Bookstagang Best of 2020

FINALLY after months of work I am over the moon to finally be sharing our #bookstagang_bestof2020 picture books WINNERS with you. This year we had submissions from 43 publishers and had an outstanding crop of incredible books to choose from. Our 13 judges, including myself, had our work cut out for us. We have been busy reading, scoring, and jamming formulas into excel before finally placing the winners into their respective categories. The years winners are OUTSTANDING – thoughtful, representative, works of picture book art that deserve a standing ovation. So I will not keep you scrolling any longer (it’s not like I have to tell you my life story before we get to that brownie recipe or anything, right?!). Jump to the very end to hear more about what went into this whole award process!

Note: This post contains affiliate links, which means I earn a tiny commission (at no cost to you!) when you buy a book through one of my links. This helps support the free content that I put out for Inclusive Story Time – each and every click and purchase is meaningful to me and my family, and shows that you value the work that I do. Thank YOU!

International Friends: Many of these can be purchased through Blackwells with free-all-the-time international shipping!

Canadian Friends: All of these can be purchased through Indigo, using this link to shop does earn me a small affiliate commission on your purchase at no cost to you.

American Friends: I have set up full shoppable lists for both Amazon and

Best Board Books

My Family, Your Family

Kathryn Cole / Cornelia Li – Second Story Press /

Baby Medical School: Vaccines

Cara Florance / Jon Florance – ScourceBooks Kids /

Love You Head To Toe

Ashley Barron – Owlkids Publishing /

Prince & Knight

Daniel Haack / Stevie Lewis – Little Bee Books /

All Kinds Of Kindness

Judy Carey Nevin / Susie Hammer – Little Simon /

Nita’s Day

Fathy Macmillan / Sara Brezzi – Familius Publishing /

A Very Busy Board Book: Unicorns And Rainbows

Rusty Finch / Ela Smietanka – Cottage Door Press /

Dinosaur Surprise

Agnese Baruzzi – Minedition US /

You’re The Cheese In My Blintz

Leslie Kimmelman / Ramona Kaultzki – Kar-Ben Publishing /

Eco Baby: Where Are You Polar Bear?

DK Childrens /

Best Biography

Born Curious, 20 Girls Who Grew Up To Be Awesome Scientists

Martha Freeman / Katy Wu – Paula Wiseman Books /

The Power Of Her Pen

Lesa Cline-Ransome / John Parra – Paula Wiseman Books /

She Was The First

Katheryn Russell-Brown / Eric Velazquez – Lee & Low Books /

Canadian Women Now + Then

Elizabeth Macleod / Mala Faddoul – Kids Can Press /


Monica Brown / Elisa Chavarri – Lee & Low Books /

The Teachers March!

S. Neil Wallace & Rich Wallace / Charly Palmer – Boyds Mills & Kane /

I Am Not A Label

Cerrie Burnell / Lauren Mark Baldo – Wide Eyed Editions /

111 Trees

Rina Singh / Marianne Ferrer – Kids Can Press /

William Still and His Freedom Stories

Don Tate – Peachtree Publishing /

The Fighting Infantryman

Rob Sanders / Nabi Ali – Little Bee Books /

Innovative Non-Fiction

The Farm That Feeds US

Nancy Castaldo / Ginny Hsu – Quarto /

Winged Wonders

Meeg Pincus / Yas Imamura – Sleeping Bear Press /

Bird Watch

Editors of Storey Publishing / Oana Befort – Storey Publishing /

In The Garden

Emma Giuliani – PA Press /

I Ate Sunshine For Breakfast

Michael Holland / Philip Giordano – Flying Eye Books /

Season Of The Witch

Matt Ralphs / Nuria Tamarit – Flying Eye Books /

Teatime Around The World

Denyse Waissbluth / Chelsea O’Byrne – Greystone Books /

Me And The Word

Meireia Trius / Joana Casals – Chronicle Books /

Prehistoric Deep Sea

Thea Feldman / Bonne Pang – Cottage Door Press /

Professor Astro Cat’s Deep-Sea Voyage

Dominic Walliman / Ben Newman – Flying eye Books /

FUture Classics

My Day With Gong Gong

Sennah Yee / Elaine Chen – Annick Press /

When We Were Alone (Dual Language Swampy Cree/English)

