Every year, the American Library Association (ALA) gives awards for a variety of literature, including their Youth Media Awards that cover books whose target audiences range from preschoolers through teens. I listened to the live web broadcast this morning while I was reading book reviews, and the full list of winners can be found at the ALA website.
I'll start with the Caldecott Medal for illustrations in American picture books, and there are also a few Caldecott Honor books (runners-up). It should be noted that the winning books in this and most other categories were published in 2008, so the books are very recently published.
2009 Caldecott Medal winner
The house in the night by Susan Marie Swanson, illustrated by Beth Krommes
2009 Caldecott Honor books
A couple of boys have the best week ever, written and illustrated by Marla Frazee
How I learned geography, written and illustrated by Uri Shulevitz
A river of words: the story of William Carlos Williams by Jen Bryant, illustrated by Melissa Sweet
The PRES library has a number of Caldecott Medal and Honor books in the collection, including last year's winner The invention of Hugo Cabret by Bryan Selznick and the 2007 recipient Flotsam by David Wiesner.
The Theodor Seuss Geisel Award, named after Dr. Seuss, is awarded to the most distinguished book for early readers. This is a very new award, first awarded in 2006, and the PRES library collection includes 2008 award recipient There is a bird on your head by Mo Willems and 2007 Honor book Not a box by Antoinette Portis.
2009 Theodor Seuss Geisel Award winner
Are you ready to play outside? by Mo Willems
2009 Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor books
Chicken said, "Cluck!" by Judyann Ackerman Grant
One boy by Laura Vaccaro Seeger
Wolfsnail: a backyard predator by Sarah C. Campbell
The ALA also gives out the Newbery Medal for excellence in children's literature ("children" being under the age of 14 in this case). Although I haven't read it quite yet (I have it borrowed from the public library), word on the street is that this year's winner is closer to the upper limit of the regulations.
2009 Newbery Medal winner
The graveyard book by Neil Gaiman
2009 Newbery Honor books
The underneath by Kathi Appelt
After Tupac and D Foster by Jacqueline Woodson
Savvy by Ingrid Law
The surrender tree: poems of Cuba's struggle for freedom by Margarita Engle
The PRES library has a number of past Newbery winners, including The tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo, Holes by Louis Sachar, and The giver by Lois Lowry.