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last updated 08 April 2020


Bank Street College of Education’s Children’s Book Committee strives to guide librarians, educators, parents, grandparents, and other interested adults to the best books for children published each year. The 2020 edition includes more than 600 titles chosen by reviewers as the best of the best published in 2019 for literary quality and excellence of presentation as well as the potential emotional impact of the books on young readers. We’re proud to present over thirty Bright titles featured on this year’s prestigious list!

View the full 2020 Edition here.

Under 5


Goodnight, World illustrated by Hannah Tolson, Tiger Tales Books

Lizzy McTizzy and the Busy Dizzy Day illustrated by Lee Wildish, HarperCollins

Little Taco Truck illustrated by Jorge Martin, Schwartz & Wade

Raj and the Best Day Ever! author-illustrated by Sebastien Braun, Templar Publishing

Tropical Terry author-illustrated by Jarvis, Candlewick

The Unbudgeable Curmudgeon illustrated by Fiona Woodcock, Knopf Books for Young Readers

Mary Had a Little Lamb author-illustrated by Jarvis, Candlewick

Under 5 (STEM)


Caterpillar and Bean illustrated by Hannah Tolson, Candlewick

Ages 5-9 (Historical Fiction)


Papa Put a Man on the Moon illustrated by Sarah Green, Dial Books

Ages 5-9 (Today)


The Pirate Tree illustrated by Jennie Poh, Lantana Publishing

The Proudest Blue illustrated by Hatem Aly, Little, Brown Young Readers

Under My Hijab illustrated by Aaliya Jaleel, Lee & Low

The Tide illustrated by Ashling Lindsay, Tiger Tales Books

Ages 5-9 (Poetry)


The Proper Way to Meet a Hedgehog illustrated by Richard Jones, Candlewick

Pick a Pumpkin illustarted by Jarvis, Candlewick

Ages 5-9 (Biography & Memoir)


Along Came Coco author-illustrated by Eva Byrne, Abrams

Brave Ballerina illustrated by Ebony Glenn, Holt Books for Young Readers

Muslim Girls Rise illustrated by Aaliya Jaleel, Simon & Schuster

Ages 5-9 (Ecology)


A Sea Otter to the Rescue illustrated by Rachel Sanson, Simon Spotlight

Ages 5-9 (History)


The Spacesuit illustrated by Ariel Landy, Maverick Arts

Ages 5-9 (STEM)


Dogs in Space illustrated by Iris Deppe, Wren & Rook

The Arctic Fox’s Journey illustrated by Morgan Huff, HarperCollins

Samuel Morse, That’s Who! illustrated by El Primo Ramón, Holt Books for Young Readers

Ages 9-12 (Fantasy)


Good Dog, McTavish illustrated by Grace Easton, Candlewick

Ages 9-12 (Historical Fiction)


The Journey of York illustrated by Alleanna Harris, Capstone

Ages 9-12 (Biography & Memoir)


The Unstoppable Garrett Morgan illustrated by Ebony Glenn, Lee & Low

Ages 9-12 (STEM)


All in a Drop illustrated by Vivien Mildenberger, HMH Books for Young Readers

Ages 12-14 (Adventure & Mystery)


The Story Pirates Present: Digging up Danger illustrated by Hatem Aly, Random House Books for Young Readers

A Good Kind of Trouble illustrated by Alleanna Harris, HarperCollins

Ages 12-14 (Fantasy)


Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky illustarted by Eric Wilkerson, Rick Riordan Presents

Ages 14 and Older (Coming of Age)


The Field Guide to the North American Teenager illustrated by Steffi Walthall, Balzer + Bray

Ages 14 and Older (Health)


TRANS+: Love, Sex, Romance, and Being You illustrated by Anne Passchier, Magination Press

Congratulations to all who made the list this year, and thank you to Bank Street College and the Children’s Book Committee!

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