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What’s the Children’s Lit EGOT?


Recently, John Legend joined what might be the most exclusive club in show biz – people who have won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony award, also called an E.G.O.T.

It made me wonder what the children’s book equivalent of an EGOT is, and of course, who is in the club.

The awards would have to be ones that anyone could potentially win, so I settled on Boston Globe-Horn Book, National Book Award, Caldecott, and Newbery. B.N.C.N. Let’s call it the Benson.

B = Boston Globe/Horn Book Award
Na = National Book Award
C = Caldecott
New = Newbery
(H) = Honor
(S) = Shortlist
(A) = Authored a Caldecott winning book
(I) = Illustrated a Newbery winning book

In the BNCN Club (but it’s a slight stretch)

Jacqueline Woodson B(H), Na, C(A), New(H)

Woodson has won three Boston Globe-Horn Book Honors (in all three categories, no less) for Locomotion (Fiction), Brown Girl Dreaming (Nonfiction), and Pecan Pie Baby (Picture Book) a National Book Award for Brown Girl Dreaming (and shortlisted for Locomotion and Hush), she has authored a book that won a Caldecott Honor (Coming Home Soon, illustrated by E.B. Lewis – not technically an award, but I’m counting it), and has won multiple Newbery honors (Brown Girl Dreaming, After Tupac & D Foster, Feathers, and Show Way).

Maurice Sendak B, Na, C, N(I)

I was surprised to see him here, to be honest. He’s won a Boston Globe-Horn Book Award (for Outside Over There), a National Book award (during a period of time where there was a picture book award, for Outside Over There), a Caldecott Medal (for Where the Wild Things Are) and seven Caldecott Honors, and – surprise – he illustrated a Newbery winner (The Wheel on the School – not technically an award, but I’m counting it)

*EDITED TO ADD (Thanks Eric Carpenter)*

William Steig B(H), Na, C, New(H)

Two Boston Globe Honors (Doctor DeDoto, The Amazing Bone), a National Book Award (during a period of time where there was a picture book award, for Doctor DeSoto) and shortlist (Dominic), Caldecott Medal (for Sylvester & the Magic Pebble) and Honor (for The Amazing Bone). Newbery Honors for Doctor DeSoto and Abel’s Island

Sort of in the BNCN Club (but it’s a bigger stretch)

Cynthia Rylant B, Na(S), C(A), New

Rylant won a two Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards (Missing May and Appalachia) and an Honor (God Went to Beauty School), was shortlisted for a National Book Award (during the period of time when they gave a picture book award, for When I Was Young in the Mountains), authored two books that won a Caldecott Honors (When I Was Young in the Mountains, The Relatives Came), and won a Newbery Medal (Missing May) and Honor (A Fine White Dust).

Almost in the BNCN Club

Virginia Hamilton B, Na, New
Katherine Paterson B, Na, New
Lloyd Alexander B, Na, New
Kate DiCamillo B, Na, New
Kevin Henkes B(H), C, New(H)
Louis Sachar B, Na, New

This of course raises the question of which active creators could potentially reach the BNCN club. Looks like DiCamillo and Henkes are your best bets.

About Travis Jonker

Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at scopenotes@gmail.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.


  1. Eric Carpenter says:

    Steig has two boston globe/horn book honors.
    1977 Picture Book honor for Amazing Bone
    1983 Picture Book honor for Doctor De Soto

  2. Well, now I know what I’ll be thinking about all day…

    Since the Newbery and Caldecott are both ALA/ALSC awards, wouldn’t specifying them be like specifying multiple categories (say, Acting and Directing, or Country and Gospel, or Comedy and Drama) within E, G, O, or T? And what about CSK, Printz, Sibert, and other shiny-sticker categories within the ALA/ALSC awards?

    The National Book Award seems effectively authors-only, but there are other kidlit-award-giving bodies that honor both authors and illustrators in multiple categories (CBC Children’s Choice, SCBWI Golden Kite, and Cybils come immediately to mind). For an EGOT comparison, are there any of those that could join ALA/ALSC and BGHB among the top-tier kidlit awards-awarders?

  3. Eric Carpenter says:

    Steig’s novel Dominic was also a National Book Award Finalist. Where is his ALSC Legacy Award????

  4. Eric Carpenter says:

    The almost in club list also needs to include Louis Sachar. Holes got him 3/4 of the way there all by itself.

  5. Benji Martin says:

    You forgot the most prestigious award of all….the Undies!

  6. The analogy doesn’t work for me… winning a Newbery and a Horn Book would be like winning an Oscar and a Golden Globe. To be equivalent to an EGOT it should be more than just

    EGOT winners are successful in 4 different media: film, TV, audio recording and stage. Versatility is the key. These awards show that one is an outstanding children’s author. It’s more like an athlete winning Olympic Gold and a league MVP than the EGOT

    • I think this is a great equivalent of the EGOT!

      Yes, there are some quibbles that the BNCN doesn’t highlight diversity of talent like the EGOT — but keep in mind that many EGOT winners do so with only *one kind of art form* — such as composer Robert Lopez, who won his EGOT entirely via music (an Oscar for “Frozen” a Tony for “The Book of Mormon,” Grammys for both “Frozen” and “Book of Mormon,” and an Emmy for — wait for it — “The Wonder Pets”). So I hereby lay my quibble aside.