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100 Scope Notes
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A Few Random Thoughts on the Bestselling Children’s Books of 2017


Publishers Weekly just released their list of the bestselling children’s book of 2017. I have a few thoughts . . .

  • Pete the Cat, man. He keeps on keeping on. The bestselling new picture book of 2017 was 5-Minute Pete the Cat Stories. It beat out She Persisted by Chelsea Clinton and Dragons Love Tacos 2.
  • But the overall bestselling picture book of 2017 was Oh, the Places You’ll Go. It wasn’t even close.
  • More shockingly, the overall second bestselling picture book in America in 2017 was Giraffes Can’t Dance. Did you know this book was so popular?
  • Brown Bear Brown Bear What Do You See? Outsold the latest John Green novel.
  • 2017 was the year of Wonder – bestselling children’s book of the year, film adaptation, it’s at the top of the mountain.
  • If you’ve been around a library, this won’t come as a surprise, but Dav Pilkey’s Dog Man series seems to be the most popular newcomer series.

What jumps out to you?


About Travis Jonker

Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.


  1. Angie Moore says:

    Pete the Cat, Giraffes and Brown Bear all jump out to me… but really, given how much my kindergarten kiddos LOVE Pete, (all 9, yes 9, classes, read one every day the first week of school, so they KNOW Pete!) that really isn’t too much of a surprise. But maybe you’re looking for a lack of “award-winning” titles? Or that only Pete and Dogman were originally published in 2017?

  2. Why is Prisoner of Azkaban on the Frontlist, when every other Harry Potter is on the backlist? And how did PoA sell 100,000+ more copies than the first one in the series? That’s just…odd.

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