Viking Children's Books

Viking Children's Books


Viking Children’s Books was founded in 1933 as a department of the prestigious Viking Press, known for publishing such authors as Sherwood Anderson, James Joyce, John Steinbeck, and Rebecca West. The first editor of Junior Books, as it was known, was May Massee, who soon established herself as a leader in children’s books. Her first list included The Story About Ping, and under her stewardship such classics as Make Way for DucklingsThe Story of FerdinandThe Twenty-one BalloonsPippi Longstocking, and the Madeline books were published.

Ms. Massee was succeeded by Annis Duff, Velma V. Varner, George Nicholson, Linda Zuckerman, Regina Hayes, and Kenneth Wright—seven publishers in seventy-five years.

Throughout Viking’s history, it has been known for innovation as well as for a dedication to quality that has created the rich backlist the house enjoys. Viking has published ten Newbery Medal winners and ten Caldecott Medal winners, more than any other publishing house, as well as twenty-seven Newbery Honor books, thirty-three Caldecott Honor books, and an American Book Award winner. Sixteen Viking books have been recognized as New York Times Best Illustrated Books. Two Viking books have received the Coretta Scott King Award, three have been Batcheldor Honor books, five have received the Christopher Medal, and two authors, S. E. Hinton and Richard Peck, have received the Margaret A. Edwards Award for bodies of work that included Viking titles. Among the ground-breaking titles published by Viking are The Outsiders (1969), still the best-selling young adult book ever published; The Snowy Day (1963), which brought multicultural books mainstream recognition; and The Stinky Cheese Man (1992), widely hailed for its innovative design. Two Viking titles, Book of the Lion by Michael Cadnum (2000) and This Land Was Made for You and Me by Elizabeth Partridge (2002) were chosen as finalists for the National Book Award. In 2006, John Lennon: All I Want is the Truth by Elizabeth Partridge was named a Michael L. Prinz Honor Book.

In 1985, Viking won the Carey Thomas Award for creative publishing, the first children’s list to receive this award. Viking has been nominated twice for the LMP Award for Best Children’s list.

Viking publishes approximately sixty titles per year, ranging from books for very young children such as board and lift-the-flap books to sophisticated fiction and nonfiction for teenagers.

The current Viking list is known for such classic characters as Madeline, Corduroy, Pippi Longstocking, Roald Dahl‘s Matilda, Rosemary Wells‘s Max & Ruby, The Stinky Cheese Man, Llama Llama, Angelina Ballerina, Cam Jansen, and Froggy. Viking publishes the entire works of Ezra Jack Keats, including The Snowy Day, winner of the Caldecott Medal, and Robert McCloskey, author of Make Way for Ducklings, a Caldecott winner, and Homer Price. In addition, Viking is the publisher of several bestselling YA authors, including Laurie Halse Anderson and Sarah Dessen.


The Caldecott Medal

The Caldecott Honor

  • 1998:There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly illustrated by Simms Taback
  • 1996: Alphabet City by Stephen T. Johnson
  • 1993: The Stinky Cheese Man And Other Fairly Stupid Tales by Jon Scieszka, illustrated by Lane Smith
  • 1973: Hosie’s Alphabet by Hosea, Tobias and Lisa Baskin, illustrated by Leonard Baskin
  • 1970: Goggles! by Ezra Jack Keats (originally published by Macmillan); Pop Corn & Ma Goodness by Edna Mitchell Preston, illustrated by Robert Andrew Parker; Thy Friend, Obadiah by Brinton Turkle
  • 1968: Seashore Story by Taro Yashima
  • 1966: Just Me by Marie Hall Ets
  • 1959: Umbrella by Taro Yashima
  • 1958: Fly High, Fly Low by Don Freeman
  • 1957: Gillespie and the Guards by Benjamin Elkin, illustrated by James Daugherty; Mr. Penny’s Race Horse by Marie Hall Ets; Lion by William Péne du Bois
  • 1956: Crow Boy by Taro Yashima; Play with Me by Marie Hall Ets
  • 1954: Journey Cake, Ho! by Ruth Sawyer, illustrated by Robert McCloskey
  • 1953: One Morning in Maine by Robert McCloskey
  • 1952: Mr. T. W. Anthony Woo by Marie Hall Ets; Bear Party by William Péne du Bois
  • 1949: Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskeyFish in the Air by Kurt Wiese
  • 1948: Bambino the Clown by George Schreiber
  • 1947: Boats on the River by Marjorie Flack, illustrated by Jay Hyde Barnum
  • 1946: You Can Write Chinese by Kurt Wiese
  • 1945: The Christmas Anna Angel by Ruth Sawyer, illustrated by Kate Seredy; In the Forest by Marie Hall Ets
  • 1944: Small Rain: Verses from the Bible selected by Jessie Orton Jones, illustrated by Elizabeth Orton Jones
  • 1943: Dash and Dart by Mary and Conrad Buff
  • 1942: In My Mother’s House by Ann Nolan Clark, illustrated by Velino Herrera
  • 1940: Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans
  • 1939: Andy and the Lion by James Daugherty; Wee Gillis by Munro Leaf, illustrated by Robert Lawson
  • 1938: Seven Simeons by Boris Artzybasheff

