The Levstik Award, named after author Fran Levstik (1831–1887), has been bestowed by Mladinska knjiga Publishing House since 1949 for best literary works, non-fiction and illustrations of children's and youg adult literature, and, since 1999, for lifetime achievement in writing and illustration of children's literature.
It was the first literary award established by a Slovene publishing house after World War II and has contributed significantly to the recognition of quality children’s and young adult literature. Only books published by Mladinska knjiga Publishing House are eligible for the award, although the award committee is composed of outside members.
Recent winners include the writers Miroslav Košuta, Zvonko Čoh, Svetlana Makarovič, Neža Maurer, Barbara Simoniti, Majda Koren, Polonca Kovač, Niko Grafenauer, Andrej Rozman-Roza, Anja Štefan, Desa Muck and Dane Zajc, and the artists Maja Kastelic, Danijel Demšar, Peter Škerl, Kostja Gatnik, Damijan Stepančič, Matjaž Schmidt, Svjetlan Junaković, Alenka Sottler, Jelka Reichman and Suzana Bricelj).
Zelišča male čarovnice, by Polonca Kovač, winner of the Levstik Lifetime Achievement Award, 2009 Slovenske pravljice v Stripu, by Matjaž Schmidt, winner of the Levstik Lifetime Achievement Award, 2009 Uganke 100 in 1, by Andrej Rozman Roza, illustrated by Svjetlan Junaković, both winners of Levstik Awards for children's literature, 2009 Left to right, front row: Svjetlan Junaković, Polonca Kovač, Matjaž Schmidt, Andrej Rozman Roza, the Levstik Award winners in 2009 The four Levstik Award winners receiving their prizes at the award ceremony, 2009