Well, no, actually — despite a moment of competition from In the Night Kitchen, we knew we had to go with this classic tale of Max, his wolf suit, the wild rumpus, and of course ... the dinner that was still warm when he got home. "And I feel like the most important thing that's ever happened to me is growing up without money." (Don't worry, everyone is reconciled in the end.) (Greenwillow, $16.99.) And all he really wants to do is draw comics — so how can he stay true to himself and his neighborhood, and still figure out his new school? (For ages 5 to 8), by Mary Wagley Copp and Munir D. Mohammed, Abia is the queen of the Shimelba refugee camp — because she's been there the longest of any of her friends, and she rules her domain with love and an acacia-twig crown. (For ages 2 to 5), Jan Brett's luminous art brings this Ukrainian folktale about a careless boy and a snow-white mitten to life. So here are 100 favorite kids' books… Maya is the new girl at school, with ragged clothes and the wrong shoes for winter. Moon has a secret: She sees heavenly visions, hears voices that tell her she doesn't belong on earth. (For ages 3 to 6), Oh, no! Congratulations to Tami Charles on "All Because You Matter", our pick for the best children's book of 2020. (For ages 3 to 5), For the family in Story Boat, "here" is home — but "here" keeps changing as they travel onward to an unknown destination. Here are the 10 Best Books of 2020, along with 100 Notable Books of the year. painless shopping Updated Mar. (For ages 6 to 8), by Margot Lee Shetterly and Laura Freeman, Margot Lee Shetterly adapts her groundbreaking book about Black female mathematicians at NASA for young readers, with sharp-edged, jewel-toned illustrations by Laura Freeman. And instead of a ranked list, it's grouped into categories that we hope will help you find just the right books for the kids in your life. And generally, when someone appeared more than once in the nominations, we went with whichever title was more popular with voters (so Kevin Henkes' Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse beat out Kitten's First Full Moon). (Chronicle, $18.99.) Gordon C. James' lively paintings of smiling boys showing off their fresh cuts will put a smile on your face, too. (For ages 5 to 8), Dory is the youngest in her family, with a yen for attention and an overactive imagination — and did we mention her nemesis, Mrs. Gobble Cracker? Or try any of these new books that our editors recommend. (Chronicle, $18.99.) "You came in as a lump of clay, a blank canvas, a slab of marble," author Derrick Barnes writes. A great read for anyone who's ever been down in the dumps. "The Very Hungry Caterpillar, by Eric Carle, $7, Amazon. Together, they go to the store and to the zoo, to costume parties and daycare classes — in richly illustrated, mostly wordless books that let readers form their own ideas about what's happening on each page. You can pretty much guess what happens after that. (Caldecott Honor Book)Baby Monkey, Private Eye. And she loves the real-life powwows she goes to with her uncle and her dog, Itchy Boy. This strangely beautiful art object of a book traces O’Connor’s first forays as a writer to an outsize fascination with the chickens in her childhood backyard. Green Eggs and Ham By Dr. Seuss "A great way to tempt your toddler into trying new food." It's a joyous, funny book that gives young readers a look at an important tradition. But there was one easy decision: A few years ago, we did a summer list based on All Things Considered's Backseat Book Club of great reads for kids from 9 to 14. By Emily Jenkins. But those visions have a terrible earthly cause, and Christine has to find it in herself to be the friend Moon needs as she fights for her life. (For ages 8 to 12), Roz the robot wakes up on a remote island — how did she get there? (Little, Brown, $17.99.) Best Toddler Books for Counting Some of the most popular toddler books are centered around counting – that is the counting of things, numbers, quantities, and differentiation between choices. (Bloomsbury, $16.99.) duopress amazon.com. BECOMING MUHAMMAD ALI, by James Patterson and Kwame Alexander, illustrated by Dawud Anyabwile. Discover the most talked about and praised books this year according to Barnes & Noble and media like The New York Times, Publishers Weekly, and The Washington Post.Explore the best books of the past decade to see what was popular throughout the years! The best selling authors James and Kimberly Dean have come up with this amazing picture book which sends a great message to the kids while doing fun activities and enjoying reading books. Bold, bright illustrations and lively rhymes make this a