Buckaroo Book Award (Grades K-3)

The Buckaroo Book Award provides the opportunity for Wyoming children in grades kindergarten through third to select favorite books they have read or listened to and to honor the authors of these books. Purpose:

  • To help children become acquainted with the best contemporary authors.
  • To help children become aware of the qualities that make a good book.
  • To accustom younger children to concepts of choice, critical reading, and voting procedures that will help them participate in choosing other awards.
  • To honor an author whose book has been enjoyed by children in Wyoming.
The Buckaroo Book Award is a joint project of the Wyoming State Literacy Association and the Wyoming Library Association.

2023-2024 Awards

2024-2025 Awards

  • 2024-2025 nominations form (due March 1, 2024)
  • 2024-2025 voting form 
  • Materials (coming soon)

Winners & Nominees (2020-2025)



Evergreen by Matthew Cordell
I Don't Care by Julie Fogliano
Just One Flake by Travis Jonker
Buffalo Fluffalo by Bess Kalb
The Girl who Built an Ocean by Jess Keating
Eye by Eye: Comparing how Animals See by Sara Levine
Fluffy McWhiskers Cuteness Explosion by Stephen W. Martin
A Duck Called Brian by Al Murphy
Lucky Duck by Greg Pizzoli
Hornbeam All In by Cynthia Rylant



Knight Owl
by Christopher

Rumple Buttercup: A Story of Bananas, Belonging, and Being Yourself
by Matthew Gray Gubler

Rescue & Jessica: A Life-Changing Friendship

by Jessica Kensky & Patrick Downes


The Bug Girl: A True Story by Sophia Spencer

Farmhouse by Sophie Blackall

No Nibbling! by Beth Ferry

Pipsqueaks, Slowpokes & Stinkers: Celebrating Animal Underdogs by Melissa Stewart

Powwow Day by Traci Sorell

What is Given from the Heart by Patricia C. McKissack

Witch Hazel by Molly Idle



This Way, Charlie
by Caron Levis 

King of the Birds
by Elisa Gravel

Snail Crossing
by Corey R. Tabor


Dear Librarian by Lydia Sigwarth
Dragonboy by Fabio Napoleoni
Encounter by Brittany Luby
Facts vs. Opinions vs. Robots by Michael Rex
A Little Bit Brave by Nicola Kinnear
The Sequoia Lives On by Joanna Cooke
Sorry (Really Sorry) by Joanna Cotler



Bad Dog
by Mike Boldt

First runner-up
Stuck Together
by Brian Smith

Second runner-up
Red Rover
by Richard Ho


Carmela Full of Wishes by Matt de la Peña
A Drop of the Sea
by Ingrid Chabbert

Giraffe Problems
by Jory John

Just Ask!
by Sonia Sotomayor

Let 'er Buck
by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson

My Rainy Day Rocket Ship
by Markette Sheppard

The Worrysaurus by Rachel Bright



Super Rabbit Boy Powers Up!
by Thomas Flintham

First runner-up
The Panda Problem
by Deborah Underwood

Second runner-up
Potato Pants!
by Laurie Keller


After the Fall
by Dan Santat
The Antlered Ship
by Dashka Slater
The Donkey Egg
by Janet Stevens
The Happy Book and Other Feelings
by Andy Rash
Little Red Riding Sheep
by Linda Ravin Lodding
Rowdy Randy by Casey Rislov
The Three Vikings
by Adam Auerbach


Shark Lady
by Jess Keating

First runner-up
by Kate Klise

Second runner-up
Grumpy Monkey
by Suzanne Lang


Bring Me a Rock!
by Daniel Miyares
A House That Once Was by Julie Fogliano
I Am the Mountain Mouse
by Gianna Marino
Kate, Who Tamed the Wind
by Liz Garton Scanlon
Life on Mars
by Jon Agee
Poor Little Guy
by Elanna Allen
The Secret Life of the Little Brown Bat
by Laurence Pringle

