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Posted by Erin, December 10, 2020

The Suitcase and What Will You Dream of Tonight? named two of the Best Children’s Books of 2020

We are hugely appreciative of all of the support that we receive, from the smallest indie to the biggest corporate. We are particularly grateful for this in 2020, when unprecedented circumstances have caused a lot of uncertainty for the future of the book industry, but the support we’ve received has left us feeling resilient and hopeful for the year to come.

And we were delighted to discover that Nosy Crow’s The Suitcase (written and illustrated by Chris Naylor-Ballesteros, for which we sold rights to US publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) and What Will You Dream of Tonight? (written by Frances Stickley and illustrated by Anuska Allepuz, for which we sold rights to Candlewick) have been listed amongst Amazon’s Best Children’s Books of 2020 in the US. This means that out of all of the children’s books published in the US, Amazon’s editors have selected the top 20 books of the year for readers of all ages (0-12), and, out of that 20 books, two were originated by Nosy Crow. We know that the editors putting together the Amazon selection have exposure to a huge range of books, and are informed by all the commercial savvy that having access to all of Amazon’s data at your fingertips would give you so for these two books to be recognised by such an enormous and influential retailer in the US with such an extraordinary strike rate, especially at a time when online selling is becoming ever more important, is an amazing accolade to have received.

It was interesting to see that, as far as we are aware, The Suitcase and What Will You Dream of Tonight? are the only two books that originate from the UK, with all other titles originating from the US. This is a great testament to Chris, Frances and Anuska’s ability to impress on both sides of the pond, and we are incredibly proud to be creating books with such international appeal.

Here’s what US reviewers have been saying about The Suitcase:

“A heartwarming lesson in empathy and kindness.”—Kirkus, STARRED review

“This picture book packs an emotional wallop for anyone who has sought a new life in a new land, delivering a powerful lesson on treating newcomers with kindness.”—Booklist

“Naylor’s designs truly bring life to the text, while the emotions of all the animals, especially the exhaustion of the stranger, is evident as they work through their feelings and come to understand one another. An accessible, beautiful story of trust and acceptance for every collection.”—School Library Journal

And here are the Amazon Editors’ comments on What Will You Dream of Tonight?:

“With all the hallmarks of a classic bedtime book… Stickley’s soothing text and Allepuz’s color palate pair perfectly for a reassuring story that can be read night after night.”—Amazon Editors

These books have struck a chord all over the world, and here are some excellent reviews for both titles within the UK:

The Suitcase

“A simple, powerful way to introduce the idea of kindness to strangers to young children” Axel Scheffler

“At a time when over 65 million people are forcibly displaced around the world, this beautifully illustrated and wise, gentle tale of tolerance and kindness for fellow humans resonates deeply. I hope all parents share The Suitcase with their children.” Khaled Hosseini

“One of the most empathetic children’s books on giving kindness to strangers ever published.” New Statesman

What Will You Dream of Tonight?

“A lulling, reassuring rhyming read magically unfolds as we explore dreams yet to be dreamt. Unlock a whole world of wonder just in time for bed.” – Baby Magazine

“Children, especially young children, spend about half their lives asleep. Reminding them that sleep is a magical and adventurous place is important and this rhyme is not only reassuring but also empowering. A fabulous text with beautiful illustrations”. – Book Murmuration

It’s also worth saying that We Love Dinosaurs (by Lucy Volpin, for which we sold rights to Candlewick) was selected in the category Baby – Age 2, which means that it made it into the top 100 best children’s books chosen by Amazon.com.