News and Authors

Loyola Press wins 2018 Moonbeam Awards for distinguished children’s books

Children’s books win for illustrations and Catholic identity

CHICAGO, Ill, October 10, 2018—Children’s book Leo’s Gift by Joellyn Cicciarelli and Susan Blackaby, and illustrated by Carrie Schuler won the Moonbeam Award’s Gold medal for Best Illustrator.Leo's Gift

Loyola Press won a total of two Moonbeam Awards this year, including a Silver medal for Amy Welborn’s Loyola Kids Book of Catholic Signs & Symbols in the Religion/Spirituality category.

Gold medal winner Leo’s Gift shares the story of a shy, creative boy in search of his special talent. Filled with heart and hope, Leo’s Gift will inspire children to explore their passions, believe in themselves, and learn that not all gifts come wrapped in a box. Filled with colorful images, the book beautifully demonstrates Leo’s relationship with his family and their influence on discovering his special talent.

Silver award winner Loyola Kids Book of Catholic Signs & Symbols is a child-friendly, beautifully illustrated sourcebook that teaches children the meaning behind the Catholic faith’s signs and symbols. This is Welborn’s fourth book in the Loyola Kids series.

Welborn’s other books in the Loyola Kids book series includes Loyola Kids Book of Saints, which teaches children the important stories of the saints of the church and how to apply those lessons today; Loyola Kids Book of Heroes, stories of devout Christians and the contributions they made to the faith; and Loyola Kids Book of Bible Stories, a collection of warm and engaging Bible stories organized in a uniquely Catholic way.

The Moonbeam Awards were created to bring recognition to exemplary children’s books and their creators, and to celebrate children’s books and life-long reading. The books are judged by a panel of youth educators, librarians, booksellers, and book reviewers of all ages.

Loyola Press won the Moonbeam Awards’ bronze medal in the Religion/Spirituality category in 2015 for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Drop by Drop.

For more information or to request an interview with an author, please contact Mandy Lemos at lemos@loyolapress.com


About Loyola Press

An apostolate of the USA Midwest Province of the Society of Jesus, Loyola Press embraces the Jesuit passion for helping people to find God in all things. We continue the Jesuit tradition of excellence and service by providing inspiring faith-filled content for children and adults and by being people for others.

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About Joellyn Cicciarelli 

Joellyn Cicciarelli is President of Loyola Press. With over 20 years of experience, she has developed award-winning literacy and faith formation curriculum for early childhood through high school, including a preschool curriculum titled The InvestiGator Club Pre-K Learning System. Most recently, she was the architect of Loyola Press’ Adaptive Finding God. Cicciarelli also served as editor for the TV series Mister Rogers Neighborhood and Jay Jay the Jet Plane.

About Susan Blackaby

Susan Blackaby pursues her creative and professional lives across a flurry of pages. On the clock, Suz specializes in early literacy and has written hundreds of fiction and nonfiction titles for the K-8 audience. She is the author of Brownie Groundhog and the February Fox and Brownie Groundhog and the Wintry Surprise; Cleopatra: Egypt’s Last and Greatest Queen; and Nest, Nook, and Cranny, winner of the 2011 Lion and the Unicorn Award for Excellence in North American Poetry. She writes in a cozy retreat at the foot of the Cascades overlooking the Columbia River.

About Carrie Schuler

Carrie Schuler is an award-winning illustrator and graphic designer. Known for layered, textural illustrations, composed of ephemera she collects, Carrie’s most recent book, Drop by Drop (Loyola Press), earned a Moonbeam Children’s Book Award, the International Book Award, and an Excellence in Publishing Award. Carrie practices, polishes, and shares her gifts in Chicago, where she lives with her wonderful daughter and whimsical cat.

About Amy Welborn

Amy Welborn is the author of Loyola Kids Book of Saints, Loyola Kids Book of Heroes, and more than twenty other books for Catholic children, ​teens, and adults. A former catechetical leader, she has a passion for inspiring children to understand their faith at a deeper level and for helping them live their faith with confidence and joy. Visit her website at www.amywelborn.com.​