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It’s that time of year again – the time when the librarians, clerks, and other staff members of Evanston Public Library who have been reading all year long, finally reveal their 101 favorite children’s books. When I moved to Evanston from New York City, I took with me New York Public Library’s idea for an annual accounting of the state of kids’ books today. NYPL has created this same list for 117 years.

EPL has created it for two, but what a two it has been.

Physical copies of the list with descriptions of every title are available at the Main location (with copies available at the branches as well). All books are available in the library system and all local bookstores should be able to get whatever titles strike your fancy.

There’s something for everyone here, so enjoy!

Picture Books
“Alma and How She Got Her Name” by Juana Martinez-Neal
“Blue” by Laura Vaccaro Seeger
“Can I Be Your Dog?” by Troy Cummings
“The Day You Begin” by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by Rafael López
“Ducks Away!” by Mem Fox, illustrated by Judy Horacek
“The Field” by Baptiste Paul, illustrated by Jacqueline Alcántara
“First Laugh, Welcome, Baby!” by Rose Ann Tahe and Nancy Bo Flood, illustrated by Jonathan Nelson
“The Funeral” by Matt James
“Hello Hello” by Brendan Wenzel
“The Honeybee” by Kirsten Hall, illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault
“A House That Once Was” by Julie Fogliano, illustrated by Lane Smith
“I Am a Cat” by Galia Bernstein “Imagine!” by Raúl Colón
“Jerome by Heart” by Thomas Scotto, illustrated by Olivier Tallec, translated by Claudia Zoe Bedrick and Karin Snelson
“Julián Is a Mermaid” by Jessica Love
“Love” by Matt de la Peña, illustrated by Loren Long
“My Hair Is a Garden” by Cozbi A. Cabrera
“Ocean Meets Sky” by Terry Fan and Eric Fan
“A Parade of Elephants” by Kevin Henkes
“The Patchwork Bike” by Maxine Beneba Clarke, illustrated by Van Thanh Rudd
“The Rabbit Listened” by Cori Doerfeld
“The Stuff of Stars” by Marion Dane Bauer, illustrated by Ekua Holmes
“Teddy’s Favorite Toy” by Christian Trimmer, illustrated by Madeline Valentine
“This Is My Eye” by Neela Vaswani
“We Don’t Eat Our Classmates” by Ryan T. Higgins

Folktales and Fairy Tales

“The Dragon Slayer: Folktales from Latin America” by Jaime Hernandez, illustrated by F. Isabel Campoy
“The Frog Prince” by The Brothers Grimm, illustrated by Sybille Schenker
“The King of Birds (Gamayun Tales)” by Alexander Utkin
“The Little Red Fort” by Brenda Maier, illustrated by Sonia Sánchez
“Never Satisfied: The Story of the Stonecutter” by Dave Horowitz
“Ramayana: An Illustrated Retelling” by Arshia Shattar, illustrated by Sonali Zohra
“The Tiger Prince” by Chen Jiang Hong

Easy Books and Early Chapter Books

“Baby Monkey, Private Eye” by Brian Selznick and David Serlin
“Houndsley and Catina and Cousin Wagster” by James Howe, illustrated by Marie-Louise Gay
“Kick It, Mo!” by David A. Adler, illustrated by Sam Ricks
“Min Makes a Machine” by Emily Arnold McCully
“The Party and Other Stories” by Sergio Ruzzier
“Power Forward” by Hena Khan
“They Didn’t Teach THIS In Worm School!: One Worm’s Tale of Survival” by Simone Lia


“Can I Touch Your Hair? Poems of Race, Mistakes, and Friendship” by Irene Latham and Charles Waters
“In the Past: From Trilobites to Dinosaurs to Mammoths in More than 500 Million Years” by David Elliott, illustrated by Matthew Trueman
“Sakura’s Cherry Blossoms” by Robert Paul Weston, illustrated by Misa Saburi
“Seeing Into Tomorrow: Haiku” by Richard Wright, illustrated by Nina Crews
“Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Black Boy” by Tony Medina & 13 Artists
“Vivid: Poems & Notes About Color” by Julie Paschkis


