This may have been a year of uncertainties, but we’re so excited to close out 2020 by celebrating some truly incredible books. Join us in honoring all our books that earned starred reviews and a place on some wonderful best books lists this year!

Arlo the Lion Who Couldnt Sleep

Arlo the Lion Who Couldn’t Sleep
by Catherine Rayner

★ “Spellbinding…alluringly tranquil… Gentle and gorgeous.” —Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW


Eek! A Noisy Journey from A to Z
by Julie Larios
illustrated by Julie Paschkis

★ “An absolute zoo of an ABC book—in the best possible way.” —Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW

Hat Tricks

Hat Tricks
by Satoshi Kitamura

★ “Dynamic, fun-filled, imaginative, and ideal for participatory reading aloud.” —Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW

Madeline Finn and the Therapy Dog

Madeline Finn and the Therapy Dog
by Lisa Papp

★ “A beautifully designed introduction to the lives of therapy dogs and how much work goes into becoming one.” —School Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW

Bo the Brave

Bo the Brave
by Bethan Woollvin

★ “A great book to delve into what heroes are made of. Highly recommended for elementary libraries.” —School Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW

Life in a Frozen World

Life in a Frozen World
by Mary Batten
illustrated by Thomas Gonzalez

★ “Informative…fascinating… The text makes a compelling case for understanding and caring about Antarctica.” —School Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW

Society of Distinguished Lemmings

The Society of Distinguished Lemmings
by Julie Colombet

★ “Even the most rule-bound reader will be cheered up by these stodgy lemmings.” —Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW

William Still and His Freedom Stories

William Still and His Freedom Stories
The Father of the Underground Railroad

by Don Tate

Kirkus Reviews Best Picture Book Biography of 2020

Chicago Public Library’s Best of the Best Books of 2020

BCALA 2020 Best of the Best Booklist

★ “Brings deserved attention to the life of a man who dedicated himself to recording the lives of others.” —Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW

★ “An illuminating picture book biography of a lesser-known hero.” —Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW

★ “Inspirational.”—School Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW

Amphibian Acrobats

Amphibian Acrobats
by Leslie Bulion
illustrated by Robert Meganck

Denver Public Library’s Best and Brightest Children’s Poetry of 2020

★ “A completely satisfying package… Child readers and educators will find themselves enthralled by short, punchy poems and the science behind them.” —Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW

★ “Once again, Bulion awes—and ewws—readers with facts disguised as fun.”—Booklist, STARRED REVIEW

Candy Mafia

The Candy Mafia
by Lavie Tidhar
illustrated by Daniel Duncan

★ “It won’t take a detective to spot Willie Wonka, as well as Sam Spade, hidden in the tongue-in-cheek caper’s literary DNA.” —Booklist, STARRED REVIEW