Staff Picks of 2020

For the past few years, the Youth Services Department has put on a Best Books program for the Mount Prospect community. While we couldn't do the typical format this year, we have compiled a list of some our Staff Picks from 2020 covering nonfiction and fiction titles for birth to 6th grade. Check out some of our favorites in the videos below! Keeping with tradition, we couldn't miss the opportunity to give away some books! Please fill out the form at the bottom of the page for a chance to win a free prize book.

Click Here for a printable version of the Best Books list

Preschool | Kindergarten – Grade 2 | Grades 2-3 | Grades 4-6

Staff Picks of 2020: Preschool


Badia, Martín, author, illustrator.

"Once upon a time there was a young princess who was called NO by her parents. This princess did NOT...

Barroux, author, artist.

A boy dawdling in the bathroom to read is taken by surprise when the characters in his book come to ...

Berger, Samantha, author.

"Starting with A and ending with Z, this beautifully illustrated book will show young readers the ma...

Buchet, Nelly, author.

"A story of a blended family-- from the pets' point of view!"--...

Clinton, Hillary Rodham, author.

The authors share personal revelations on how gardening with Grandma Dorothy shapes and nurtures a l...

Dairman, Tara, author.

"Two families flee extreme weather in India and come together on a mountaintop"--...

Dopirak, Kate, author.

"A busy boy and his dog learn to slow down and enjoy life together"--...

Doyon, Samara Cole, author.

Joyful young narrators celebrate feeling at home in one's own skin....

Drummond, Allan, author.

"A nonfiction picture book about the largest solar power plant in the world"--...

Fogliano, Julie, author.

Two girls quickly become best friends, even before they learn one another's names.--...

Joy, Angela, 1975- author.

"A child reflects on the meaning of being black in this anthem about a people, a culture, a history,...

Kendi, Ibram X., author.

Illustrations and rhyming text present nine steps Antiracist Baby can take to improve equity, such a...

Marcero, Deborah, author, illustrator.

When Llewellyn, a little rabbit who collects ordinary things in jars, meets a young girl named Evely...

Moyle, Sabrina, author.

Shake your boots with newts, lambada with llamas, and slide with sloths as you dance through the alp...

Murray, Diana, author.

"Illustrations and easy-to-read, rhyming text invite the reader to a community garden where potatoes...

Nickel, Sandra, author.

"A picture book biography of Ignacio (Nacho) Anaya, a waiter at the Victory Club in Piedras Negras, ...

Pignataro, Anna, author, illustrator.

Whale's beautiful song calms a wriggly octopus, cheers a sad urchin, and much more but cannot cure h...

Antoinette Portis

Explore nature through evocative riddles and bold imagery that take the reader from day to night and...

Robinson, Christian, author, illustrator.

Illustrations and easy-to-read text remind the reader that no matter what happens or how one feels, ...

Roeder, Vanessa, author, illustrator.

"Terrance the turtle was born without a shell, so he uses a cardboard box instead. Terrance loves hi...

Sayre, April Pulley, author.

An up-close look at the behavior and habits of frogs....

Sherman, Charlotte Watson, 1958- author.

"When a little girl has doubts about the color of her skin, her mother shows her all the wonderful, ...

Stubbings, Ellen, illustrator.

Read, clap, and sing in 4/4 time! Count the beats like a conductor with the adorable animals in the ...

Stutzman, Jonathan, author.

This lyrical bedtime story celebrates the wonderous beauty of the natural world and the intimate fam...

Yamasaki, Katie, author, illustrator.

Naomi has always loved her vibrant neighborhood but things are changing quickly so, inspired by Mr. ...

Staff Picks of 2020: Kindergarten – Grade 2


Barnett, Mac, author.

Jack and the Lady take the train West to visit a dude ranch. One night, there's a bank robbery next ...

Brallier, Max, author.

Hugh does not like walking home alone through the woods which the other children say is inhabited by...

Castillo, Lauren, author, illustrator.

When a storm separates Hedgehog from her lifelong friend, Mutty, she bravely sets out to find him an...

Dennis, Elizabeth, author.

