Overview

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.

Meet Viking Children's Books

Kenneth Wright

Kenneth Wright

Publisher

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

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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dove-arising-by-karen-bao
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.  Bustle.com 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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I-Was-Here-Gayle-Forman
January 27, 2015

Gayle Forman, whose If I Stay was #8 on USA Today’s bestselling books of 2014 list, is celebrating the release of her newest novel, I Was Here, on sale this week from Viking Children’s Books. People called the book “a heartbreaking novel” in a review, and it’s been on buzz lists from USA Today, Bustle, and Seventeen. […]

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New Releases

Renato and the Lion
Barbara DiLorenzo
Illustrator: Barbara DiLorenzo
A Christmas Wish for Corduroy
B.G. Hennessy
Illustrator: Jody Wheeler