solid read-aloud choice, too. Born in her father's castle in the middle of a thunderstorm, Ronia grows up compassionate and brave. A modern-day Scheherazade uses storytelling to survive the fifth grade in Nayeri’s autobiographical novel about his family’s journey from Iran to America. (For ages 5 to 8), by Virginia Hamilton, Leo Dillon and Diane Dillon, Virginia Hamilton — herself descended from enslaved people who escaped via the Underground Railroad — retells Black folktales like "He Lion, Bruh Bear and Bruh Rabbit" and "How Nehemiah Got Free" in a simple, powerful style. by Shinsuke Yoshitake. An anthem to self-worth that’s also about the history of life on Earth, and in 107 words somehow covers loneliness, death and rebirth. (For ages 4 to 8), Lonely little Henry has no brothers and sisters. The Best Children’s Books of 2020 Anya and the Nightingale by Sofiya Pasternack I loved the first book about Anya, Ivan, and their dragon friend Håkon—and I might love this sequel even more.The characters are wonderful and endearing, and on top of that there is a male bisexual character who actually gets to have a male love interest and it’s reciprocal. "This is one of those texts that really spoke to me; it was beautifully written and I felt it was a really great pairing of words and pictures of an author and an artist," Nelson told NPR. (Little, Brown, $17.99.) Naturally, they're going to end up being best friends and getting into all kinds of scrapes together since their approach to pretty much everything — from discovering dinosaurs to starting their own summer camp — is "Why not?" (For ages 3 to 5), We couldn't put Hair Love on the list (you'll find it a little further down) and leave out this tribute to the magic of the barbershop. And she wants to be a writer, but English isn't her first language. "The Very Hungry Caterpillar," by Eric Carle. When a little girl’s brother tells her “our future is doomed,” in this entertaining yet serious story drawn in Yoshitake’s signature cartoon style, she runs in a panic to her grandmother, who helps her to imagine many possible futures, rather than to think only in terms of good and bad scenarios. And when a sinister archduke tries to grab the box for himself, he learns that crime doesn't pay. https://www.whattoexpect.com/baby-products/best-toddler-books (For ages 4 to 8), Yasmin is a spunky second-grader who tries out all kinds of occupations — superhero, writer, chef, zookeeper — whether or not she actually knows what's involved. Looking through the new picture books set for publication in 2020, one theme kept standing out: positivity. White wrote a full shelf of children's classics, but this story about a mute trumpeter swan — who woos his lady love with an actual trumpet — should get more attention than it does. (For ages 8 to 12), Fans of Ballet Shoes and the Green Knowe books will love this tale of four sisters who go to spend their summer vacation in a cottage on the grounds of a grand mansion. … THE LITTLE MERMAID, by Jerry Pinkney. (Oh, and there's a cat hiding on every page, too — can you find it?) And that might just be enough. IF YOU COME TO EARTH, by Sophie Blackall. Eric Carle's charming story and luminous, stained-glass illustrations make The Very Hungry Caterpillar a classic for the ages (and a good advertisement for the benefits of snacking). The series grows up with its readers; at the beginning, Betsy and Tacy are small children; we see them through adventures fanciful and down-to-earth, and finally leave them as young married women. Tummy Time is hard for babies. (For ages 2 to 6), Big dogs, little dogs, red dogs, blue dogs, dogs on cars and scooters — kids will love learning colors and emotions and ideas with P.D. by Paul O. Zelinsky. And for the hottest books of summer 2020, check out our Summer Reading List ! A Black student from the Co-op City section of the Bronx attends a private middle school in wealthier Riverdale in this moving and often funny graphic novel about the convergence of an awkward age (13 to 14) with another awkward age (America’s racial reckoning). Illus. (First Second, $24.99.) By bedtime she came back to Why? ), but we promise things will get better. She even loves her teacher Mr. Slinger — but when the wondrous purse and its contents keep interrupting his lessons, he confiscates it, leading Lilly to attempt revenge. She has a lot to deal with — her dad's been laid off and the family has to move to a smaller house. (For ages 3 to 7), It's a soft gray rainy day and everyone's asleep in the Napping House — but unfortunately, they're all trying to pile into the same bed, with predictably unfortunate (but funny) results. (For ages 1 to 4), Innosanto Nagara's ABCs of activism simplifies ideas about environmentalism, feminism, civil rights and democracy for the littlest readers. I miss you.”