Best of 2020: Kids & Picture Books

Created on October 28, 2021, 3:48 pm

Last Updated November 1, 2021, 10:17 am

See some of our favorite kids and picture books in Oak Park’s Best of 2020, a librarian-curated selection of titles, featuring some of the titles most requested and checked out by Oak Parkers!
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“This is one of the best friendship stories I’ve read. Plus, marching band and comics! Really fun and heartfelt.”—Jenna, Collection Management Librarian
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“Families are complicated because people are complicated, and this is such a beautiful look at a tween boy learning about who his grandmother and father are, how right and wrong can change based on your perspective, and how he fits in.”—Shelley, Children’s Services Librarian
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“I love this book because it gives clear, kid friendly explanations of traditionally heavily gendered concepts using gender neutral and queer-friendly language!”—Andy, Children’s Services Library Assistant
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“I love a sweet animal story, and this has a very Winnie the Pooh feel to it which is delightful.”—Jenna, Collection Management Librarian
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“I could not stop crying while reading this book (and I rarely cry). It’s beautiful how King and his family begin to process grief and work together to be understanding and accepting.”—Beronica, Children’s Services Librarian
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“I grew up reading the Little House books, as did the author—she wrote this as a Chinese American wondering if she could have been friends with Laura. This is a darker, more realistic version of Little Town on the Prairie, with real and flawed and wonderful characters who try their best—if that’s enough.”—Shelley, Children’s Services Librarian
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“This is a delightfully funny ghost story about the importance of family, dreams, and makers of all types. I especially love how HD’s family was protective of his time and energy against his Oma’s dreams of sauerkraut victory.”—Shelley, Children’s Services Librarian
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“My favorite kind of historical fiction is the kind that shows you a pocket of history you never knew existed, and Show Me A Sign does exactly that with a story of deafness on Martha’s Vineyard during colonial times.”—Andy, Children’s Services Library Assistant
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“Lucy Knisley is a master of the graphic memoir. This story of being uprooted is based in her own childhood experience and reflects so much of the frustration kids feel when their life feels beyond their own control.”—Genevieve, Children’s Services Librarian
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10) Twins
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Bright and appealing drawings will attract Smile fans. The perfect book for exploring feelings and being a sibling. Two things many kids identify with, but particularly right now.”—Anne, Remote Learning Coordinator
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“This book is perfection.”—Jenny, Community Engagement Specialist
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“This sweet picture book filled with colorful, whimsical art, captures the beauty and wonder of the natural world, explores the lasting power of memories, and the warmth and comfort that friendship provides.”—Eileen, Children’s Services Digital Learning Librarian
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“This is a beautiful story that pays homage to the Ashanti people and features Adinkra symbols and meanings.”—Nora, Community Engagement Coordinator
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I had to buy this picture book after the first time I read it. The illustrations are so vibrant and the text really speaks to you. Interracial families are cool! Also, the author is super hip!”—Beronica, Children’s Services Librarian
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“Adam Rex does it again with a book that is like no other. Its over-the-top nature is what will keep you reading and keep kids engaged in droves.”—Anne, Remote Learning Coordinator
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“This book seems very appropriate right now. The illustrations are beautiful, and it was an easy way to introduce important values to my children.”—Lauren, Neighborhood Services Library Assistant
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“We can’t hug—and that can be hard for some. But there are so many ways to show friends and family that we love them even when we’re apart.”—Jenny, Community Engagement Specialist
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"The gorgeous, colorful illustrations were the initial attraction, but the empowering, celebratory story on honoring the beauty and history of names and cultural identity won me over entirely.”—Sarah, Community Engagement Manager
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“A seriously insightful story!”—Megha, Children’s Services Library Assistant
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“A story about who and what matters. (Spoiler alert: Everyone matters—even if you’re gassy.)”—Jenny, Community Engagement Specialist
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