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Co-Chair Eva Dahlgren (through 2023)
Alta Branch Library
(307) 353-2505

Co-Chair Ginny Nading
Journey Elementary
(307) 253-3700

Carolin Hardesty
Buffalo Ridge Elementary
(307) 686-3058

Eli Palmer

Jessie Otto

Kimberly Redmond

Krisene Watson

Rita Heath
Glenrock Branch Library
(307) 436-2573

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Award Guidelines

How books are chosen for the list

The annually-nominated titles will be chosen by Wyoming students in grades K-3 based upon the following nomination guidelines:

  • The book may be fiction or nonfiction, including poetry.
  • The book must currently be in print and have a copyright date within the last five years.
  • The book may be a picture book, easy-to-read book, a high interest-low vocabulary book, or an appropriate grade level chapter book.
  • The book must not have appeared first as a movie or TV show.
  • Books cannot be on the list two consecutive years.
  • An author may have only one book on the award list.


Wyoming children from kindergarten through third grade are encouraged to read or listen to as many of the nominated books as possible and to vote for their favorite.

  • Each participating child will vote for only one book.
  • A child may vote only once.
  • Participants must have read or listened to at least three books to be an eligible voter.
  • Buckaroo Book Award voting will take place online, beginning in January 2023.

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Committee Composition & Responsibilities


  • Eight members: four from each sponsoring organization, appointed by governing members of the organization or designees.
  • Three-year terms with four-year terms expiring annually, provided not more than half the committee is new.
  • Three consecutive terms allowed.
  • Terms begin in October.
  • Two members shall act as co-chairs, one from each organization (WRC and WLA).
  • Members must be on the committee for at least one year before becoming a chair.
  • Co-chairs' terms of office should expire on alternate years.
  • Expenses will be submitted to the WLA Secretary who bills the Wyoming Reading Council for one-half of the expenses.

Chair Responsibilities

  • Coordinates nominations and voting.
  • Arranges and conducts meetings.
  • Arranges spring meeting to finalize list.
  • Casts tie-breaking vote.
  • Arranges tabulation of ballot tallies.
  • Notifies author, publisher, sections, and association of the results.
  • Notifies journals, Children's Book Council, media, and WLA Awards Chair of results.
  • Public relations for the award, new releases, etc.
  • Keeps records of the committee.
  • Reports to the WLA Executive Board throughout the year.
  • Sends February mailing/e-mail to remind participants of voting nomination deadline.
  • Releases winner's announcement/voting results to public libraries and schools in April.
  • Sets up display of nominated books at fall conference.
  • Produces annual packet.
  • Organizes book-talk program for annual conference.

Committee Member Responsibilities

  • Assist chair with above responsibilities.
  • Meet to evaluate reviews and develop new list of nominations.
  • Assist chair in producing annual packet.
  • Participates in the book-talk presentation at the annual conference.


The committee will produce a camera-ready copy of the Buckaroo packet and mail it to all public and school libraries in Wyoming. The camera-ready copy should be sent in August. These packets will be sent in all mailings with the Indian Paintbrush packets and reminders. The packet should include:

  • Announcement of winning book.
  • Current nominated book title list.
  • Ordering information.
  • Nominating and voting guidelines, including necessary forms (student ballot, nomination ballot, tally ballot).
  • Master copy of the bookmark and stickers.

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Buckaroo Book Award History

The Wyoming Buckaroo Book Award was initiated in 1997 through the Wyoming Reading Council (WRC) for Wyoming children in kindergarten through third grade. In 1999 the Wyoming Library Association (WLA) joined with the WRC to support this reading program for children.

The first reading list was compiled from adult suggestions and included books regardless of award or copyright criteria. Thereafter nominations have been solicited by teachers and librarians directly from the students in Kindergarten through third grade.

The first winner of the Wyoming Buckaroo Book Award in the spring of 1998 was Stellaluna by Janell Cannon. Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg was the second place winner, and The Napping House by Audrey Wood was third.

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