A Year of Children’s Books in Review | 2020
A year of children’s books in review by The Children’s Book Review
Dear Much Appreciated Loyal Reader,
Thank you so much for taking the time to join us on this quest of growing readers. Especially during such a tumultuous year as 2020—a challenging year for all of us on so many different levels. Our hearts go out to all of you—especially those of you who lost a loved one.
The year started well and quickly became an endless cycle of reading, baking, eating sourdough and cake, and joining plenty of virtual meetings. It was the gift of reading and being together (sometimes a little too much togetherness and sometimes not enough due to distance) that kept us going. Thanks to books, together we traveled and explored the world from the safety of our homes. We allowed our imaginations to soar when our four walls felt like they were closing in on us. We took the time to learn about ourselves and tried our best to understand others’ perspectives through the characters and real people that we met upon pages. And through social upheaval and political unrest, we read to learn how we can best support one another and allow unheard voices to rise. The power of books felt more vital and more important than ever this year.
I’d like to take a moment to acknowledge 2020, forgive it, and move forward with gratitude. Gratitude for you! Appreciation for every person who contributes their love of raising readers and their time to The Children’s Book Review. Below, you will find some highlights from the year gone by, including plenty of posts from our outstanding contributors—a year of children’s books in review. A personal highlight for me was the release of my debut picture book, Don’t Wake the Dragon. Somehow, I even managed to write and sell two additional dragon picture books, including Who Loves the Dragon? (releasing in 2021).
With forgiveness in our hearts for the year that was 2020, we welcome 2021 with gratitude. (And a big, giant sigh of relief—any year will be an improvement on this past one!) May 2021 bring some extra light and happiness your way. Here’s to 2021 and the beautiful books and inspired thinking that it will bring!
Thank you for continuing to help us with our pursuit of growing readers! When we create readers, we develop thinkers, learners, leaders, and inspire creativity.
Founder, The Children’s Book Review
Book Review Highlights of 2020
This year, we reviewed everything from board books to picture books to book subscription services to educational apps and audiobooks. Take a look at some of the highlights.
- If You Come to Earth, by Sophie Blackall | Book Review
- And the People Stayed Home, by Kitty O’Meara | Dedicated Review
- Don’t Wake the Dragon, by Bianca Schulze | Book Review
- A Song of Wraiths and Ruin, by Roseanne A. Brown | Book Review
- Hello, Universe, by Erin Entrada Kelly | Dedicated Review
- If Elephants Disappeared, by Lily Williams | Book Review
- Mightier Than the Sword | Dedicated Book Series Review
- Rent a Boyfriend, by Gloria Chao | Book Review
- Reading Eggs | Dedicated Review
- I Survived Chapter Books and Graphic Novels | Book Series Review
- Here in the Real World, by Sara Pennypacker | Dedicated Review
Book List Highlights of 2020
Kindness, understanding, changing the world, and just plain fun have been themes for this years’ lists. Here’s a sampling.
- Black Lives Matter Book List for Kids and Teens
- True Holocaust Stories for Kids and Adults Because We Cannot Forget
- 5 Interactive Books for Kids That They’ll Absolutely Love
- 5 Amazing Novels for Young Dog Lovers
- 5 Kids’ Books for Changing the World
- The United States Constitution Explained for Kids with Books
- Beautiful Bilingual Books for Young Readers: Spanish and English
- The Best Children’s Audiobooks of 2020
- 10 Yummy Cookbooks For Kids, Young Chefs, and Parents
- 6 Fun Star Wars Books For Kids
- Unique Gifts for Kids, Teens, and Book Lovers
- Mister Rogers: Books That Celebrate Kindness
Articles of Interest and Literacy Tip Highlights of 2020
We have loads of fun literacy tips to share with you, along with other interesting articles that encourage plenty of reading.
- 5 Tips to Help Diversify Your Child’s Home Library or Reading List
- Building Stronger Family Connections Through Literacy
- How to Keep Kids and Teens Busy: Free and (Mostly Free) Fun Ideas
- What Does Kindergarten Readiness Really Look Like?
- What Makes a Children’s Book Great for Film Adaptation
- 5 Tips to Help Parents and Caregivers Best Support Remote Learning
- What to do When Your Child Hates to Read
- Help Kids Remain Mindful During Remote Learning with These Five Books
- Learning About Dyslexia: How You Can Help
- Literacy Tips for Building a Kinder World
- Writing About Civil Rights Era Boycotts, Strikes, and Marches During a Time of Social Upheaval
Author and Illustrator Interview Highlights of 2020
One of the most fun parts of the book world is chatting with the people that write the stories and create the artwork. We have so many great interviews from this past year. We featured bestselling authors, debut authors, and all the goodness that falls in between.
- Sophie Blackall Discusses If You Come to Earth
- Roseanne A. Brown Discusses A Song of Wraith and Ruin
- Bianca Schulze Discusses Don’t Wake the Dragon
- More Than an Actress: An Interview With Danica McKellar, Mathematician and Author
- Speed Interview with Emily Arrow, Author of Kids’ Guide to Learning the Ukulele: 24 Songs to Learn and Play
- Author Wesley King Discusses the Wizenard Series Created With Kobe Bryant
- Illustration Inspiration: Charles Santoso, Illustrator of This Way, Charlie
- Speed Interview with Rebecca Stead, Author of The List of Things That Will Not Change
- Illustration Inspiration: Lauren O’Hara, Illustrator of Madame Badobedah
- Illustration Inspiration: Chad Sell, Creator of Doodleville
- My Writing and Reading Life with Supriya Kelkar, Author of American as Paneer Pie
- My Writing and Reading Life with Josh Funk, Author of Short and Sweet
Virtual Book Awareness Tours of 2020
Taking authors on virtual book tours is worth all of the effort to us to spread our love of books. Here’s a glimpse at a few of the featured authors that toured the internet with us in 2020.
- Here in the Real World, by Sara Pennypacker | Awareness Tour
- A Flock of Fun, by Raven Howell | Awareness Tour
- Hello, Universe, by Erin Entrada Kelly Awareness Tour
- Grow Through It! by Jay Dee | Book Awareness Tour
- Think Outside the Box, by Justine Avery | Book Awareness Tour
- EQ Explorers: Little Adventures for a Big, Happy Life | Awareness Tour
- A Little Spark, by Chris Parsons | Awareness Tour
- A Whale of the Wild, by Rosanne Parry | Awareness Tour
- Mightier Than the Sword | Awareness Tour
- One-Minute Monologues for Teens | Awareness Tour
We hope you enjoyed A Year of Children’s Books in Review | 2020! We’d love to hear from you in the comments below on what you’d like to see more or less of in 2021!
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