December 2020

Best Books of 2020: Picture Books

December 2020

Best Books of 2020: Picture Books

December 2020

Best Books of 2020: Picture Books

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The originator of the adage that life doesn't come with an instruction manual must never have picked up a picture book. When we're young, everything about life is new, uncertain, challenging and seemingly incomprehensible, without rhyme or reason—rather like 2020 has turned out to be. That's why we're so fortunate to have picture books like these. They offer us wisdom, laughter, comfort and wonder for every age, in any age.

10. Prairie Days by Patricia MacLachlan, illustrated by Micha Archer

"Archer’s extraordinary illustrations deliver a new thrill with every turn of the page. This is the most beautiful book of the year."—Allison, Children's Books

9. The Paper Kingdom by Helena Ku Rhee, illustrated by Pascal Campion

"The power of imagination to enliven any task is on full display in this gently told tale of a child who accompanies his parents to their job as night janitors."—Trisha, Publisher

8. I Talk Like a River by Jordan Scott, illustrated by Sydney Smith

Drawn from Scott’s personal experience with stuttering, I Talk Like a River is compassionate without resorting to sentimentality and dazzlingly brought to life by illustrator Smith.

7. The Little Mermaid by Jerry Pinkney

Pinkney breathes new life into Hans Christian Andersen’s familiar tale. This is an impressive addition to the already excellent body of work of one of the most acclaimed children’s book creators of all time.

6. Sugar in Milk by Thrity Umrigar, illustrated by Khoa Le

"This story about the sweetness that comes when we invite new people into our hearts is beautifully crafted."—Stephanie, Associate Editor

5. In a Jar by Deborah Marcero

The story of a little bunny who collects tangible reminders of special moments, In a Jar captivates, entertains and leaves you with a sense of magic still shimmering around the edges.

4. Me & Mama by Cozbi A. Cabrera

"Cabrera perfectly captures the adoration a young girl feels toward her mother, and her acrylic illustrations take my breath away."—Stephanie, Associate Editor

3. 13 Stories About Harris by Amy Schwartz

Schwartz proves herself a master of understated humor in this baker’s dozen of irresistibly charming tales.

2. Rain Before Rainbows by Smriti Prasadam-Halls, illustrated by David Litchfield

Litchfield’s color-saturated illustrations are stunning, and Prasadam-Halls’ spare benediction of gentle comfort will settle quietly into your heart.

1. The Old Truck by Jarrett Pumphrey and Jerome Pumphrey

This debut by two talented brothers is an extraordinary and universally appealing new classic.

ALSO IN BOOKPAGE: Discover all of BookPage’s Best Books of 2020.

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