Julie’s Top Ten of 2020

Hello readers!

We’re not quite done with the Best of 2020 lists! Julie is here with her awesome picture book picks!


My Best Reads of 2020 list is all about picture books because I am all about picture books! But since my list comes so far beyond New Year’s I’m going to move the goalpost and throw in a few other titles. I also write recommendations for picture books on my blog, so have provided links to each title below to either my blog or other’s posts.

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1) There Must Be More Than That (2020) by Shinsuke Yoshitake,  link:
A hilariously illustrated story of a little girl whose brother informs her that the future is doomed (!). With the help of her grandmother she learns the future will always hold possibility if we can imagine it.

2) 13 Stories About Harris (2020), Amy Schwartz, link:
A chaptered picture book with big-adventure stories in the little world of preschooler Harris and his friend Ayanna. Sweet, simple, huggable!
 
3) Shirley Chisholm Is a Verb (2020), Veronica Chambers and Rachelle Baker link:
I admire the way the author was able to combine a straightforward biography with such a strong layer focused on language and education, which ties back to who this courageous woman really was, and leaves the reader so inspired at the same time. 
 
4) The Nest That Wren Built (2020), Randi Sonnenshine and Anne Hunter, link:
I admit I was completely sold by the cover! And was not disappointed by the beautiful interior art at all! This take on The House That Jack Built is truly a perfect marriage of word and art. Definitely one of my favorites this year!
 
5) Don’t Hug Doug(He Doesn’t Like It) (2020), by Carrie Finison and Daniel Wiseman, link:
This book shows a colorful and cheerful way of letting others know that some of us – especially Doug – don’t want hugs! There is plenty of humor to keep it light, but also a solid, clear, straightforward message from Doug – just what is needed, “thanks”!
 
This one is all about classical music and features seven revolutionary composers who changed the landscape of music forever. Although I am sneaking this one in from December of 2019, it’s  written and illustrated in such a fresh way I hope you read more and share with any budding aficionados you might know!
 
7) Mel Fell (2021), Corey R Tabor, link:
I don’t think you need to be a lover of birds (I am!) or a professional storytime coordinator (I am!) to fall for a book that both introduces a species and is perfect for read-alouds to fall for Mel Fell! And because the interactive surprise is so delightful I want new readers to have that same experience, so that’s all you’re getting from me!
 
Shameless plug for my picture book illustration debut: 
8) Louis (2020), written by Tom Lichtenheld, link to HMH’s page for more links to printable activity sheets for kids:
“Rowan-Zoch’s colorful and expressive illustrations complement Lichtenheld’s silly story and truly bring Louis the grumpy bear to life…. Perfect for read-alouds or one-on-one sharing, this is a laugh-out-loud spin on a would-be runaway’s best-laid plans.”
School Library Journal
 
I find this is a great read along with the next title below (mine!). It’s all about poor Pangolin who is completely frustrated trying to explain what he is to quite the unruly audience – a very funny read aloud, and on our shelves now!
And yet another shameless plug for my author-illustrator debut! If you hurry you can pre-order (and ask for a signed copy) online from Old Firehouse Books:
10)I’m a Hare, So There! (2021) link to the store’s book page:
“For anyone a bit hazy on the differences between a rabbit and a hare, a tortoise and a turtle, or, for that matter, a hog and a javelina, this cactus-country confab begins to clear things up.”
Booklist
Here is a sort video of me opening my box of author copies with my favorite carbon knife! Risky, but you only live once: https://youtu.be/7NQGZU6e0GY
 
★Throwing in a marvelous piece from the NYT on why picture books are great for any age,  link
2
–Julie

Remember, you can purchase any or all of these fantastic picture books by clicking on their titles above! And if you pre-order Julie’s debut book, I’m a Hare, So There, she’ll sign it for you! Go now!!!

Happy reading!

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