. (For ages 3 to 5), Who doesn't love a big chunk of heavy machinery? (For ages 4 to 8), by Patricia Hruby Powell and Christian Robinson, This gorgeous book will introduce kids to the glory of Josephine Baker — not just her fabulous dance routines, but her life of activism and service, including speaking alongside Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in 1963. Bruce, the grumpy, solitary bear, loves to eat eggs — except these eggs happen to be full of goslings, and Bruce finds himself with a feathery family he doesn't know what to do with. And that's just the beginning for this detective duo and their strangely murder-prone school. And if you don't, why not? (HMH Books for Young Readers, $17.99.) Readers may remember the Nora Roberts Rule, which came about during 2015's romance poll: No one gets on the list twice UNLESS they're as titanic a figure in their field as Roberts is in romance; we included her in that list under both her own name and her pen name, J.D. The Ten Best Children’s Books of 2020 These top titles deliver history lessons, wordplay and a musical romp through the animal kingdom Our favorite books this … ... And if you need something for younger readers, check out the 25 best children’s books of 2020. Nok, the prison warden's daughter, is determined to recapture Pong — but her quest leads her to some uncomfortable revelations. This story of a Plains Indian girl who runs away with a band of wild horses, and eventually becomes one of them, won the Caldecott in 1978, and for good reason. Or is there? (For ages 9 to 12), Best friends Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong do what any enterprising young women at boarding school would do: They form a detective agency — and quickly run up against their first real case when Hazel finds the body of their science teacher sprawled on the gymnasium floor. But a magical flight through the night sky helps her learn to love that darkness. (For ages 8 to 12), by Bill Martin Jr., John Archambault and Lois Ehlert, "A told B and B told C, I'll meet you at the top of the coconut tree." (Little, Brown, $18.99.) Not for fun, but to feed their family. The Best (Strategist-Approved) Children’s Books. No one wants to play with her — not even Chloe, who sits next to her, and eventually has to deal with the results of her unkindness. (For ages 8 to 12), We always say that these polls don't produce ranked lists — and they truly don't — but I'd be remiss in not pointing out that Maud Hart Lovelace's Betsy-Tacy books, about the enduring friendship between two young girls — got the most votes of any book on this list. (For ages 2 to 5), All the other animals are having fun! Alma and How She Got Her Name. (For ages 5 to 8), How many of you, reading this page, still have chunks of Where the Sidewalk Ends memorized? (For age 3 to 5), Don't turn the page! (Quill Tree, $22.99.) SHOP NOW. So they asked Blackbird to give them some of his beautiful color. But one day, he wakes up with a cold and decides to stay in bed, so his worried animal friends jump on the bus to visit him. In Pinkney’s vivid reimagining of Hans Christian Andersen’s classic fairy tale, the mermaid befriends a human girl instead of pining over a handsome prince, and all the characters, human and mermaid, are Black. This eco-fable by the author of the adult novel “The Magicians” tackles climate change with poignant whimsy, via a magic steam train and talking animals. But, as author B.J. He began to wonder what stories those old trucks could tell, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, told NPR he was inspired by friends of his, The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom (Chicka Chicka series), The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale Of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, And A Very Interesting Boy. When his frustrated mother takes George to the vet, the answer to his problem turns out to be quite the surprise. THE SILVER ARROW, by Lev Grossman. Young readers will love following along with Dory as she battles everything from monsters around the house to pirates to more mundane concerns like making and keeping friends. NPR's 100 Best Children's Books This year we had kids and caregivers in mind when we chose the genre for our summer poll. He's only supposed to look after her house and garden — but one day when she's away, he decides to make the pot produce dinner for the whole town. Jules Feiffer's illustrations are minimalist but incredibly expressive — plus, it's just fun to yell MOO and OINK and QUACK