We’ve been collecting all the kids’ book lists we can find and highlighting the titles mentioned that come from our US-based publishers. (For listed titles from our many international publishing friends, just look here.) Like many of our beyond-the-US-borders publishers, our American kids’ book publishers provide titles from abroad in translation, as well as books original to American English, so just because these titles come from the US, you can still expect some global reading here, too!
Two of the most prodigious publishers with whom we work are actually bi-national. We’ll start with all the end of year kids’ book lists that were wise enough to feature Nosy Crow (at home in Massachusetts as well as the UK) and Child’s Play (at home in Maine as well as the UK). We’ll start with them in our US publisher award winner recap.
Betsy Bird’s December event, 31 Days, 31 Lists, include My First Lift-the-Flap Nursery Rhymes and a series including Look, It’s Roar, Roar Lion, and Look, It’s Woof, Woof Dog, a poetry anthology, A Whale of a Time, the funny picture book How to Count to 1, Make Tracks: Building Site and Make Tracks: Cars, and Grandpa and the Kingfisher, all from Nosy Crow. Nosy Crow’s Transported: 50 Vehicles That Changed the World holds a place on The Wall Street Journal Holiday Gift Books: Reading for Children list and also is feted on the ShelfAwareness Gifts for Kids and Teens list. Reading Rockets includes Nosy Crow’s How to Count to 1, Time to Move South for the Winter, Everything You Know about Dinosaurs Is Wrong, and A Whale of a Time: Funny Poems for Each Day of the Year. Publishers Weekly’s Holiday Books for Kids and Teens includes We’re Going on a Present Hunt, while A Whale of a Time, Look, It’s Woof, Woof Dog, and How to Count to 1 are selections on the Good Housekeeping Kids’ Book Awards list (which is chosen by observing the interactions of kids with books!). Nosy Crow’s endpapers also received accolades in the annual Endies Award slate celebrating this particular book design feature: Santa Claus and the Three Bears won in the Best Map category.
31 Days, 31 Lists also include a pair of board books from the “Look, Touch, Learn” series, Sea and Sky, published by Child’s Play. This pair is also featured on the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s Best Books for Babies, along with the four board books in Child’s Play’s “Now You See It” series: Meadow, Ocean, Rainforest, and River.
Betsy’s 31 Days, 31 Lists trumpets Balloon Art ABC, from Flowerpot Press, another bi-national publisher, this one crossing between the US and Canada. And the Carnegie Library’s Best Books for Babies list features Flowerpot’s Baby Says and Tummy Time.
The New York Times Holiday Gift Books for Children features a title brought from France by American publisher Red Comet Press: 101 Ways to Read a Book. Yellow Butterfly, which Red Comet brought from Ukraine, is honored with a place on Kirkus Best Picture Books 2023 list, on Mel Schuit’s Let’s Talk Picture Books Favorites of 2023, and among The Marginalian’s Favorite Children’s Books of 2023. Yellow Butterfly wins “Best Transformation” on the Undies Case Cover Awards list and holds a spot on the Wordless Picture Books edition of Betsy Bird’s 31 Days, 31 Lists while her Board Books for Babies list includes Reading Time! and her Picture Book Readalouds list and and her list of translated picture books include Roll, Roll, Little Pea, which also appears on the New York Public Library’s Best Books for Kids list and in Reading Rockets Holiday Buying Guide along with Walter Finds His Voice and The Rescues: Finding Home. The Rescues also finds a place on Betsy Bird’s Early Chapter Books list. I Really Want to Make Lemonade! is honored with placement on the Texas Library Association’s Little Maverick Graphic Novel Reading List. Betsy Bird’s Translated Picture Books list includes The Great Grrrrr and that picture book also won the Let Me Introduce You to the Characters Award on the Endies list.
Beginning reader graphic novel innovator Toon Books gets a shoutout on Betsy Bird’s list of Welcome Reprints for Hansel & Gretel, as told by Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Lorenzo Mattotti. Toon also appears in Reading Rockets Holiday Buying Guide with Caterpillars: What Will I Be When I Get to Be Me?, which is also on the Good Housekeeping Kids’ Book Awards list and on Betsy Bird’s list of Science and Nature Books, Shapes and Shapes is among Booklist Magazine’s Editors’ Choice: Graphic Novels selections, is included on the Good Housekeeping list, and the Little Maverick Graphic Novel Reading List. Little Mavericks also includes Paul Bunyan: The Invention of an American Legend. Paul Bunyan has been listed on the American Indians in Children’s Literature best list, too.
Reading Rockets Holiday Buying Guide awards numerous plaudits to Barefoot Books, including By Myself!, Copy That, Copy Cat: Inventions Inspired by Animals, and Boogie in the Bronx. Betsy Bird’s 31 Days, 31 Lists has featured Bruno Builder Bakes Bread, By Myself!, Copy That, Copy Cat, Ketchup on My Sundae, and Stranded: A Mostly True Story from Iceland and Stranded is also a Kirkus Best Picture Book of the year. In a list of Best Nonfiction of 2023 for Kids from Imagination Soup, Food for the Future: Sustainable Farming Around the World has a spot and so does Follow the Flyway. Benita y las criaturas nocturnas is among the New York Public Library’s Best Books for Kids. Sneak! is featured on the Good Housekeeping Kids’ Book Awards list.
Creston Books appears on the Outstanding Science Trade Books from the National Science Teaching Association which this year features Her Eyes on the Stars: Maria Mitchell, Astronomer. Olive, a brilliant retelling of the story of the giant, the child, and the beanstalk as imagined by artist Jed Alexander, holds a spot on the Fairy Tales, Folk Tales, and Religious Tales list and the Wordless Picture Book list, both composed by Betsy Bird. Betsy also includes Chloe’s Nature Journal, from Creston, on her list of Early Chapter Books and among her Science and Nature Books list.
Tiger Tales Books puts in a showing on Publishers Weekly’s Holiday Books for Kids and Teens with Santarella. The 31 Days, 31 Lists Board Books edition includes Eyes, Ears, Nose, and Toes from the “Little Peekaboos” series; and Don’t Mix Up My Farm and Don’t Mix Up My Ocean from the “Touch and Feel” series. The end papers in Wake Up, Trucks! won the Endies Award for Best Energy.
Soaring Kite Books is featured on Publishers Weekly’s Holiday Books for Kids and Teens list with The Lunar New Year Surprise. Marble Press makes an appearance with Ellie in First Position on Little Maverick Graphic Novel Reading List. Tapioca Stories, a New York-based publisher dedicated to bringing Latin American picture books to North American readers, earns a spot on Betsy’s Unconventional Children’s Books list and on Mel Schuit’s Let’s Talk Picture Books Favorites of 2023 for The Collector of Heads. As produced by Live Oak Media, the audiobook edition of Sandor Katz and the Tiny Wild appears on AudioFile Magazine’s Best Children and Family Listening Audiobooks list; the print edition of this title was published by Readers to Eaters. One More Step, Come Stand By My Side, from Yen Press, is among The Beat‘s 33 Best Manga of the Year.
See our Pinterest board of Awards and Best Lists of 2023 where you can find full bibliographic information about each of these titles as well as the complete list on which they appear. Then get picking out and picking up a best kids’ book of the year—or 27 of them!
And if you’re settling in for what seems a long winter’s night, compare your experience of the cold and dark with events in Stranded!