David A. Robinson / Julie Flett – Highwater Press /

When Grandpa Gives You A Toolbox

Jamie L.B. Dennihan / Lorraine Rocha – Sterling Publishing /

Uncle Bobby’s Wedding

Sarah Brannen / Lucia Soto – Little Bee Books /

You Matter

Christian Robinson – Simon & Schuster /

Like The Moon Love The Sky

Hena Khan / Saffa Khan – Chronicle Books /

Child Of Galaxies

Blake Nuto / Charlotte Ago – Flying Eye Books /

All Because You Matter

Tami Charles / Bryan Collier – Scholastic /

Evelyn Del Rey Is Moving Away

Meg Medina / Sonia Sanchez – Candlewick /

Bedtime For Sweet Creatures

Nikki Grimes / Elizabeth Zunon – Sourcebooks Kids /

Best Illustration

Animals Brag About Their Bottoms

Maki Saito – Greystone Kids /

Sugar In Milk

Thrity Umrigar / Khoa Le – Running Press Kids /

If You Come To Earth

Sophie Blackall – Chronicle Kids /

Obsessive About Octopuses

Owen Davey – Flying Eye Books /

It’s A Great Big Colorful World

Tom Schamp – Prestel Junior /


Kasya Denisevich – Chronicle Books /

Ways To Say I Love You

Marilyn Singer / Alette Straathof – Quarto /

Gustavo The Shy Ghost

Flavia Z. Drago – Candlewick Press /

Freedom We Sing

Amyra León / Molly Mendoza – Flying Eye Books /

Julián At The Wedding

Jessica Love – Candlewick Press /

Best Read Aloud

Going Up!

Sherry Lee / Charlene Chua – KidsCan Press /


Adam Rex / Laura Park – Chronicle Books /

Red Shoes

Karen English / Ebony Glenn – Scholastic Inc. /

Izzy Gizmo And The Invention Convention

Pip Jones / Sara Ogilvie – Peachtree Publishing /

Our Favourite Day Of The Year

A. E. Ali / Rahele Jomepour Bell – Salaam Reads /


Sacha Cotter / Josh Morgan – Sourcebook Jabberwocky /

The Whatifs

Emily Kilgore / Zoe Persico – Little Bee Books /

Everyone’s Awake

Colin Meloy / Shawn Harris – Chronicle Books /


Judith Henderson / Andrea Stegmaier – KidsCan Press /

Fussy Flamingo

Shelley Vaughan James / Mathew Rivera – Sourcebooks Jaberwocky /

Feature Category – Best Food Books

Salma The Syrian Chef

Danny Ramadan / Anna Bron – Annick Press /

Kids Can Cook

Esther Coombs – Button Books /

Nacho’s Nachos

Sandra Nickel / Oliver Dominguez – Lee & Low Books /

I Really Want The Cake

Simon Philip / Lucia Gaggiotti – Orchard Books (Scholastic) /


Cheryl Yau Chepusova / Isabel Foo – Big Ctities Little Foodies

Big Cities Little Foodies (Direct)

Featured Category – Best Animal Books


Charlene Chua – KidsCan Press /

Kits, Cubs, And Calves

Suzie Napayak-Short / Tamara Campeau – Inhabit Media /

Woodland Dreams

Karen Jameson / Marc Boutavant – Chronicle Books /

Arlo The Lion Who Couldn’t Sleep

Catherine Rayner – Peachtree Publishing /

Hello Hello

Brendan Wenzel – Chronicle Books /


As you can see, some pretty incredible book came out on top. This year we had 43 publishers participate and submit books to our panel of 13 Judges. Each year, we reach out to every publisher we can *think* of to invite them to participate – the process of planning this begins in the summer time with building website forms, query letters, and contact spreadsheets. Many publishers choose not to participate, which is why some of your favourites could be missing from this list. The publishers – big and small – who choose to participate start sending their submissions and the judging process begins after that! MORE spreadsheets are built, and each and every book is ranked out of 10 by the judges. We listen to our kids, our classes, and look at each book critically in our individual analysis. Because of the diverse range of our backgrounds there is some huge differences in opinions on some titles, which brings huge value to this approach. Only the best really make it to the top!

We do this because it’s a labour of love. I’ve invested hundreds of hours into this and I cannot wait to do the same again next year. We aren’t compensated, there is no entry fee, we don’t guarantee coverage to anyone. Our aim is to do the legwork of finding the very best of the best new release books to help you choose the perfect gift, or perfect addition to your bookshelf and give a spotlight to these amazing works of art. Picture books are an incredible medium for storytelling and deserve the spotlight!

2020 has been incredibly hard for all of us – certainly difficult for me especially on a mental health level. Inclusive Story Time has been my driving force keeping me going and the over 60,000 wonderful new humans that joined this community this year are something I am forever grateful for. I am *thrilled* to finally be sharing this labour of love with all of you.

Every Share, Like, Comment, and Save is SO meaningful to me. Every click and swipe up means even more. Thank you. I hope you enjoy these wonderful books and heres to Raising Readers Who Raise Up Others.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: