Fanfare 2021 Booklist

Below is Fanfare, a list of the books that the Horn Book editors and reviewers have selected as the best of 2021. The annotated list will be published in the December issue of Notes from the Horn Book (sign up!) and in the January/February 2022 issue of the Horn Book Magazine (subscribe!). Happy reading!


Picture Books

Sato the Rabbit
written and illustrated by Yuki Ainoya, translated from Japanese by Michael Blaskowsky; Enchanted Lion

Milo Imagines the World
written by Matt de la Peña, illustrated by Christian Robinson; Putnam

The Night Walk
written and illustrated by Marie Dorléans, translated from French by Polly Lawson; Floris

We All Play
written and illustrated by Julie Flett; Greystone Kids

The Rock from the Sky
written and illustrated by Jon Klassen; Candlewick

Little Red and the Cat Who Loved Cake
written and illustrated by Barbara Lehman; Clarion/HarperCollins

The Big Bath House
written by Kyo Maclear, illustrated by Gracey Zhang; Random House Studio

Time for Kenny
written and illustrated by Brian Pinkney; Greenwillow

written by Matt Ringler, illustrated by Raúl the Third and Elaine Bay; Little, Brown

On the Trapline
written by David A. Robertson, illustrated by Julie Flett; Tundra

The Ramble Shamble Children
written by Christina Soontornvat, illustrated by Lauren Castillo; Paulsen/Penguin

Mel Fell
written and illustrated by Corey R. Tabor; Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

written by Mượn Thị Văn, illustrated by Victo Ngai; Orchard/Scholastic

written by Andrea Wang, illustrated by Jason Chin; Porter/Holiday

Someone Builds the Dream
written by Lisa Wheeler, illustrated by Loren Long; Dial

Red and Green and Blue and White
written by Lee Wind, illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky; Levine Querido

A Boy Named Isamu: A Story of Isamu Noguchi
written and illustrated by James Yang; Viking

written and illustrated by Helen Yoon; Candlewick



Too Small Tola
written by Atinuke, illustrated by Onyinye Iwu; Candlewick

Firekeeper’s Daughter
written by Angeline Boulley; Holt

The Beatryce Prophecy
written by Kate DiCamillo, illustrated by Sophie Blackall; Candlewick

Billy Miller Makes a Wish
written and illustrated by Kevin Henkes; Greenwillow

Maybe Maybe Marisol Rainey
written and illustrated by Erin Entrada Kelly; Greenwillow

The Legend of Auntie Po
written and illustrated by Shing Yin Khor; Kokila/Penguin

written by Thomas King, illustrated by Natasha Donovan; Little, Brown

Last Night at the Telegraph Club
written by Malinda Lo; Dutton

Merci Suárez Can’t Dance
written by Meg Medina; Candlewick

The One Thing You’d Save
written by Linda Sue Park, illustrated by Robert Sae-Heng; (Clarion/HarperCollins)

Amber & Clay
written by Laura Amy Schlitz, illustrated by Julia Iredale; Candlewick

A Sitting in St. James
written by Rita Williams-Garcia; Quill Tree/HarperCollins



Across the Rainbow Bridge: Stories of Norse Gods and Humans
written by Kevin Crossley-Holland, illustrated by Jeffrey Alan Love; Candlewick Studio

Blancaflor, the Hero with Secret Powers: A Folktale from Latin America
written by Nadja Spiegelman, illustrated by Sergio García Sánchez; TOON



Hello, Earth!: Poems to Our Planet
written by Joyce Sidman, illustrated by Miren Asiain Lora; Eerdmans

The People Remember
written by Ibi Zoboi, illustrated by Loveis Wise; Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins



The Message: The Extraordinary Journey of an Ordinary Text Message
written and illustrated by Michael Emberley; Dlouhy/Atheneum

The People’s Painter: How Ben Shahn Fought for Justice with Art
written by Cynthia Levinson, illustrated by Evan Turk; Abrams

Revolution in Our Time: The Black Panther Party’s Promise to the People
written by Kekla Magoon; Candlewick

Fallout: Spies, Superbombs, and the Ultimate Cold War Showdown
written by Steve Sheinkin; Roaring Brook

Nicky & Vera: A Quiet Hero of the Holocaust and the Children He Rescued
written and illustrated by Peter Sís; Norton

Fox: A Circle of Life Story
written by Isabel Thomas, illustrated by Daniel Egnéus; Bloomsbury

Nina: A Story of Nina Simone
written by Traci N. Todd, illustrated by Christian Robinson; Putnam

Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre
written by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by Floyd Cooper; Carolrhoda

The Genius Under the Table: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain
written and illustrated by Eugene Yelchin; Candlewick

From a Whisper to a Rallying Cry: The Killing of Vincent Chin and the Trial That Galvanized the Asian American Movement
written by Paula Yoo; Norton

Roger Sutton
Roger Sutton

Editor Emeritus Roger Sutton was editor in chief of The Horn Book, Inc., from 1996-2021. He was previously editor of The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books and a children's and young adult librarian. He received his MA in library science from the University of Chicago in 1982 and a BA from Pitzer College in 1978.

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