10 to Note: Spring Preview 2020
Sifting through 2000-some-odd books each season and picking ten that I’m most excited about/intrigued by is always a tough task, but this time out was especially challenging. Why? Because spring 2020 is full of great-looking books.
So many great-looking books.
Below are ten books publishing in March, April, and May that jumped out to me.
Lift by Minh Lê, illustrated by Dan Santat
May 5, 2020 | Little, Brown | Grades K-2
The Drawn Together team is back at it with another book bursting with imagination and heart. Lift is a cinematic visual feast with a side of sibling rivalry and acceptance.
Weekend Dad by Naseem Hrab, illustrated by Frank Viva
May 5, 2020 | Groundwood | Grades K-2
A departure from her LOL-worthy Ira Crumb books, Naseem Hrab tells a heartfelt story about divorce that will ring true with plenty of young readers.
We Are Water Protectors by Carole Lindstrom, illustrated by Michaela Goade
March 17, 2020 | Roaring Brook Press (Macmillan) | Grades K-2
Sticking up for our natural resources: always a worthy cause. This story about taking a stand also features what will likely go down as some of the most glorious watercolor artwork in any picture book this year.
Our Friend Hedgehog: The Story of Us by Lauren Castillo
May 5, 2020 | Knopf (Random House) | Grades K-2
Lauren Castillo branches out from picture books with this wonderful new illustrated chapter book series. On a journey to find her lost stuffed animal, Hedgehog is joined by a cast of memorable animal characters in a book that brings to mind Beatix Potter, The Wind in the Willows, and Winne-the-Pooh. To quote Jay-Z: “Oh, it’s timeless.”
Middle Grade Fiction
We Dream of Space by Erin Entrada Kelly
April 8, 2020 | Greenwillow (HarperCollins) | Grades 3-7
A Newbery winner tells a sibling story set in the 1986 lead-up to the Challenger disaster. Dang.
The List of Things That Will Not Change by Rebecca Stead
April 7, 2020 | Wendy Lamb Books (Random House) | Grades 3-7
With three starred reviews and counting, this book about a girl navigating her parents divorce sounds like Stead at her finest.
Stepping Stones by Lucy Knisley
May 5, 2020 | Random House Graphic | Grades 3-7
Because . . .
When Stars Are Scattered by Omar Mohamed and Victoria Jamieson
April 14, 2020 | Dial (Penguin) | Grades 4-7
An unexpected book from Roller Girl and All’s Faire in Middle School creator Jamieson, who worked closely with Omar Mohamed to tell his Kenyan refugee camp story. A story that runs the gamut of emotions: sadness, humor, love, hope and all points in between.
Clever Hans: The True Story of the Counting, Adding, and Time-Telling Horse by Kerri Kokias, illustrated by Mike Lowery
May 5, 2020 | G.P. Putnam’s Sons (Penguin) | Grades K-3)
Sometimes you finish a nonfiction book and you just think “I’m glad someone made a book about this.” This is that kind of book. A true story about a horse who was pretty good with numbers – or was he? Clever Hans dives into the myth of this famous horse.
Nacho’s Nachos: The Story Behind the World’s Favorite Snack by Sandra Nickel, illustrated by Oliver Dominguez
May 26, 2020 | Lee & Low | Grades K-5
Let me tell you something about me – you show me a nonfiction picture book about the invention of any kind of snack or dessert, and I am going to want to read that book. This book, about the ultimate snack food is directly in my wheelhouse.
Filed under: Previews
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.
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