Announcing the Inaugural 5 Under 5 Honorees

April 2018

News

Catgory

Thanks to everyone who shared our April Fools’ Day announcement of the 5 Under 5 list! These kids may not be honored authors (yet), but they’re still adorable.

The National Book Foundation is pleased to share its very first list of 5 Under 5 honorees, comprising five writers under the age of five whose work promises to leave a lasting impression on the literary landscape. Inspired by Foundation staff members often misspeaking when trying to say “5 Under 35,” this new honor represents NBF’s commitment to recognizing the work of exceptional writers of all preschool ages.

Reactions from honorees have been overwhelmingly positive. When notified of her 5 Under 5 status, Eve said, “Cereal is my favorite breakfast.” On the phone with National Book Foundation Executive Director Lisa Lucas, Lars had this to say: “I’m a choo choo train.”

“At the Foundation, we are constantly striving to elevate the work and amplify the voices of a wide range of authors,” said Lisa Lucas. “We asked ourselves, ‘Where can we do better when it comes to honoring emerging writers, and whose artistic contributions might we be overlooking?’ Well, the answer was simple: toddlers and very young children.”

The 5 Under 5 authors will be honored this fall at a special ceremony held at a Gymboree in New York City.

The honorees’ headshots and bios can be found below.

Eve loves the color orange and the fruit of the same name. Critics have called her work "great, "so cute," and "reflective of an excellent grasp of the subject material." She is the recipient of a prestigious Gold Star, among stickers of other colors and shapes. She is currently pursuing her preschool diploma at Sun Baby Day School and working on a study of Eric Carle's The Very Hungry Caterpillar, which she has flipped through over 800 times. I Love Chocolate is her first book.

Ezra's work has appeared in places like classroom bulletin boards, Father's Day cards, letter tracing books, and that one time on the living room wall (this piece was subsequently pulled from publication). The illustrated work My Family is his first full-length book, and was lauded in several year-end holiday newsletters and featured on the front of multiple family members' refrigerators. He was born in Arkansas and is still growing up there.

Lars takes inspiration from the world around him, including the sidewalk in front of his apartment building and the stick he found there two days ago. His debut book, What I Did Today, was published last month by his preschool teacher, Mrs. Emerson, and has already been called "a triumph [crying emoji]" in a text message from his teacher to her friend. He is currently at work on a follow up to What I Did Today entitled What I Did Yesterday.

Milan is a child living in Brooklyn, NY. His first book, What I Did Over Summer Break, received an A+ and was featured on a table of stuff at parent teacher conferences. His work regularly garners checkmarks and smiley faces from teachers, and has also been recognized by parents, aunts, uncles, family friends, and grandparents, both maternal and paternal sets. He was recently praised by an elderly woman on the street as, "a very nice young man."

Neale's eponymously titled first book, Neale, was written two days ago. Her other work has been published of is forthcoming on restaurant placemats and in multiple bestselling coloring books. A passionate advocate for sharing, Neale teachers courses on the subject to peers at neighborhood playgrounds. SHe is the recipient of numerous positive feedback reports from babysitters, among other honors. When she is not writing, Neale naps and eats.

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