Describes the career paths available to readers who love books, including author, editor, or book de...

Deenihan, Jamie L. B., author.

In this companion to When Grandma Gives You a Lemon Tree, a boy is disappointed with his grandfather...

Elliott, Zetta, author.

Illustrations and easy-to-read text express a child's awareness of being filled with deep emotions, ...

Gassman, Julie, author.

Have you ever thought about bringing your dragon to the library? Don't do it! You might have the bes...

Houran, Lori Haskins, author.

Cub is glum and does not want to do anything with his friends until Bird decides they should all for...

Hubbard, Rita L., author.

"A picture book biography sharing the inspiring and incredible true story of the nation's oldest stu...

Johnson, Angela, 1961- author.

"Empower young readers to embrace their individuality, reject societal limitations, and follow their...

Khalil, Aya, author.

The beautiful story of diversity follows a young girl named Kanzi whose most treasured reminder of h...

Lê, Minh, 1979- author.

From the award-winning and bestselling creators of Drawn Together comes the fantastic tale of a magi...

Lindstrom, Carole, 1964- author.

Water is the first medicine. It affects and connects us all... When a black snake threatens to destr...

Oliver, Carmen, author.

Adelaide explains to her teacher why bears make the best reading buddies....

Reid, C. L., author.

Eight-year-old Emma is excited about her best friend Izzie's birthday party, but she is also a littl...

Rex, Michael, author, illustrator.

"Robots try to figure out the difference between facts and opinions"--...

Rhee, Helena Ku, author.

Accompanying his parents to their night-shift jobs as office cleaners, young Daniel reluctantly join...

Roskifte, Kristin, author.

A multicultural mash-up of seek-and-find puzzles and counting exercises, this unique picture book fe...

Salyer, Hannah, author.

"A full-color, exquisitely illustrated celebration of animals who live in packs, herds, pods, and mo...

Spencer, Sophia, author.

Sophia Spencer has loved bugs ever since a butterfly landed on her shoulder--and wouldn't leave!--at...

Weatherford, Carole Boston, 1956- author.

"Aretha Franklin was born to sing. The daughter of a pastor and a gospel singer, her musical talent ...

Underwood, Deborah, author.

Illustrations and easy-to-read text reveal ways nature affects our everyday lives, such as providing...

Staff Picks of 2020: Grades 2-3


Barrows, Annie, author.

Welcome to the wonderful world of Iggy, where the motto is: It seemed like a good idea at the time. ...

Molly Birnbaum, editor.

What makes fizzy drinks fizzy? Can you create beautiful art using salt? Or prove the power of smell ...

Bissonette, Aimée M., author.

We can fly straight up or down, backwards or forwards, stop and hover, make hairpin turns--at top sp...

Chin, Jason, 1978- author, illustrator.

"A non-fiction introduction to the massive scale of the known universe"--...

Daly, Niki, author, illustrator.

These stories follow Lolo as she skips through life in a South African community. Lolo's everyday ad...

Durango, Julia, 1967- author.

A little boy promises his beloved friend, an elderly lady, that one day he will fix up her old house...

Fang, Vicky, author.

Layla and the Bots are eager for Blossom Valley's upcoming go-kart race, but one racer, Tina, needs ...

Fleming, Candace, author.

Describes the life cycle of the hard-working honeybee....

Green, John, 1975- author, illustrator.

With their Very Exciting Spy Technology and their tried-and-true, toilet-based travel techniques, th...

Hiller, Colette. author.

"The B on Your Thumb is a book of 60 hilariously illustrated rhymes and delightful ditties to boost ...

Kaner, Etta, author.

"Ever thought of plants as sneaky or tricky? Probably not. But after reading this book, you might th...

Klise, Kate, author.

When Appleton Elementary's new school board president, Ivana Beprawpa, uses her position to line her...

Lilliput, Eric, author.

Dos amigos muy pequeños que vivirán aventuras enormes. ?Por qué grita el señor grande? ?Quién s...

Martin, Emily Winfield, author.

"A collection of illustrated scenes with corresponding stories set in the worlds of Emily Winfield M...

McDonald, Andrew, 1982- author.

