Baby & Toddler

Pre-K

Growing Reader

The Most-Anticipated Picture
Books of 2020

by Dena McMurdie

2020-picture-books

Looking through the new picture books set for publication in 2020, one theme kept standing out: positivity. The lineup of new picture books coming out in 2020 is jam-packed with uplifting, positive, and encouraging stories. In all honesty, they have me drooling in anticipation. I can’t wait to snuggle up with my four-year-old daughter and read these beautiful books.

From stunning debuts to highly-anticipated page-turners by beloved authors, here are the picture books to watch for this year.

  • Tomorrow I’ll Be Kind

    by Jessica Hische

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    Start the year off on a high note with this uplifting follow-up to Tomorrow I’ll Be Brave. A heartfelt reminder to always treat others with kindness, Hische's lastest inspires kids and adults alike to be more compassionate people with the turn of each hand-lettered page.

    (On sale: 1/14/20)

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  • A Little Book About 123s

    by Leo Lionni, illustrated by Jan Gerardi

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    No childhood is complete without Leo Lionni's beloved children's books. This new board book joins the collection of concept books based on Lionni's bestselling classics. Babies and toddlers will love counting party supplies as a group of adorable little mice get ready for the big bash.

    (On sale: 1/7/20)

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  • Just Like Me

    by Vanessa Newton

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    As the mom of three girls, this is one of the picture books I'm looking forward to most in 2020. It's a collection of mini-stories that celebrate all kinds of girls - girls with goals, girls who feel powerful, girls who give back, and girls who love. From the country to the city, girls from all backgrounds share their thoughts and dreams. Written by the author of Grandma’s Purse, this book will warm the hearts of everyone who reads it.

    (On sale: 1/14/20)

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  • The Box Turtle

    by Vanessa Roeder

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    Get ready for cute overload! Terrance was born without a shell, so his parents gave him a cardboard box instead. Terrence loves his box shell until another turtle makes fun of it, prompting him to go off in search of a new shell. Along the way, he learns a lesson in loving yourself, embracing your weirdness, and forming lifelong friendships.

    (On sale: 2/11/20)

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  • Jack at Bat

    by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Greg Pizzoli

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    Fans of the A Jack Book series will love seeing new stories hit shelves this year. This sidesplitting early reader series is quickly becoming a favorite of growing readers everywhere. Kids will laugh out loud as they read about Jack's latest adventures playing baseball in Jack at Bat and visiting a ranch in Jack Goes West, both publishing in February. In May, kids can enjoy two more stories with Jack at the Zoo and Too Many Jacks. That's a lot of hilarious fun coming your way!

    (On sale: 2/4/20)

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  • No More Naps!

    by Chris Grabenstein, illustrated by Leo Espinosa

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    Best known for the wildly popular Mr. Lemoncello's Library series, Chris Grabenstein's debut picture book delivers a giggle-inducing twist on the battle between a stubborn child and her looming naptime. Annalise refuses to take a nap, even though everyone she meets gladly takes hers. But when Annalise is finally ready to rest, there are no naps left!

    (On sale: 2/4/2020)

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  • Cool Cuts

    by Mechal Renee Roe

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    Young African American boys will appreciate this celebration of self-love through diverse hairstyles. Brightly colored illustrations of cornrows, curls, and afros adorn each page alongside the mantra, "I am born to be awesome!" If you enjoy this book, you'll also want to check out the companion book for girls, Happy Hair.

    (On sale: 2/11/20)

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  • The Bug Girl: A True Story

    by Sophie Spencer and Margaret McNamara, illustrated by Kerascoët

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    Seven-year-old Sophie has loved bugs since she was a toddler, but other kids don't understand her fascination. Bullies push her to stop sharing her interest - until hundreds of female scientists reach out to encourage her to follow her passion. Based on the author's personal experience, this uplifting story encourages children to embrace their curiosities.

    (On sale: 2/11/2020)

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  • The Seed of Compassion

    by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, illustrated by Bao Luu

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    Few people have made as lasting an impression on the world as His Holiness the Dalai Lama. In his first ever picture book, this Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and world-renowned speaker shares special moments from his childhood to teach kids lessons in compassion and kindness. Inspirational and moving, this gift-worthy book is a must-read.

    (On sale: 3/24/20)

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  • To the Moon and Back for You

    by Emilia Bechrakis Serhant, illustrated by EG Keller

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    Many picture books celebrate the extraordinary love a parent has for their child, but few do so through the lens of infertility. This picture book is a love letter to every parent who crossed oceans, deserts, and mountains to find their miracle baby. Beautifully illustrated, this poignant story will tug at your heartstrings as families of all shapes and sizes go to the moon and back for their children.

