The NCTE Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children is awarded annually to the writer of an outstanding book of non-fiction for children and young people. The name Orbis Pictus, commemorates the work of Johannes Amos Comenius, Orbis Sensualium Pictus, considered to be the first book actually planned for children.
Nominations may come from NCTE membership or from the educational community at large. Any title of nonfiction literature which has as its central purpose the sharing of information may be nominated. This includes biography, but excludes textbooks, historical fiction, folklore, or poetry. Books must have been published in the United States during the previous calendar year.
The award is presented by the Orbis Pictus Committee Chair during the Books for Children Luncheon at the NCTE Annual Convention each year. Although only one title is singled out for the award, up to five Honor Books are also recognized.