A Year of Children’s Books in Review | 2019
The Children’s Book Review | December 27, 2019
Dear Loyal Reader and Child Literacy Advocate,
How can it be that another year has come to pass? There will never be enough words to thank you for joining me on this ‘Growing Readers’ journey! I believe the gift of reading is one of the most powerful treasures we can bestow upon our children, and it’s so wonderful to be able to share this sentiment with such a special community of readers.
Beyond the opportunities of exploring imaginary worlds and the real world—as well as discovering ourselves and learning to understand others through the characters that we meet upon pages—I caught myself this holiday season marveling at the simple and privileged pleasures reading affords us. I loved seeing my preschooler recognizing his name, as well as family members’ names, on gift packages. I found delight in watching my eight-year-old reading a menu to order a delicious meal for a special family dinner, as well as writing many thank-you cards to her ‘Deer’ relatives. And seeing my teenager snuggled up with cozy socks and a fluffy blanket, chilling in a beanbag with a book—devices discarded to the side—provided some blissful and fulfilling moments.
Not only am I grateful for you, our loyal reader, but also for every single person that contributes their time to The Children’s Book Review in their own special way. Below, you will find some highlights from the year gone by, including plenty of posts from our amazing contributors. And, in case you missed it, be sure to check out my most anticipated picture book of 2020: Don’t Wake the Dragon. Click on over to see why I’m so, so excited, and also wholly biased!
Thank you for continuing to help us with our pursuit of growing readers! When we create readers, we develop thinkers and learners and inspire creativity. Here’s to 2020 and the beautiful books and inspired thinking that it will bring!
Founder, The Children’s Book Review
This year, we reviewed everything from board books to picture books to book subscription services to educational apps. Take a look at some of the highlights.
- ABCmouse.com Early Learning Academy | Educational Kids App Review
- Do Not Lick This Book, by Idan Ben-Barak | Book Review
- The Storm Keeper’s Island, by Catherine Doyle | Book Review
- The Fox Girl and the White Gazelle, by Victoria Williamson | Book Review
- Can You Crack the Code?, by Ella Schwartz | Book Review
- Little Fun Club: A Monthly Book Subscription Service | Dedicated Review
- Chomp Goes The Alligator, by Matthew Van Fleet | Book Review
- Little Blue Chair, by Cary Fagan | Book Review
- Everything You Need for a Treehouse, by Carter Higgins | Book Review
- A House That Once Was, by Julie Fogliano | Book Review
Our booklists covered everything from the best children’s books of 2019 to some genuinely stunning picture books from around the world. Here’s a sampling.
- 34 of the Best Picture Books of 2019
- 27 of the Best Kids Chapter Books and Middle-Grade Books of 2019
- 6 of the Best Board Books of 2019
- 13 of the Best Young Adult Books of 2019
- 5 Magical Realism Books for Kids Who Love … Magic
- 5 Books For Raising Happy, Calm, and Resilient Kids
- 5 Gripping Survival Stories to Be Read and Passed on to Young Readers
- 5 Compelling Picture Books Worthy of Reading Again and Again
- Five Stupendous Steampunk Stories For Kids and Teens
- 5 Translated Picture Books: Stunning Stories From Around the World
Articles of Interest
A highlight from the year was the addition of our monthly Growing Readers column. Thanks to Lizzie Mussoline, M. Ed., we have loads of fun literacy tips to share with you, along with other interesting articles that encourage plenty of reading.
- How to Weave a Little Reading and Writing into the Summer Break
- The Children’s Book Holiday Gift Guide | 2019
- The Best Family-Friendly Podcasts for Kids
- How to Prepare for a Successful School Year
- 7 Subscription Gifts for Kids and Book Lovers
- How to Make Book Recommendations and Boost Literacy Skills in the Process
- Literacy Tips and Activities That Work for Families
- Children’s Book Illustrators Creating Art for Progressive Change
- The Most Anticipated Picture Book of 2020
- Gifts for Writers, Bookworms, Book Club Friends, and All Lovers of Literature
Author and Illustrator Interviews
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.
- M.H. Clark and Sarah Forster Discuss Tiger Days: A Book of Feelings
- Saving Winslow, by Sharon Creech | Speed Interview
- Kobi Yamada and Gabriella Barouch Discuss Maybe
- Speed Interview with Carolyn Crimi, Author of Weird Little Robots
- Filigree’s Midnight Ride, by Dorothy Hearst and Pam Berkman | Meet the Characters
- New Kid, by Jerry Craft | Speed Interview
- Alicia D. Williams, Author of Genesis Begins Again | Selfie and a Shelfie
- My Writing and Reading Life with Alex Willan, Author-Illustrator of Jasper & Ollie
- Karen Benke, Author of Rip ALL the Pages! | My Writing and Reading Life
- Rocket to the Moon!: Big Ideas That Changed the World, by Don Brown | Speed Interview
Book Awareness Tours
The more people we get to share books with, the merrier! That’s why taking authors on virtual book tours is worth all of the effort to us. Here’s a glimpse at a few of the featured authors that toured the internet with us in 2019.
- Witches Protection Program, by Michael Okon | Awareness Tour
- The Knowing, by Brit Lunden | Awareness Tour
- Matt Monroe and the Haunted House, by Edward Torba | Awareness Tour
- Two Little Golfers Being Positive, by Jenn Holt | Awareness Tour
- My Friend Moose’r McDan, by Sky Danley | Awareness Tour
We’d love to hear from you in the comments below on what you’d like to see more or less of in 2020!