The breakdown of this year’s list reflects the realities of the publishing world—YA continues to dominate in terms of output and sheer heft, but there was a noticeable uptick in the numbers of fine middle grade novels. There were several terrific picture books with engaging characters and dynamic art. Several novels were set in well-delineated fantastical worlds, yet quite a few focused on young people grappling with war and political upheaval in the real world, in real time.
There’s no doubt about it: app production has skyrocketed. But curiously, a number of children’s book publishers and app developers are now thinking twice about the format. After dipping the proverbial toe in the water, some companies have put app development on hold, while others are exploring their options, trying to determine how to create these costly innovative items and still make a buck. ... But that doesn’t mean there hasn’t been a slew of exceptional products this year, and you’ll find a number of them on our list.