NY Times: PRH 2023 “Best” Illustrated Children’s & Children’s Books


The New York Times Book Review’s selections of the “best” among the year’s children’s books is as coveted an honor its counterpart adult recognitions. The TBR publishes their former choices in two separate presentations.

For 2023, Penguin Young Readers and Random House Children’s Books titles are three of the “Best Illustrated Children’s Books of 2023,” selected by the Times and New York Public Library, and highlighted in the Book Review’s November 12 Book Review print edition.


Best Illustrated Children’s Books of 2023

WE ARE STARLINGS by Robert Furrow and Donna Jo Napoli; illustrated by Marc Martin
(Random House Studio/Random House Children’s Books)

BEFORE, NOW by Daniel Salmieri (Rocky Pond Books/Penguin Young Readers)

AS NIGHT FALLS by Donna Jo Napoli; Illustrated by Felicia Sala (Random House Studio/ Random House Children’s Books)


The Best Children’s Books of 2023
selection by the publication’s children’s books editor, of the “most notable” picture and middle grade titles, includes three of ours, presented in the December 17 print issue.

MEXIKID by Pedro Martín (Dial Books for Young Readers/Penguin Young Readers)

An unforgettable graphic memoir about a Mexican American boy’s family and their adventure-filled road trip to bring their abuelito back from Mexico to live with them that National Book Award Finalist Victoria Jamieson calls “one of those books that kids will pass to their friends as soon as they have finished it.”

THE EYES & THE IMPOSSIBLE by Dave Eggers. Illustrated by Shawn Harris. (Knopf Books for Young Readers)

This warm, comedic novel of interspecies friendship, about the plotting of an “impossible” escape for the bison who live in a fenced-in park within a park, is a tour de force, told by a dog whose exuberance and good nature run like a bright thread through its pages.

REMEMBER US by Jacqueline Woodson (Nancy Paulsen Books/Penguin Young Readers)

Through the eyes of a 12-year-old African American girl named Sage, Woodson conjures a captivating, elegiac story from the ashes of a frightening summer in the 1970s when the susceptible wooden homes of Black residents of Brooklyn’s Bushwick section regularly ignited like matchsticks.

This recognition surely will bring these books a wider readership, which is exciting and gratifying for their authors and illustrators, publishing teams, and our entire company.

Big Congratulations to all.

Posted: December 11, 2023