ICPL Top Picks for 2020 PICTURE BOOKS

by Sam

Each winter the ICPL staff vote on TOP PICKS comprising our favorite books published during the current year. Our ten categories for TOP PICKS include Fiction; Young Adult, Picture Books; Middle Grade and Children’s; Mystery, Romance, Science Fiction/Fantasy; Biographies and Memoirs; Nonfiction; and Graphic Novels.

We want to hear about your favorites too! Do our TOP PICKS for PICTURE BOOKS match your favorite reading experiences from 2020?

Stay tuned for the BEST OF THE BEST list for the year which will be awarded from each TOP PICKS category. The title with the most staff nominations will be awarded the honor of ICPL BEST BOOK of 2020. We'll announce the BEST OF THE BEST for 2020 and our pick for BEST BOOK of 2020 on December 31.

We hope you enjoy our favorite PICTURE BOOKS of 2020 and would love to connect you with any titles that you find interesting!

Black is a rainbow color

Angela Joy

jE Joy

"A child reflects on the meaning of being Black in this anthem about a people, a culture, a history, and a legacy that lives on"--

The Couch Potato

Jory John



Minh Lê

jE Le

From the award-winning and bestselling creators of Drawn Together comes the fantastic tale of a magical elevator that will lift your spirits--and press all the right buttons! Iris loves to push the elevator buttons in her apartment building, but when it's time to share the fun with a new member of the family, she's pretty put out. That is, until the sudden appearance of a mysterious new button opens up entire realms of possibility, places where she can escape and explore on her own. But when she's forced to choose between going at it alone or letting her little brother tag along, Iris finds that sharing a discovery with the people you love can be the most wonderful experience of all. Using their dynamic comics-inspired storytelling, acclaimed author Minh Lê and Caldecott Medal-winning artist Dan Santat carry readers on a journey of ups, downs, and twists and turns that will send hearts--and imaginations--soaring.

The magical yet

Angela DiTerlizzi

jE Diterliz

Each of us, from the day we're born, is accompanied by a special companion--the Yet. Can't tie your shoes? Yet! Can't ride a bike? Yet! Can't play the bassoon? Don't worry, Yet is there to help you out. The Magical Yet is the perfect tool for parents and educators to turn a negative into a positive when helping children cope with the inevitable difficult learning moments we all face. Whether a child or an adult, this encouraging and uplifting book reminds us that we all have things we haven't learned...yet!

We are water protectors

Carole Lindstrom

jE Lindstro

Water is the first medicine. It affects and connects us all... When a black snake threatens to destroy the Earth and poison her people's water, one young water protector takes a stand to defend Earth's most sacred resource. Inspired by the many indigenous-led movements across North America, this bold and lyrical picture book issues an urgent rallying cry to safeguard the Earth's water from harm and corruption.