Children's Book by Faculty/Alum Wins Geisel Medal

'The Watermelon Seed' by Printmaking Lecturer Greg Pizzoli MFA '09 (Book Arts/Printmaking) named most distinguished American book for beginning readers

January 28, 2014

Congratulations to Printmaking Lecturer Greg Pizzoli MFA '09 (Book Arts/Printmaking), whose children’s book The Watermelon Seed won the 2014 Geisel Award for the most distinguished American book for beginning readers. This prestigious award is given annually by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association.

Published by Disney-Hyperion and released last May, The Watermelon Seed marks Pizzoli’s children’s book debut. With perfect comic pacing, we are introduced to a funny crocodile who has one big fear: swallowing a watermelon seed. What will he do when his greatest fear is realized? Will vines sprout out his ears? Will his skin turn pink? This crocodile has a wild imagination that kids – and adults – will love.

A true picture book gem with bold color and a beautiful sense of design, The Watermelon Seed has received praise from The New York Times, Booklist and Kirkus Reviews, as well as starred reviews in the School Library Journal and Publisher's Weekly, which calls it “an expert debut.”

A write-up on's "Art Attack" blog, which includes a trailer for the book created by James Simpson '13 (Multimedia), says, "...this book is good enough to eat."

Pizzoli's work has been featured in Communication Arts and 3x3 illustration annuals, and he has received two Portfolio Honor Awards from the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.

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