In the past 22 years, titles from 40+ publishers’ imprints have been named to the annual Best Books for Babies lists. Over the years several publishers have stood out, but we’re always happy to see new entries too.
With an innovative board book that features 20 different languages, Odd Dot is the newest publisher to be represented. An imprint of Macmillan, Odd Dot’s first titles came out in 2019. The company’s intention is to publish “interactive nonfiction children’s books” and 20 First Words in 20 Languages certainly fills the bill.
Of course, there are some familiar publishers on this year’s list also. More than two dozen titles from Candlewick Press have been selected since our first list in 2000, including two titles on this year’s list.
From a classic collection of Mother Goose rhymes to sturdy and inventive board books, to this year’s titles, one featuring the always popular Maisy and the other by Steve Light, an author whose earlier titles have also appeared on our lists Candlewick consistently produces high quality books that meet the criteria established by the Best Books for Babies committee.
Child’s Play Books often illustrate familiar rhymes with engaging groups of diverse and adorable babies. This year’s titles, Five Little Ducks: First Book of Nursery Games and Pat-A-Cake: First Book of Nursery Rhymes go a step further, updating some rhymes and including simple instructions for how to engage young listeners. These efforts ensure that contemporary families have the opportunity to enjoy traditional rhyming games and songs.
Star Bright Books has provided multiple titles that enhance the diversity and inclusion of Best Books for Babies lists. This year a clever adaptation of a familiar song shows how to make an everyday chore more fun and less stressful. An Asian-appearing mom sings to her baby as she changes a diaper, encouraging bonding and creativity. A note to parents and caregivers encourages them to consider similar interactions with their own children.