The John Newbery Medal is a literary award given by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association (ALA). The award is given to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children. The award has been given since 1922. It was the first children's literary award in the world. It is named for John Newbery, an 18th century English publisher of juvenile books. The Newbery Medal was designed by Rene Paul Chambellan and created by Frederic G. Melcher in 1921. It depicts on the obverse an author giving his work (a book) to a boy and a girl to read. Together with the Caldecott Medal, the Newbery is considered one of the two most prestigious awards for children's literature in the United States.
(from Newbery Medal Wiki Site, wikipedia.org)