Children's department pictures

FOCAL      Friends of Children and Literature

boy reading


girl reading

The FOCAL Award was instituted by Janet McOuat, a founding member of the Friends of Children and Literature. The award, which is presented annually to children's books with California content, was first given to Leo Politi whose charming illustration of reading children has become the FOCAL logo.
History of the FOCAL Award
Annotated FOCAL Award List on LAPL's KidsPath.

Each year a group of teachers, librarians, writers and others interested in children's literature meets to determine the new FOCAL winner. The winning author is presented with the award -- a unique puppet representing a character from their award-winning book which has been created for them by Carol Onofrio and is now being created by Jesse Kingsley.

Also present at the awards luncheon are children who have won the FOCAL essay contest, their teacher, and a parent.

book cover

The 2019 FOCAL Award winner is...
Chef Roy Choi and the Street Food Remix
Authors: Jacqueline Briggs Martin and June Jo Lee
Illustrator: Man One

View the LAPL catalog page.

Chef Roy Choi calls himself a "street cook."
He wants outsiders, low-riders,
kids, teens, shufflers and skateboarders,
to have food cooked with care, with love,
with sohn maash.

2019 Essay Contest information

Flyer to share with friends

The FOCAL Award Luncheon will be December 14, 2019.

FOCAL Award Committee 2019

Meredith McGowan - Chair of the Award Committee Acting Senior Librarian, Sherman Oaks Branch, LAPL
Kate Aaronson Children's Librarian, Valley Plaza Branch Library, LAPL
Michele Marot LAUSD MS Math/Science Teacher, retired; Battle of the Books; FOCAL Board Member at Large
Stacy May Lower School Librarian, Chandler School
Carolyn McWilliams Playa Vista Branch, LAPL Volunteer; Educational Support Services, LLC
Laurie Reese Children's Librarian, Felipe de Neve Branch Library, LAPL
Kadie Seitz Children's Librarian, Memorial Branch, LAPL
Carol Raby - Ex-officio Committee Participant Library Events Specialist, Loyola Marymount University; previous LAUSD Magnet School Library Manager
Caroline Gill - Ex-officio Committee Participant FOCAL President; LAUSD Teacher Librarian, retired

Current "Fun for Kids"
Current Newsletter


Membership Application
History of FOCAL Award
Teacher Guide to Award Book (if available)
Essay Contest
Essay Entry form

Newsletters 2009 - present
and one from 2005

Membership Application


Current "Fun for Kids"; LAPL; Award Author's Websites; Authors and Illustrators Involved with FOCAL; Literature Connections; California History Connections