2020 Staff Picks: Ages 0-5

By Skokie Staff Youth Services

Our favorite books of 2020 to share with babies, toddlers, and preschoolers.

  • The Bear and the Moon

    2020 by Burgess, Matthew

    Bear has a blast with the beautiful red balloon that magically floats into his life. His play gets more and more rambunctious and, sadly, the balloon bursts. I love how this is such a true-to-life experience of exuberant toddlers everywhere. Recommended by Gudrun.

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  • Gustavo the Shy Ghost

    2020 by Drago, Flavia Z.

    I love this shy little ghost who overcomes his anxiety, and the illustrations are lovely. Recommended by Meleesa.

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  • I Got You a Present!

    2020 by Erskine-Kellie, Mike

    This is a great birthday gift for a little one. I love that the message is: I love you so much that I wrote you a story! Recommended by Cathy.

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  • My Best Friend

    2020 by Fogliano, Julie

    This book reminds me of all the best friends I met while playing at the park when I was little--when an afternoon of play and sharing a favorite color is the strongest connection imaginable. Such a delightful read. Recommended by Caitlin S.

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  • Dozens of Doughnuts

    2020 by Finison, Carrie

    This book was such a fun read, and it incorporated rhyming, colorful pictures, and so many kinds of doughnuts--yum! Recommended by Meleesa.

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  • Glad, Glad Bear!

    2020 by Gee, Kimberly

    My son and I keep reading this sweet picture book about a little boy bear who goes to his first dance class almost every night. It's beautiful, inclusive, and a big hit in our house! Recommended by Leah.

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  • Sun and Moon Have a Tea Party

    2020 by Heo, Yumi

    This sweet story shows how perspectives can change your opinion. The moon sees a quiet world while the sun sees the complete opposite. Recommended by Cathy.

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  • Going Up!

    2020 by Lee, Sherry J.

    I liked the diverse neighbors we met when the elevator doors opened on a new floor. It's a great book for counting out loud and shouting, "Going up!" Recommended by Meleesa.

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  • The Animals Would Not Sleep!

    2020 by Levine, Sara

    This is part of the brand-new storytelling math series. I love how math is integrated into these fun stories with diverse characters. The easy-to-do, fun math activities are wonderful, too. Recommended by Gudrun.

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  • The Power of One: Every Act of Kindness Counts

    2020 by Ludwig, Trudy

    This is a gentle story that made me think about what I can do for others. Recommended by Karen.

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  • Hike

    2020 by Oswald, Pete

    What a beautiful, simple story of a dad and his son going on a hiking adventure. My parents love hiking, and I remember so well getting up super early to get ready. The illustrations capture the whole feel of this day well. Recommended by Gudrun.

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  • Oliver the Curious Owl

    2020 by Otis, Chad

    Adventure isn't so much a part of our lives these days, so it was fun to join Oliver in his first attempt at venturing away from home. Recommended by Cathy.

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  • Speak Up

    2020 by Paul, Miranda

    This book is a wonderful way to talk with little kids about how to use their voices to create change. The illustrations are lovely and in my house, we love to say "Speak up!" together as we read. Recommended by Becca.

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  • I'm Sticking with You

    2020 by Prasadam-Halls, Smriti

    Sweet story about the importance of friendship. It has a beautiful, simple message that friends can be friends without being the same. Recommended by Cathy.

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  • Be You!

    2020 by Reynolds, Peter

    This wonderful picture book encourages individuality in many doable ways. It has been my go-to picture book for 2020, as Reynolds’s words and pictures have uplifted and inspired me to be okay with “being me” throughout all that’s going on in the world. I hope it has the same effect on kids. It would make a great read-aloud for the entire family! Recommended by Mandy.

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  • You Matter

    2020 by Robinson, Christian

    I love reading this book with my three-year-old son. It's lyrical and fun to read. Not too long or short, just perfect, with beautiful pictures! Recommended by Leah.

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  • Cool Cuts

    2020 by Roe, Mechal Renee

    If children finish hearing the story and start chanting, "I was born to be awesome!," it's a win! Recommended by Cathy.

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  • Almond

    2020 by Say, Allen

    The girl in this book reminded me of myself as a child. Some children's talents are obvious, while others take a while to unfold. I loved how a new girl with a lot of talent helped reveal Almond's talent. Recommended by Cathy.

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  • Agent Lion

    2020 by Soman, David

    My daughter and I love this silly story. The art is fantastic, there’s so much to look at, and Agent Lion’s dedication to jelly doughnuts is very relatable. Recommended by Caitlin S.

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  • Up on Bob

    2020 by Sullivan, Mary

    This adorable book made me laugh out loud! Recommended by Karen.

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  • Little Fox

    2020 by Vendel, Edward van de

    I love how this sweet story, translated from the Dutch, perfectly captures how parents want to keep their little ones safe while letting them experience joy and fun. Recommended by Gudrun.

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