives. Her students, like her family and friends,
find their lives enriched by her ability to communicate
ideas, her passionate commitment to defend excellence and
combat mediocrity, her compassion, and her abiding faith
of Mrs. McKenzie's favorite books is "Books, Children
and Men," by the Frenchman Paul Hazard. She likes to
quote this as her ideal:
"What has to be preserved are certain ideas
idea that there must be in life at the same time, clarity,
beauty, and gentleness; the idea that the truth is not in
what is vague and obscure; the sentiment of individual liberty;
the sentiment of justice; the sentiment of law, which tries
to introduce an element of stability into the eternal flow
for each one of us to have in his heart an
impregnable fortress - that is the way of our salvation."