Last year I started compiling all the year-end "best of" lists in newspapers, magaziness, and other sources. I added in many of the various children's literature prizes throughout the year, too. (You can peruse "The Best of the Best: Kids' Books '08" right here.) A person who chooses titles from these lists will read—and give and recommend to children—many good books.
In the process, I discovered that there is no such thing as awards season. Children's books are honored and feted throughout the year from the Newberys and Caldecotts in January to the Cybils in February to the American Horticultural Society/Junior Master Gardeners' "Growing Good Kids" in July to the Children's Book Council of Australia's Books of the Year in August. I'll admit to a soft spot for March's National Science Teachers Association's Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students K-12. Those are books I would have loved as a kid. I tried to be comprehensive, but I know that I missed some lists and prizes.
It's time to start the roundup for books published in 2009. I hear that School Library Journal is working away on its "best of," as we speak. The magazine's Twitter update said recently,"SLJ Best Books update: Not much I can say yet - they're working on it. 'But is it a BEST book?' is the primary debate."
The first two entries for Chicken Spaghetti's "Best Children's Books of 2009: The List of Lists" are the finalists for the National Book Award in "young people's literature" and the long list for the Amercican Association for the Advancement of Science Prizes for Excellence in Science Books for children (currently linked to School Library Journal until the AAAS puts it up on its own site).
I'll keep the big list under Pages, to the right, across from the chicken portrait at the top.