Ever wonder why pigeons always act so weird? It's because they're out there chasing the bad guys and...

Miedoso, Andres, author.

When supernatural things start happening in the house timid Andres and his parents just moved into, ...

Pizzoli, Greg, author, illustrator.

"Meet Baloney! He's a pig. This book is about him. And also Peanut, his best friend. There's Bizz, t...

Sell, Chad, author, artist.

Drew is just a regular artist. But there's nothing ordinary about her art. Her doodles are mischievo...

Shiraishi, Ashima, author.

Describes rock-climber Ashima solving a complex problem in terms of rock climbing, which may include...

Timberlake, Amy, author.

The last thing Badger wants is a roommate, and certainly not Skunk, but since the house does not bel...

Watson, Tom, 1965- author.

"Molly gets things stuck in her head sometimes. When she sees a jar of candy on Principal Shelton's ...

Staff Picks of 2020: Grades 4-6


Browne, Mahogany L., author.

A collection of poems by women that reflects the joy and passion in the fight for social justice, ta...

Buckley, James, Jr., 1963- author.

"What happens when a diver gets too comfortable with wild animals? Discover a diver's dangerous enco...

Callender, Kacen, author.

"In a small but turbulent Louisiana town, one boy's grief takes him beyond the bayous of his backyar...

Clinton, Chelsea, author.

A lo largo de la historia de Estados Unidos, en cada deporte, y en todos los niveles de juego, a las...

Douyé, Sylvia, 1973- author.

Magalina is trying to find her missing friends....

Elliott, Joseph (Actor), author.

"Agatha is a Hawk, brave and fierce, who patrols the high walls of her island home. She takes pride ...

Garrido, Grete, author.

"La Tierra llamando a todos sus guardianes! ¿Estás preparado?"--Page 4 of cover....

Harrell, Rob

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Hudson, Wade, editor.

"Thirty diverse and award-winning authors and illustrators capture frank discussions about racism, i...

Jamieson, Victoria, author, illustrator.

"Omar and his younger brother Hassan live in a refugee camp, and when an opportunity for Omar to get...

Kelkar, Supriya, 1980- author.

When a racist incident rocks her small Michigan town, eleven-year-old Lekha must decide whether to s...

Knisley, Lucy, author, artist.

"Jen moves out to the country and has to put up with her mom and her mom's new boyfriend, as well as...

Lê, Minh, 1979- author.

When thirteen-year-old Tai Pham inherits his grandmother's jade ring, he soon finds out he has been ...

LeZotte, Ann Clare, author.

It is 1805 and Mary Lambert has always felt safe among the deaf community of Chilmark on Martha's Vi...

Ottaviani, Jim, author.

"The U.S. may have put the first man on the moon, but it was the Soviet space program that made Vale...

Ronda, Magela, author.

"Cuentos por el clima nace para dar voz a todas esas personas que luchan, día a día, por hacer de ...

Rosenberg, Madelyn, 1966- author.

Sixth-graders Lauren and Tara have always done everything together so it is only natural that they b...

Ryan, Pam Muñoz, author.

Twelve-year-old Max, who loves the legend Buelo tells him about a mythical gatekeeper who can guide ...

Salazar, Aida, author.

Eleven-year-old (nearly twelve) Celi Rivera, who is a mix of Black-Puerto Rican-Mexican Indian is un...

Soontornvat, Christina, author.

"On June 23, 2018, twelve young players of the Wild Boars soccer team and their coach enter a cave i...

Soontornvat, Christina, author.

A boy on the run. A girl determined to find him. A compelling fantasy looks at issues of privilege, ...

Stone, Nic, author.

William "Scoob" Lamar takes a trip with grandma through the American South, both past and present....

Wolk, Lauren, 1956- author.

When twelve-year-old Ellie and her family lose livelihood and move to a mountain cabin in 1934, she ...

Woodson, Jacqueline, author.

ZJ's friends Ollie, Darry and Daniel help him cope when his father, a beloved professional football ...

Ying, Victoria, author, artist.

Since his father's death, Ever Barnes has secretly been in charge of an amazing mechanical building ...

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Best Books of 2020

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