What’s Hot in Kid Lit: February 2020 Edition

Welcome to our new monthly installment of kid lit news and happenings and just general stuff we liked this month!

Happy News and Articles

cover of hair love by cherry‘Hair Love’ Wins Oscar for Best Animated Short by Emma Kantor, from Publisher’s Weekly

The animated film is based on the picture book by NFL player Matthew A. Cherry and illustrated by Vashti Harrison. Congrats to everyone involved!

Dan Brown … Children’s Book Author? by Alexandra Alter, from The New York Times

The book is called Wild Symphony, and it includes music composed by Dan Brown as well. I actually haven’t read The Da Vinci Code or any of his other books, but as a flautist and classical music listener, I’ll definitely be reading this one!

Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2020

Here’s the shortlist for Waterstones Children’s Book Prize. I’ve only read a YA pick–Internment–which is excellent!

The Lasting Magic of Snowy Day by P.H. Hinton, from Book Riot

A classic.

Book Vending Machines in Schools

Several pieces popped up in my saved Google search this month about book vending machines in schools. All different schools too! Very neat idea.

Interesting News

‘Pyke notte thy nostrellys’: 15th-century guide on children’s manners digitised for first time by Alison Flood, from The Guardian

New British Library website will digitize lots of interesting children’s classics, including the only book written about the women’s suffrage movement for children and Judith Kerr’s sketchbook from The Tiger Who Came to Tea.

‘Whitewashing’ Australia and how children’s books are fostering racial bias from WA Today

““Despite Australia’s multicultural society, the current overwhelming promotion of white middle class ideas and lifestyles risks alienating children from minority groups and giving white middle class children a sense of superiority or privilege,” Dr Adam said.”

Cover of bedtime for sweet creatures by grimesAcclaimed Author Nikki Grimes Speaks About Children’s Literacy at Hubbs Conference by Amy Carlson Gustafson, from the University of St. Thomas

“What is fundamentally changing? Some of it is really complex to approach and to change because it’s not just a matter of who is writing the books, but who’s producing them. There need to be more people of color making decisions about books that are acquired in publishing. There need to be more people of color who are in gatekeeper positions.”


If you’re a Tennessean, push back against these. Kelly outlines how at the end of the article.

Kid Lit Charities

Students collect books for incarcerated readers by Melina Bourdeau, from Greenfield Recorder

In Greenfield, MA, a high school student is collecting books for a local prison. I love seeing students take an active part in their communities like this.

Student raises money for every child to have a book by Morgan Newell and Sydney Basden, from News Channel 12

Another high school student is raising money so that every student from his North Carolina elementary school has enough money to buy a book at the scholastic book fair. Here’s his Go Fund Me page if you’re interested in donating.

Lists We Like

10 Inspiring Childen’s Books about the Environment by Anna Gooding-Call, from Book Riot

We are big fans of nature books. While there’s some crossover on our own list on the same topic, there are still a few new ones for us to read!

15 Children’s Books About Cancer To Help Them Cope by Kate Auletta from HuffPost

This is the first children’s book list focused on cancer that I’ve seen. Definitely an important topic for kid’s books.

Children’s Books That Show Kids the Goodness in the World by Denise Schipani, from Brightly

Such a good topic for a list. Lots of good books on this one too. I may steal the topic some time and make my own list!

5 Books That Teach Your Kids About Amazing Black Women in History by Ebony Ladelle, from Pop Sugar

I’ve read all but one of these books and think they’re great reads. Also, check out our list of books to read for Black History Month.

13 books for young children that feature protagonists of color by Alyson Aladro, from Business Insider

All great books.

17 Children’s Books With Queer Characters That Deserve Your Attention by Pablo Valdivia, from BuzzFeed Books

An excellent list. We’ve reviewed many of these on the website as well.

Baby Librarians Posts

This book is my favourite read of 2020 so far: ALL OF THE FACTORS OF WHY I LOVE TRACTORS by Jen

New picture books about parental love even a grumpy cynic will enjoy by Jen

A book for the grown-ups… MAMA NEEDS A MINUTE by Jen

Baby book review: The Paper Kingdom by Helena Ku Rhee and Pascal Campion by Margaret

Seeing yourself in your child by Jen

Check Out This Kickstarter For A Fantastic LGBTQ Children’s Book by Margaret

Baby book review: Bonnie and Ben Rhyme Again by Mem Fox, illustrated by Judy Horacek by Jen

Our non-Kid Lit Articles

Jen and I both write and publish about other things besides children’s books. Here’s what we were up to in February.

14 Books To Read If You’re Missing “The Witcher” by Margaret, from BuzzFeed Books

15 Must-Read Black Fantasy Authors by Margaret, from The Bronzeville Bee


The Horrific Origins of Fairy Tales by Margaret, from The Bronzeville Bee


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