The 2020 Orange Marmalade Juicy Book Awards

It’s time once again to award the Juicies!

Each year I look back on the hundreds of books I’ve read and highlight titles that outstandingly reflect six core values of Orange Marmalade.

An extra List of Ten gives me wiggle room to include a few gems that don’t fit as easily into those groupings.
Click on any title to read my review.

As always, I am in awe of the tremendous skill and love poured into these books by authors, artists, and publishing teams. Thanks to you all for your gifts to us!



The Juiciest: Sometimes Rain
Meg Fleming and Diana Sudyka/Beach Lane Books

Captivating artwork circles us around the seasons with kids merrily playing outdoors whatever the weather. An absolute gem celebrating the glories of nature and the happiness of free-wheeling discovery.

come next summer cover

Oh-So-Juicy: Come Next Season
Kim Norman and Daniel Miyares/Farrar Straus Giroux

how to two cover

Oh-So-Juicy: How to Two
David Soman/Dial Books for Young Readers


earth heroes cover

The Juiciest: Earth Heroes
Lily Dyu/Nosy Crow

The brightest heroes of our time include good people standing up and digging in to arrest our terrible degradation of the planet and working to restore it. This collection of 20 biographical sketches of international environmental heroes made my heart sing.

wildheart cover image

Oh-So-Juicy: Wildheart: The Daring Adventures of John Muir
Julie Bertagna and William Goldsmith/The Yellowstone Conservancy

little doctor and the fearless beast cover image

Oh-So-Juicy: Little Doctor and the Fearless Beast
Sophie Gilmore/Owlkids Books


my grandma and me cover

The Juiciest: My Grandma and Me
Mina Javaherbin and Lindsey Yankey/Candlewick Press

Gorgeous, culturally-rich remembrances of Iran, the velvet-soft, iron-strong love of a grandmother, and harmony between those of different faiths all rocket this book to the top of many fabulous multicultural reads this year.

b is for baby cover

Oh-So-Juicy: B is for Baby
Atinuke and Angela Brooksbank/Candlewick Press

when spring comes to the DMZ

Oh-So-Juicy: When Spring Comes to the DMZ
Uk-Bae Lee/Plough Publishing House


cornelia and the jungle machine

The Juiciest: Cornelia and the Jungle Machine
Nora Brech/Gecko Press

A fantastical scene of towering trees with a network of keen treehouses, treetop walkways, and cascading rope ladders all tantalize us. It’s the place of our wildest, best dreams in this Norwegian import that’ll inspire copious fort-building.

harold snipperpot's best disaster ever cover

Oh-So-Juicy: Harold Snipperpot’s Best Disaster Ever
Beatrice Alemagna/Harper Collins Children’s Books

fern and horn

Oh-So-Juicy: Fern and Horn
Marie-Louise Gay/Groundwood Books


alma and the beast cover

The Juiciest: Alma and the Beast
Esmé Shapiro/Tundra Books

A wacky and immensely happy tale that turns the tables to help us see better what kindness towards the Other looks like. Shapiro’s wildly imaginative storytelling is equal parts word and image in this delightful gem.

ernestine's milky way cover

Oh-So-Juicy: Ernestine’s Milky Way
Kerry Madden-Lunsford and Emily Sutton/Schwartz & Wade

peace and me cover image

Oh-So-Juicy: Peace and Me
Ali Winter and Mickaël El Fathi/Lantana Publishing


river cover image

The Juiciest: River
Elisha Cooper/Orchard Books

Nobody does watercolor like Elisha Cooper. Here he carries us along on a gorgeous, strenuous, solo canoe trip down the length of the Hudson River. An impeccable, pristine, calling to the bounty of wilderness, solitude, fortitude.

hum and swish cover

Oh-So-Juicy: Hum and Swish
Matt Myers/Holiday House

in blossom cover image

Oh-So-Juicy: In Blossom
Yooju Cheon/Frances Lincoln Children’s Books


Favorite New Black History Read

the undefeated cover

The Undefeated
Kwame Alexander and Kadir Nelson/Versify

Favorite Old Book I Discovered

quimble wood cover image

Quimble Wood
N.M. Bodecker and Branka Starr/MacAdamCage

Favorite Middle Grade Read Well-Suited for Adults

the runaways cover image

The Runaways
Ulf Stark and Kitty Crowther/Gecko Press

Sweetest Father-Daughter Relationship

my papi has a motorcycle cover

My Papi Has a Motorcycle
Isabel Quintero and Zeke Peña/Kokila:Penguin Books

Coolest Homage to Old Age

wrinkles cover


Most Delectable Mushrooms

two for me one for you cover

Two For Me, One For You
Jörg Mühle/Gecko Press

Most Beloved Sequel

where dani goes happy follows cover

Where Dani Goes Happy Follows
Rose Lagercrantz and Eva Eriksson/Gecko Press

Most Intriguing View of a Convent

queen of the sea

Queen of the Sea
Dylan Meconis/Walker Books

Fleekest Sweater

otto goes north cover

Otto Goes North
Ulrika Kestere/Gecko Press

Quirkiest & Hot-Pinkiest Book

stories of the night cover image

Stories of the Night
Kitty Crowther/Gecko Press

Find past Orange Marmalade Juicy Book Awards via these links:

2019 Juicies

2018 Juicies

2017 Juicies

2016 Juicies

And stick with me in 2020 for another journey of tremendous books — written for kids, enjoyable for all!

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