“Aru Shah and the End of Time” by Roshani Chokshi
“The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge” by M.T. Anderson, illustrated by Eugene Yelchin
“The Book of Boy” by Catherine Gilbert, illustrated by Ian Schoenherr
“The Button War” by Avi
“Dear Sister” by Alison McGhee, illustrated by Joe Bluhm
“Front Desk” by Kelly Yang
“Ghost Boys” by Jewell Parker Rhodes
“Harbor Me” by Jacqueline Woodson
“Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World” by Ashley Herring
“The Jamie Drake Equation” by Christopher Edge
“The Journey of Little Charlie” by Christopher Paul Curtis
“Louisiana’s Way Home” by Kate DiCamillo
“The Mad Wolf’s Daughter” by Diane Magras
“Marcus Vega Doesn’t Speak Spanish” by Pablo Cartaya
“Merci Suárez Changes Gears” by Meg Medina
“The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl” by Stacy McAnulty
“My Year in the Middle” by Lila Quintero Weaver
“The Parker Inheritance” by Varian Johnson
“Rebound” by Kwame Alexander
“The Season of Styx Malone” by Kekla Magoon
“Small Spaces” by Katherine Arden
“The Stone Girl’s Story” by Sarah Beth Durst

Comics and Graphic Novels

“Be Prepared” by Vera Brosgol
“Cardboard Kingdom” by Chad Sell and Various
“Illegal” by Eoin Colfer and Andrew Donkin, illustrated by Giovanni Rigano
“Lowriders: Blast From the Past” by Cathy Camper, illustrated by Raúl the Third
“Monster Mayhem” by Christopher Eliopoulos
“The Prince and the Dressmaker” by Jen Wang
“Sanity & Tallulah” by Molly Brooks
“Sci-Fu: Book 1: Kick it Off” by Yehudi Mercado
“Small Things” by Mel Tregonning


“Between the Lines: How Ernie Barnes Went from the Football Field to the Art Gallery” by Sandra Neil Wallace, illustrated by Bryan Collier
“Do Not Lick This Book” by Idan Ben- Barak, illustrated by Julian Frost, photography by Linnea Rundgren
“The Confidence Code for Girls: Taking Risks, Messing Up, and Becoming Your Amazingly Imperfect, Totally Powerful Self” by Katty Kay, Claire Shipman, JillEllyn Riley, illustrated by Nan Lawson
“Dreamers” by Yuyi Morales
“Earth! My First 4.54 Billion Years” by Stacy McAnulty, illustrated by David Litchfield
“The Eye That Never Sleeps: How Detective Pinkerton Saved President Lincoln” by Marissa Moss, illustrated by Jeremy Holmes
“The Faithful Spy: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the Plot to Kill Hitler” by John Hendrix
“Frenemies in the Family: Famous Brothers and Sisters Who Butted Heads and Had Each Other’s Backs” by Kathleen Krull, illustrated by Maple Lam
“The Girl Who Drew Butterflies: How Maria Merian’s Art Changed Science” by Joyce Sidman
“The Girl With a Mind for Math: The Story of Raye Montague” by Julia Finley Mosca, illustrated by Daniel Rieley
“Irving Berlin: The Immigrant Boy Who Made America Sing” by Nancy Churnin, illustrated by James Rey Sanchez
“Joan Procter, Dragon Doctor: The Woman Who Loved Reptiles” by Patricia Valdez, ill. Felicita Sala
“Lovely Beasts: The Surprising Truth” by Kate Gardner, illustrated by Heidi Smith
“Mallko and Dad” by Gusti
“Marley Dias Gets It Done (And So Can You)” by Marley Dias
“Mary Who Wrote Frankenstein” by Linda Bailey, illustrated by Júlia Sardà
“The Mushroom Fan Club” by Elise Gravel
“My Family Divided: One Girl’s Journey of Home, Loss, and Hope” by Diane Guerrero
“Not My Idea: A Book About Whiteness” by Anastasia Higginbotham
“Nothing Stopped Sophie: The Story of Unshakable Mathematician Sophie Germain” by Cheryl Bardoe, illustrated by Barbara McClintock
“Otis and Will Discover the Deep: The Record-Setting Dive of the Bathysphere” by Barb Rosenstock, illustrated by Katherine Roy
“Spooked! How a Radio Broadcast and The War of the Worlds Sparked the 1938 Invasion of America” by Gail Jarrow
“Thirty Minutes Over Oregon: A Japanese Pilot’s World War II Story” by Marc Tyler Nobleman, illustrated by Melissa Iwai
This Is the Nest That Robin Built” by Denise Fleming
“The Truth About Bears,” “The Truth About Dolphins” and
“The Truth About Hippos” by Maxwell Eaton III