Bright US Highlights of 2019

last updated 23 December 2019

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Illustration by Malgosia Piatkowska

As 2019 draws to a close, we’d like to take a moment to celebrate all of the Bright achievements from the last twelve months: From New York Times Bestsellers, top publications, and many books on end-of-year-lists; we’re grateful for all of the ways in which the hard work of our artists and agents has been recognized.

Enjoy the best and Brightest highlights of 2019 below!


Top Author/Illustrated Publications of 2019:


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Left: Happy Hair, by Mechal Roe, Doubleday Books for Young Readers

Right: Georgia’s Terrific, Colorific Experiment, by Zoe Persico, Running Press Kids


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Left: Leyla, by Galia Bernstein, Abrams

Right: Lights on Cotton Rock, by David Litchfield, Frances Lincoln Children’s Books


Top Illustrated Publications of 2019:


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Left: We Are the Gardeners, by designer and television personality Joanna Gaines, illustrated by Julianna Swaney, Thomas Nelson

Right: You Are My Happy, illustrated by Suzie Mason, HarperCollins


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Left: The Proudest Blue, by Olympic Medalist Ibtihaj Muhammad, illustrated by Hatem Aly, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Right: Superheroes Are Everywhere, by Senator Kamala Harris and illustrated by Mechal Roe, Philomel Books


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Left: Sisters First, by Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Pierce Bush, illustrated by Ramona Kaulitzki, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Right: When I Pray for You, illustrated by Kim Barnes, Convergent Books


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Left: Greta and the Giants, illustrated by Zoe Persico, Frances Lincoln Children’s Books

Right: Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky, illustrated by Eric Wilkerson, Rick Riordan Presents



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Top Left: Artwork from Fiona Woodcock’s, Hello

Top Right: Bright artist Galia Bernstein poses outside the opening reception

Bottom Left: Anne Moore Armstrong poses by artwork from Galia Bernstein’s, Leyla

Bottom Right: Artwork from Richard Jones’ The Proper Way to Meet a Hedgehog


Amazon’s Best Children’s Books of 2019

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Check out the full blog here.


Kirkus Reviews Best of 2019

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Read the full review here.

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Read the full review here.

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Read the full review here.

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Read the full review here.

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Read the full review here.

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Read the full review here.


NPR’s Favorite Books of 2019

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Left: The Proudest Blue, illustrated by Hatem Aly, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Right: The Curse of the Werepenguin, illustrated by Scott Brown, Viking Books for Young Readers


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Left: A Good Kind of Trouble, illustrated by Alleanna Harris, Balzer + Bray

Right: Under My Hijab, illustrated by Aaliya Jaleel, Lee & Low Books


Check out the full list here.


New York Public Library’s Best Books for Kids 2019

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Left: Brave Ballerina, illlustrated by Ebony Glenn, Henry Holt & Co.

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


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

Right: Pay Attention, Carter Jones, illustrated by James Lancett, Clarion Books


Check out the full list here.


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Becca Stadtlander wins the Golden Kite Award in the category of Picture Book Illustration for her illustrations in Made by Hand: A Crafts Sampler by Carole Lexa Schaefer, published by Candlewick Press.

Read the full blog here.


New York Times Best Sellers

This year, twelve books illustrated by Bright Artists were selected as New York Times Best Sellers. Of these, five titles hit the coveted #1 spot.


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A #1 New York Times Best Seller, Superheroes Are Everywhere, by Senator Kamala Harris, illustrated by Mechal Roe, Philomel Books


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A #1 New York Times Best Seller, You Are My Happy, and I’ve Loved You Since Forever, written by American broadcast journalist and television personality Hoda Kotb, illustrated by Suzie Mason, HarperCollins

“For both books, I absolutely loved the intent of the artwork - to create something warm and cozy, and to communicate the love that the parent feels when reading the story to their child. This meant I got to make everything extra pretty, extra lovely, extra cute, and I had a blast doing it!” — Suzie Mason


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A #1 New York Times Best Seller, We Are the Gardeners, by designer and television personality Joanna Gaines, illustrated by Julianna Swaney, Thomas Nelson

“I think WE ARE THE GARDENERS has been popular because it has a great message about motivation, learning, and not giving up that is still fun and readable. I hope kids like finding the little funny details I included in the illustrations of the garden, like the plants sipping tea, those were my favorite parts to work on!” — Julianna Swaney


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A #1 New York Times Best Seller, Hey Grandude!, by singer-songwriter Paul McCartney, illustrated by Kathryn Durst, Random House Books for Young Readers

Check out the full blog here.


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A #1 New York Times Best Seller, Sisters First, by Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Pierce Bush, illustrated by Ramona Kaulitzki, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

“Having a sister myself, I could really resonate with the beautifully written text of SISTERS FIRST. The book does not only show the positive aspects of being a sister but also the downsides, which makes it very real. I think this in combination with all the fun fantasy scenes (which were my favorite part to illustrate) made this sweet book so successful.” — Ramona Kaulitzki


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The Proudest Blue, by Olympic Medalist Ibtihaj Muhammad, illustrated by Hatem Aly, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Check out the full blog here.


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Raise Your Hand, illustrated by Marta Kissi, Penguin Workshop

“RAISE YOUR HAND was a great project to work on. Not only it was very refreshing to collaborate with a young talent such as Alice Tapper but also to illustrate a story that has such an empowering and resonating message for both girls and grown women alike. It’s simply amazing to see the book doing so well and gaining such a wonderful following among the readers who pledge to raise their hands and speak up! What’s not to like?” – Marta Kissi


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Be Kind, illlustrated by Jen Hill, Roaring Brook Press


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Dog Diaries, illustrated by Richard Watson, Jimmy Patterson

“I love being able to illustrate all the crazy and barktastic things that Junior and his pooch-pals get up to in the DOG DIARIES series and am absolutely thrilled to see it make the NYT bestseller list, I think it really appeals to kids due to its hilarious humor and because it is written from a doggy pawspective.” — Richard Watson


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


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The Creature of the Pines, illustrated by Hatem Aly, Puffin Books

“Getting the chance to work time and again with Adam Gidwitz is just plain awesome, especially when it’s a series that starts with a great book like UNICORN RESCUE SOCIETY: THE CREATURE OF THE PINES. So many great characters and fantastic creatures. How fun is that?” — Hatem Aly


Warmest holiday wishes and a happy new year from Bright!

Interested in working with any of the artists above? Send us an e-mail.

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