As we head into the end of the year — and the end of the decade! — it’s time for our annual Staff Picks. This is the fifth year we’ve asked staff to name their favorite books published in the calendar year. Here are the children’s books they enjoyed most. Over the next few days, we’ll publish Staff Picks for Young Adult Books, Adult Nonfiction, and Adult Fiction.
We also highly recommend the books listed in our annual Books Make Perfect Gifts feature, which includes titles for young readers, from babies to young adults.
The Evil Princess vs. the Brave Knight by Jennifer Holm
From the bestselling author of Babymouse, comes this hilarious picture book where fairy tale meets sibling rivalry. Medieval brother and sister are out to get each other in this playful story. When they get banished to their bedrooms by the magic mirror, they realize that being both evil and brave is no fun without each other. The cartoon illustrations by Matthew Holm are charming and well-illustrated; they are excellent at complementing both the magic and the mischief depicted in this charming story. – Kathleen L., Librarian, Collection Management Department
Saturday by Oge Mora
Written and illustrated by Caldecott Honor-winning author/illustrator Oge Mora, “Saturday” is another book with rave reviews. Kirkus Reviews states, “How wonderful: a book with both racial diversity and class diversity that feels authentic.” With vibrant illustrations, Mora depicts why a young girl named Ava finds that Saturdays are a special and splendid time to be with her mother. “On Saturdays they zipped to the library for weekly storytime.” I cannot think of a better way to spend a Saturday! – Kathleen L., Librarian, Collection Management Department
This Book Just Stole My Cat! by Richard Byrne
A cat-stealing book that engages the reader and gets your tickling fingers ready. – Jessica R, Youth Services Librarian, Langhorne Branch
Frozen II: Forest of Shadows by Kamilla Benko (Fantasy)
To complement the Frozen II movie comes this middle grade novel that bridges the epic adventures between the first and second movies. Anna wants more than ever to be close with her older sister, Elsa. Read this book to find out more of the backstory of the two sisters after they become reunited at the end of Frozen and how their fates will affect all the people of Arendelle. – Kathleen L., Librarian, Collection Management Department
Guts by Raina Telgemeier (Graphic Novel)
The bestselling author of Smile, Sisters, Drama, and Ghosts is back again with another empowering graphic novel. Join Raina as she faces her fears about having the courage to overcome anxiety and middle school quandaries. – Kathleen L., Librarian, Collection Management Department
Lupin Leaps In by Georgia Dunn (Graphic Novel)
The second installment of Breaking Cat News, where cats report on the news that matters to cats. No world news here, just new cat toys, another baby, holiday costumes, and Elvis getting lost in the snow. Cat lovers will love it. – Ceil H., Manager, Collection Management Department