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2022 Picture Book Spotlight Awards

If you are reading made it. You made it through 2022. Congratulations, planet Earth. You revolved around the sun again. You completed another orbit around your star. You are super.

And you know what that means...we must now collectively pretend that all things are new. We must adhere to this arbitrary marker of time and commit to accidentally writing the wrong date for a surprising amount of months until we get it right. We must do this.

And while we do this, we must also look back and think about the meaning of it all. What did those twelve months mean? What books came out? What surprised us? Inspired us? Made us laugh and cry and drove us mad because darn it...we can write like that too!

I'm talking about the wonderful books that published in 2022.

There's always "lists" that are a major source of contention for a lot of kidlit creators. Because lists are finite. Exclusive by nature. Frustrating...but gosh, aren't they fun?

Bear in mind, this is no place of fancy lists voted on by fancy people in fancy committees. This is a list curated by YOU! (sorry if you wanted to be fancy)

So let's have some fun and celebrate all the wonderful books that came out in 2022! The last time I did this was back in 2019. I don't really have an excuse as to why I didn't keep it going in 2020 and 2021 other than maybe Covid ate it. Covid ate a lot of books and a lot of things, didn't it? But I'm happy to jump back in and attempt to make this an annual norm here at Picture Book Spotlight.'s all this going to work? Thanks for asking!

In this game, you'll have to narrow your favorites from 2022 down to a top 3 and 2 "honorable mentions." Basically, you're nominating your five favorites. From those selections, I will compile a top-10 summary post, featuring the most frequently mentioned picture books!

Once you have submitted your nominations, you will be automatically entered into a giveaway raffle--I'm giving away 3 1-hour Zoom picture book critiques! Make sure to share this post and that you're subscribed to PB Spotlight.

As I mentioned in my 2019 post, before jumping in to nominate, reflect on the picture books that actually meant something to YOU. The ones that spoke to your heart. The ones that had you rolling. The ones with characters and art and words and ideas that simply leapt off the page that you just had to read to a kid. Don't worry about what everyone else on those fancy lists are saying...this is YOUR list! Click the link below to nominate books...

May your 2023 far eclipse 2022. May these next twelve months be filled with joy and meaningful work. May all your books be awesome. May they contain wolves. May all your dreams come true.

And if they don't...may you find peace...or find some new dreams.

Thanks for participating and helping make this year so special. Happy voting! Happy writing and arting! And a VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR!


Brian is the small child with red pants as shown to the left. Despite his being a human baby, he somehow manages to run this literary blog, teach high school English, critique picture books, and has also published a book or two. Or three. Or four. Depending on which year it is, Brian has published a lot of books. Depending on the year...who knows? Time travelers know. They know the precise amount of books Brian has published and whether or not they are any good. But are you a time traveler? No. You are not. But Brian is. And he has seen the future. He has been to the shelves and seen the books he has supposedly published. He then wrote the books down so as to travel back in time and sell them. But that begs the time travel paradoxical question...if Brian was the one who traveled to the future to reverse-engineer his own books, who actually wrote them in the first place?! Who indeed...who indeed. You may stop reading this pretend bio now. There is no secret emoji code. It's not all about the emoji codes, okay? Happy New Year, friends. Alright fine. Maybe I lied. Maybe there are secret things...since you made it this's a random new thing!



October 19, 2021 (34)_edited.jpg
October 19, 2021 (34)_edited.jpg
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