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Salisbury University BW
A Maryland University of National Distinction
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Department of Early and Elementary Ed.
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Annual Children's & Young Adult Literature Festival

The Sonia Lynn Sadler Award

Sadler Award Image 1 Sadler Award Image 2 Sadler Award Image 3

The Artist

Sonia SadlerSonia Sadler illustrated Seeds of Change (2011), a seminal work of environmental stewardship for children. For this work she received both the Coretta Scott King John Steptoe Award for New Talent and a Green Earth Book Award Honor. Sadler had leapt into the world of children's literature with a passion for diversity, social justice and environmental stewardship.

Her illustrations captured a world that appealed to children and adults alike. In her art she used many techniques but was known for her colored scratchboard. She wrote that her “interest in color and pattern comes from watching the women in my family work with fabric.” A promising second career had opened up for her (she had already made her mark in the fashion industry). Sadly she was diagnosed with cancer which claimed her life in 2013.

For more information about Sonia Lynn Sadler visit the Lee and Low essay "Remembering Illustrator Sonia Lynn Sadler". To view more of her art visit artjaz

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The Award

Sadler's work has continued to inspire many illustrators to explore diversity, social justice, and environmental stewardship. In her honor, the Sonia Lynn Sadler Award will be given annually to an illustrator of color who creates books for youth. The complete criteria for the award will be announced by June 1 and will include:

  • An illustrator who is starting out in the field of children's books (no more than 5 published books).

  • An illustrator who creates literature that addresses environmental stewardship or other social justice themes in ways that are engaging for young audiences

  • A body of submitted work that can include up to 5 published and/or unpublished books

The Sonia Lynn Sadler Award will be conferred for the first time at the Salisbury University "Diversity, Arts, and the Environment Conference" in April 2017. More information to come.

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Supporting the Award

The author of Seeds of Change, Jen Cullerton Johnson and Sonia Sadler's family have been major proponents for the creation this award. Lee and Low Books, who published Seeds of Change is collaborating on the effort to create the award. Salisbury University is a generous sponsor.

Divine Planet has become the first corporate sponsor of the award, raising money to support the effort through the sales of jewelry with images from Seeds of Change. This jewelry is available on Divine Planet's Etsy site. 30% of the sale price of every Sadler piece will go towards supporting the award.

Sadler Award 4 Sadler Brooch Sadler Necklace

In addition Divine Planet will donate 10% of the sales of any other jewelry from their site to anyone using the code "SadlerAward" with their purchase. This includes the amazing works of illustrator Bryan Collier

Collier Pendant Collier Pendant 2 Collier Pendant 3 Collier Pendant 4

and customized pendants of your child's artwork:

For more information about the award or about becoming a sponsor please contact

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