The Newbery Medal

The Newbery Honor

  • 1976: The Hundred Penny Box by Sharon Bell Mathis
  • 1970: Journey Outside by Mary Q. Steele
  • 1958: The Great Wheel by Robert Lawson
  • 1957: The Corn Grows Ripe by Dorothy Rhoads
  • 1956: Men, Microscopes, and Living Things by Katherine Shippen
  • 1954: All Alone by Claire Huchet Bishop
  • 1953: Red Sails to Capri by Ann Weil
  • 1952: Americans Before Columbus by Elizabeth Baity; The Light at Tern Rocks by Julia Sauer
  • 1950: Tree of Freedom by Rebecca Caudill
  • 1949: Daughter of the Mountains by Louise Rankin
  • 1948: Pancakes-Paris by Claire Huchet Bishop
  • 1947: Big Tree by Mary and Conrad Buff; The Hidden Treasure of Glaston by Eleanore Jewett
  • 1946: New Found World by Katherine Shippen
  • 1944: Fog Magic by Julia L. Sauer
  • 1942: Down Ryton Water by Eva Roe Gaggin
  • 1941: Blue Willow by Doris Gates; Nansen by Anna Gertrude Hall
  • 1940: The Singing Tree by Kate Seredy
  • 1939: Nino by Valenti Angelo; Penn by Elizabeth Janet Gray
  • 1937: Golden Basket by Ludwig BemelmansWhistler’s Van by Idwal Jones; Winterbound by Margery Bianco
  • 1936: The Good Master by Kate Sheredy; Young Walter Scott by Elizabeth Janet Gray

The New York Times Best Illustrated Books

The Ezra Jack Keats Book Award

  • 2006: New Writer Award to Mary Ann Rodman for My Best Friend illustrated by E. B. Lewis; New Illustrator Award to Yunmee Kyong for Silly Chicken written by Rukhsana Khan
  • 2000: New Writer Award to Soyung Pak for Dear Juno illustrated by Susan Kathleen Hartung
  • 1989: New Writer Award to Yoriko Tsutsui for Anna’s Special Present, illustrated by Akiko Hayashi

Meet Viking Children's Books

Kenneth Wright

Kenneth Wright


Kenneth Wright joined Viking in 2012 after seven years as a literary agent at Writers House and many years before that at Scholastic and other trade houses

Viking Children's Books Newsroom

April 15, 2015

USA Today reported in this week’s Buzz Books column that The Boys In The Boat, Daniel James Brown’s inspirational non-fiction account of America’s young crew team during the 1936 Olympics, has been adapted into a Young Readers edition.  The Boys In The Boat for readers 10 and up will be published by Viking Children’s Books on September […]

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2015 indie choice book
April 1, 2015

Finalists for the 2015 Indies Choice Book Awards and the E.B. White Read-Aloud Awards have been announced and include one title from Viking/Penguin and five Penguin Young Readers books, in the following categories: Book of the Year: Adult Fiction The Magician’s Land by Lev Grossman (Viking/Penguin) E.B. White Read-Aloud Award: Middle Grade Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline […]

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February 24, 2015

This week Viking Children’s Books released Dove Arising, the debut young adult science fiction novel from 20-year-old author Karen Bao. praised, “Bao writes a brilliant new YA heroine in a world of true science fiction,” and also featured an essay from Bao about what it was like to write her novel as a high school […]

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