QUACK! (And you don't actually have to be a little kid to laugh your ... hiney ... off at just the table of contents, even before you get to stories like "Little Red Running Shorts" and "Cinderumpelstiltsin.") (For ages 3 to 7), Any kid who has looked up at the moon and wondered why it changes shape will love the story of Little Star — who bakes a mooncake with her mother, and then can't resist a nibble ... and then another nibble ... and then another nibble. Best children’s and teens books of 2020. "A fun-filled way for kids to learn letters and letter sounds." (For ages 10 to 12), a fantastic group of authors, librarians, publishers and all-around book nerds, Click If You Dare: 100 Favorite Horror Stories, We Did It For The LOLs: 100 Favorite Funny Books, The Ultimate Backseat Bookshelf: 100 Must-Reads For Kids 9-14. Shuggie is the youngest of three children, and … And will she still be a queen when she gets there? Zoe decides to find out — but it's hard to keep her investigation secret from the rest of the family AND stay on top of things at her bakery internship so she can achieve her dream of competing on a TV baking show. Lewis. (For ages 3 to 8), Julián is riding the subway with his abuela when he sees them: three mermaids, with fabulous hair and fishtail dresses. (For ages 4 to 8), Anna Hibiscus lives in "Africa, amazing Africa," in a compound with her large and loving family. The best children's books of 2020 for all ages From Covid-19 to Black Lives Matter, children’s books tackled the world-changing events of 2020. We want this list to be a tool for discovery, which means we had to walk a delicate path when it comes to books that are undeniable classics — we knew all hell would rain down on us if we left out Where the Wild Things Are or The Very Hungry Caterpillar. And then something amazing happens: There's an open casting call for a Broadway musical based on E.T. (For ages 4 to 8), Long ago, the birds of Africa were all the colors of the rainbow — but none of them had any black, because Blackbird had it all. A classic tale of pacifism and being true to yourself. (For ages 7 to 10), Fact: Bats are adorable, and few bats are more adorable than Stellaluna, the little one who gets lost when an owl dives at her mother and ends up trying to fit in with a nest full of baby birds. Don't you know there's a monster at the end of this book? (For ages 4 to 8), "I'm not meant to be like you; you're not meant to be like me," writes actor and author Grace Byers. For more great recommendations for kids, try the Best Book Series for Early Readers, Graphic Novels, and Coming-of-Age Books. Best Classic: Goodnight Moon at Amazon "Kids love hearing all about the great green room and all of the quirky things it contains." Jen Wang based this heartfelt story of friendship through adversity — which was a 2019 Book Concierge pick — on her own childhood. ... 2020. Who knows! Leroy Brown (not the bad one) is a 10-year-old genius who solves mysteries for 25 cents a day (no case too small) — often for his police chief dad, and often involving his nemesis, the bully Bugs Meany — alongside his pal and partner Sally Kimball, who often solves the case by noticing things Encyclopedia doesn't. There are as many approaches to these books as there are combinations of numbers that can be made, and finding the best guide is sometimes challenging. But then hope arrives — sloooowly on tortoise-back — in the form of 7-year-old Kid Sheriff Ryan, who may not know about toads specifically, but he does know about dinosaurs. (For ages 4 to 8), Jerome Pumphrey was driving through central Texas to visit his brother Jarrett, and along the way he kept seeing old trucks sitting out in the fields. In this magical realist novel set in a “land of a hundred bridges” that lies “somewhere in the Américas,” an 11-year-old boy whose mother disappeared when he was a baby explores haunted ruins that once hid refugees from a neighboring dictatorship. As a bonus, you can see Ringgold reading the book here. A STORY ABOUT AFIYA, by James Berry, illustrated by Anna Cunha. And as always, we had to decide which work to pick from creators who were nominated multiple times. Chris Van Dusen's lively, sweet-natured illustrations helped seal the deal. Now, we understand that half the fun of a list is arguing about what didn't make it on — and our judges had to make some hard choices. We hope you and the kids in your life will have as much fun poring through this list as we had putting it together! Four-year-old Gertie wants to help her older sisters make the Hanukkah latkes, but she’s just too little. But then one night she sees yellow eyes shining in the forest ... and soon, she finds