New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Books of the Year!


Today is one of the best days of the year, not because of Halloween or today’s spectacular fall weather, but because the list I most look forward to – The New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Books – is out!  Here it is:


The Tiger Who Would Be King by James Thurber, illus. by JooHee Yoon (a dark story about the futility of war)


The Impossibly True Story of Tricky Vic: The Man Who Sold the Eiffel Tower by Greg Pizzoli (This is one of the three books I correctly predicted for the NYT list!  A picture book about Robert Miller, a con artist who tried to sell the Eiffel Tower to scrap metal dealers.)


The Skunk by Mac Barnett, illus. by Patrick McDonnell. (One of two titles written by Mac Barnett on this list – a happy holiday season for him!  But the NYT distinction goes to the illustrator and Patrick McDonnell, the illustrator and writer of Me…Jane and A Perfectly Messed-Up Story, has delivered another gem – this one has adult appeal as well.)


Sidewalk Flowers by JonArno Lawson, illus. by Sydney Smith (My second prediction….a special gift for adults or thoughtful children. Lawson’s book is a quiet and moving  tribute to kindness and paying attention.)


Leo: A Ghost Story by Mac Barnett, illus. by Christian Robinson (A ghost story about friendship, illustrated by one of the most interesting illustrators working today. Robinson is also the illustrator of Last Stop on Market Street – another book that could have been on this list.)


The Only Child by Guojing (This graphic picture book won’t be published for a few more weeks so I haven’t seen it. But I’ve read lots of comparisons to Shaun Tan’s The Arrival.)


Funny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras by Duncan Tonatiuh (I don’t know this book – yet, but another favorite new book is Separate Is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation, also illustrated by Tonatiuh.)


Big Bear Little Chair by Lizi Boyd (Boyd is also the creator of Flashlight, the first book I’ve ever seen to make the flashlight an object of wonder and beauty!)


Madame Eiffel: The Love Story of the Eiffel Tower by Alice Briere-Haquet, illus. by Csil (A big year for the Eiffel Tower!  I missed this one – situation will be remedied soon.)


A Fine Dessert by Emily Jenkins, illus. by Sophie Blackall (My third correct prediction.  A story that follows the story of a blackberry dessert from 18th century England to the present day. There is an interesting discussion taking place about the portrayal of a slave woman and her daughter living in South Carolina in 1810. NPR’s Code Switch website posted an interesting story about the controversy. If you want to read more, here’s a link:

Happy Halloween – and Happy Book Shopping!





2 thoughts on “New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Books of the Year!

    • Hi Cathy,
      A good point – kind of a “muted” theme this year! Nothing too bright….and lots of red and black.
      I did feel like I missed a lot this year – several of the books are totally new to me. It’s good to have a few
      new books to look at.

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