Last month I went to a top-secret location to meet with my top-secret collaborators where we did something very top-secret: select this year’s New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Books. It has been, as you might imagine, hard to keep such a top-secret, but we did until yesterday when and our choices (and ourselves) were revealed here. Being part of this jury was a longtime dream come true so my thanks to children’s book editor Maria Russo and Pamela Paul editor at the Book Review, for making it happen. It was a delight to work with my fellow jurors, Marjorie Ingall and Frank Viva, starting out with over 2000 books and ending up with ten. Focusing on the artistic merit of each book, I was struck by what a remarkable year it has been for illustrated children’s books — with so many wonderful titles, limiting ourselves to ten was challenging indeed. Congratulations to all! (You can see some interior spreads from each book at this post by Travis Jonker.)
Big Bear Little Chair
Written and illustrated by Lizi Boyd
By Emily Jenkins. Illustrated by Sophie Blackall.
Funny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras
By Duncan Tonatiuh
Leo: A Ghost Story
By Mac Barnett. Illustrated by Christian Robinson
Madame Eiffel: The Love Story of the Eiffel Tower
By Alice Brière-Haquet. Illustrated by Csil.
The Only Child
Written and illustrated by Guojing
By Mac Barnett. Illustrated by Patrick McDonnell.
By JonArno Lawson. Illustrated by Sydney Smith.
The Tiger Who Would Be King
By James Thurber. Illustrated by JooHee Yoon.
Tricky Vic: The Impossibly True Story of the Man Who Sold the Eiffel Tower
By Greg Pizzoli