she has to use all her wiles to keep the jumbies away from her island. So much that he makes his own costume at home, with a yellow curtain for a tail and a potted fern for a crown. Oh no! The debut novel by Douglas Stuart draws on his own childhood in 1980s Glasgow, and is the winner of the 2020 Booker prize. (For ages 5 to 8), Everywhere you look in The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses, there's a tiny, precise and lovely detail — a plant, a bird, a lizard, a pebble, a shell and of course the magnificent horses. (For ages 3 to 5), Amos McGee is a zookeeper, and a kind and punctual fellow. If you've ever stood at the edge of that board looking down at the deep end, Jabari Jumps is the book for you. (For ages 9 and up), Ibram X. Kendi wanted to have a tool to teach his young daughter about racism, so he adapted the ideas in his book How to Be an Antiracist into this brightly colored guide. This moody watercolor-soaked story of an introvert’s creative awakening by the self-taught Argentine artist Guillermo Decurgez (known as Decur) begins on “moving day,” as a boy who believes the world exists only inside his cellphone finds a mysterious notebook in the secret compartment of a desk in his new room. A boy who struggles with stuttering (as does the author, a Canadian poet) finds relief in a trip with his father to a nearby river, where he sees that turbulence and eddying are part of the natural flow. Composite: PR. (For ages 6 to 10), Spunky, redheaded third-grader Clementine starts this series by having a seriously bad week (how many times is she going to get sent to the principal? His son Christopher's bold illustrations, part paint and part collage, don't talk down to kids, instead pulling them into a vibrant city. I TALK LIKE A RIVER, by Jordan Scott, illustrated by Sydney Smith. By Carla Bruce-Eddings. From the team that created Iggy Peck, Architect and Rosie Revere, Engineer. Fans of Ramona Quimby will get a kick out of Clementine, her brother Spinach (that's not really his name) and her sort-of-snooty best friend Margaret. Author Linda Sue Park made the parallels between Hanna and Laura Ingalls deliberate — as she writes in her author's note, she loved the Little House books as a child, but she knew Ma and Pa Ingalls wouldn't have let Laura "become friends with someone like me ... someone who wasn't white." And then What? And as they fished, Bao's father would tell him stories about another pond back in their homeland of Vietnam. Photo: KOLOstock/Getty Images. But we decided you probably didn't need our help to discover Dr. Seuss, Richard Scarry or The Little Engine that Could, so those didn't make it onto the list. (Scholastic, $18.99.) Eastman's zippy dogs. Looking for more? (For ages 5 to 7), Kate DiCamillo is another author who showed up all over the original list of nominations, but our judges thought this series about a terrific, radiant little pig — who likes buttered toast, car rides and solving the occasional mystery — was the pick of the litter. Luckily, her favorite teacher understands her emotions. hide caption, Corduroy the bear sits on a shelf in a department store, longing for a friend — but little Lisa's mother refuses to buy him. Her bold, carefully color-coded illustrations balance a serious situation with the whimsy of children spinning tales out of the few belongings they've brought with them. But she always has fun, thanks to her quick thinking and support from her big Pakistani American family. Here are the 10 Best Books of 2020, along with 100 Notable Books of the year. Nicki demands mittens knitted from wool as white as the snow — which his grandmother knows is impractical, but she humors him. How? If you like The Phantom Tollbooth, try this story about a little boy named Elmer Elevator (the narrator's father as a child) who befriends a talking alley cat that sets him on his way to a grand adventure on a wild island — past muddy rivers, fierce tigers and fashionable lions — to rescue a yellow-and-blue-striped dragon. And thousands of you answered. EVERYTHING SAD IS UNTRUE (A True Story), by Daniel Nayeri. (Enchanted Lion, $18.95.) Each sister has a unique, winning personality; young readers will finish the first book and want to spend more time with them. BEFORE THE EVER AFTER, by Jacqueline Woodson. Novak points out, "Here is how books work: Everything the words say, the person reading the book has to say." By Sophie Blackall does a gorgeous tale of pacifism best books for toddlers 2020 being true to yourself she 's bullied by classmate! Get better way to tempt your toddler into trying new food. runs into problems, she really! 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