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Gallery: The New York Times 10 Best Illustrated Children’s Books of 2014

Let the season of “Best” begin.

The 2014 edition of the New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Books has been announced, and it’s a great group.

I went three for ten in my predictions from earlier in the year.

Let’s have a look at the winners:

DRAW! Written and illustrated by Raúl Colón | A Paula Wiseman Book/Simon & Schuster

SHACKLETON’S JOURNEY Written and illustrated by William Grill | Flying Eye Books

HAITI, MY COUNTRY Poems by Haitian Schoolchildren lllustrated by Roge | Fifth House Publishers

HARLEM HELLFIGHTERS Written by J. Patrick Lewis. Illustrated by Gary Kelley | Creative Editions

TIME FOR BED, FRED Written and illustrated by Yasmeen Ismail | Walker Books/Bloomsbury

HERE IS THE BABY Written by Polly Kanevsky. Illustrated by Taeeyun Yoo | Schwartz & Wade

WHERE’S MOMMY? Written by Beverly Donofrio. Illustrated by Barbara McClintock | Schwartz & Wade

THE PROMISE Written by Nicola Davies. Illustrated by Laura Carlin | Candlewick Press

THE BABY TREE Written and illustrated by Sophie Blackall | Nancy Paulsen Books/Penguin

THE PILOT AND THE LITTLE PRINCE The Life of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Written and illustrated by Peter Sis | Frances Foster Books/Farrar, Straus & Giroux

It never fails that there are some unexpected titles on the list. In my predictions, I included a couple obscure picks, but it turns out my less obscure picks ended up being spot on.

What stands out to you?

Click here for a gallery of the 10 Best Illustrated Books of 2013


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 scopenotes@gmail.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.


  1. Is it just me, or is there a similar “look” to these books? Not my favorite type of illustration either, I’m afraid. It’s hard to describe — lots of lines, washes of color. Hmm. That doesn’t quite describe it.

    As for me, I still insist on waiting to do my “Best of the Year” list until the year is over. Totally messes up people using my lists to buy for Christmas — but that way the people on *my* gift list don’t know what they’re getting. :)

    • SassySeshat says

      I’ve noticed the same about many of the books that are popular or winning honors and awards lately. Many of them remind me of the dreary, sometimes bright but still faded imagery in the film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind or Inception. I also don’t care much for it, or see what is so great about it. Four of the books on this list have that quality.

  2. Four or five of them look “vintage” to me – with illustrations similar to those produced in the 50’s or 60’s: not unappealing, but a bit simple and static. Maybe that’s what the previous commenter (Sondy) is sensing. I wonder if this represents a movement away from the gorgeous coffee table/for all ages picture book (which Colon’s and Sis’s books are) and whether nostalgia for less embroidered and/or astonishing and cutting edge illustrations will win the day when the Caldecott is announced…?

  3. Can we spell “diversity,” children?