    (On sale: 3/24/2020)

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  • Grandma’s Gardens

    by Hillary Clinton and Chelsea Clinton, illustrated by Carme Lemniscates

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    Some people pass on jewelry or furniture as family heirlooms. Grandma Dorothy - Hillary Clinton's mother and her daughter Chelsea's grandmother - passed on her passion for nature. Through this unique gift, Grandma Dorothy left them both with fond memories of their time spent together in the garden. This uplifting book celebrates the special bond that forms across generations when we share the things we love.

    (On sale: 3/31/20)

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  • Little Engine That Could: 90th Anniversary Edition

    by Watty Piper, illustrated by Dan Santat

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    With its timeless lessons of kindness and perseverance, this beloved story has captured the hearts of young children for 90 years! Originally published in 1930, this anniversary edition features the full original text with stunning new artwork from Caldecott Award-winning illustrator Dan Santat and an introduction by Dolly Parton. This classic tale is ready for a whole new generation of readers!

    (On sale: 4/7/2020)

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  • How to Solve a Problem

    by Ashima Shiraishi, illustrated by Yao Xiao

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    World-class rock climber Ashima Shiraishi shares her story of determination in this insightful picture book. She points out that a boulder is just like any other obstacle you might face in life. It takes patience and problem-solving to reach the top, but once you do, the reward is worth every ounce of effort you put in.

    (On sale: 4/7/20)

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  • Bedtime Bonnet

    by Nancy Redd, illustrated by Nneka Myers

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    In this family, bedtime hair care is an important ritual. From durags to wraps, each member of the family puts their hair up when they put on their pajamas. That is, everyone except the little girl who lost her bedtime bonnet. This touching story celebrates black hair traditions and warm family love.

    (On sale: 4/7/20)

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  • Who Will You Be?

    by Andrea Pippins

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    Every parent wonders what their child will be like when they grow up. In this moving picture book, a mother reflects on the people in her child's life and what attributes they will pass on to him. From family members to friends, everyone affects who he will become. This gentle story makes a wonderful gift for baby showers and special occasions.

    (On sale: 4/7/20)

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  • Citizen Baby Series

    by Megan E. Bryant and Daniel Prosterman, illustrated by Micah Player

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    Do you have an inquisitive little one? Teach them about our government with this informative set of board books. Follow Citizen Baby as he learns all about the president, the voting process, the Supreme Court, and Congress. Vibrant illustrations and simple text make these books the perfect introduction to the American government.

    (On sale: 5/4/20)

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  • Jasper & Ollie Build a Fort

    by Alex Willan

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    This humorous follow-up to Jasper & Ollie will tickle your funny bone while highlighting the importance of embracing our differences. When Jasper and Ollie decide to build separate forts in their backyard, their efforts are as different as the friends themselves. Jasper builds an elaborate fort in a matter of minutes, but Ollie takes his time planning and building a meaningful place the two friends can share.

    (On sale: 5/26/20)

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  • Where Do Speedboats Sleep at Night?

    by Brianna Caplan Sayres, illustrated by Christian Slade

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    Kids obsessed with the modern classic Where Do Diggers Sleep at Night? will love this new addition to the popular bedtime collection. Join a wide variety of boats and watercraft as they wash up and get ready to dock for the night. This charming bedtime story will have kids nodding off to dreams of gentle tides and rocking boats.

    (On sale: 6/4/20)

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  • There’s an Alien in Your Book

    by Tom Fletcher, illustrated by Greg Abbott

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    An alien has just crash-landed in your book, and it's up to you to return him to space. You'll have to twist, shake, and bounce your book to complete the mission; but before you launch your alien into the void, ask yourself: does he have to go? This fun and interactive companion to There’s a Monster in Your Book delivers a subtle message about acceptance and inclusiveness that will resonate with young readers.

    (On sale: 6/30/20)

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  • How to Read to a Grandma or Grandpa

    by Jean Reagan, illustrated by Lee Wildish

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    From babysitting grandparents to catching Santa and scaring ghosts, Reagan and Wildish's "how-to" picture books have become household favorites. In their latest book, kids teach grandparents how to orchestrate the perfect storytime. Your kids will giggle their way through this humorous story that flips traditional roles and puts them in charge.

    (On sale: 7/7/20)

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