This year, I had the great honor of being a judge for the 2017 New York Times/New York Public Library Best Illustrated Children’s Books Award. On a morning in early October, my fellow judges and I met in a large conference room in the New York Times building. There were two rows of tables just overflowing with 1000+ books. In the months prior to selection day, I had tried to prepare myself by reading more than 500 illustrated titles. All this reading did not fully ready me for the piles of books in that conference room. By the end of the day, we had narrowed the field down to the 10 winners. We were thrilled with our choices and a bit sad for some of our favorites that were abandoned along the way.
There were lots of wonderful books published in 2017. Not all of them are going to make the “best of” lists, but here are 50 of my favorites. As a librarian, I believe that each child should have a personal library at home with lots of library books mixed in. If you are looking for gift ideas or would like a booklist to use at your local public library, here are some titles to get you started.
Dazzle Ships : World War I and the Art of Confusion by Chris Barton; illustrated by Victo Ngai