Titles from Transatlantic Children’s clients were flying off the shelves in 2023 and we are proud to share a roundup of some that made the “Best of Lists”! 

The Bank Street College of Education Children’s Book Committee included seven titles from our clients in their list of The Best Children’s Books of the Year 2023 edition and here are the chosen titles:

  • WEIRD RULES TO FOLLOW by Kim Spencer (Orca Book Publishers)
    Mia knows her family is very different than her best friend’s. In the 1980s, the coastal fishing town of Prince Rupert is booming. There is plenty of sockeye salmon in the nearby ocean, which means the fishermen are happy and there is plenty of work at the cannery. Eleven-year-old Mia and her best friend, Lara, have known each other since kindergarten. Like most tweens, they like to hang out and compare notes on their crushes and dream about their futures. But even though they both live in the same cul-de-sac, Mia’s life is very different from her non-Indigenous, middle-class neighbor. Lara lives with her mom, her dad and her little brother in a big house, with two cars in the drive and a view of the ocean. Mia lives in a shabby wartime house that is full of relatives—her churchgoing grandmother, binge-drinking mother and a rotating number of aunts, uncles and cousins. Even though their differences never seemed to matter to the two friends, Mia begins to notice how adults treat her differently, just because she is Indigenous. Teachers, shopkeepers, even Lara’s parents—they all seem to have decided who Mia is without getting to know her first.

    Kim is represented by Amy Tompkins.
    In 1845, Sir John Franklin’s expedition set sail for the Arctic from England in search of the Northwest Passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Not only did they not succeed, his two ships — HMS Erebus and HMS Terror — and their entire party of 129 men vanished, their fate a mystery that remained unsolved for decades. In 10 suspenseful episodes, the thrilling tale of that doomed polar mission is told from the points of view of the commander of the Terror and of those back home and the search parties who attempted to find them. Each episode also describes some of the modern-day searches, including the discovery of the lost ships, allowing readers to examine the evidence and consider the theories about what happened. It’s a thorough and thoroughly captivating read about an intriguing story from the past.

    Sigmund is represented by Amy Tompkins.
  • YOSHI AND THE OCEAN by Lindsay Moore (Greenwillow Books)
    Yoshi and the Ocean chronicles the remarkable true story of Yoshi, a loggerhead sea turtle who traveled an astounding 25,000 miles after being released from the aquarium that rehabilitated her. Informational and awe-inspiring, Yoshi and the Ocean is a gorgeous picture book about patience, perseverance, the ocean, and finding your way home. A transformative story about the incredible journeys animals make and the interconnectedness of the natural world.

    Lindsay Moore is represented by Fiona Kenshole.
  • THE BIRDFEEDER by Andrew Larsen (Kids Can Press)
    When Grandma gets sick and comes to stay at her grandchild’s house, she brings her bird feeder. Grandma loves birds. And the child loves the time they now get to have together, drawing pictures of birds and “talking about interesting things.” After a while, though, Grandma’s health declines, and she moves to the hospice. Hanging Grandma’s bird feeder outside the window there makes things better. After a while, though, Grandma continues to grow weaker, and her ability to interact lessens. Difficult as it is, the child adjusts, knowing that, while the situation keeps changing, their love for each other never wavers.

    Andrew is represented by Fiona Kenshole.
  • KEEPUNUMUK by Danielle Greendeer, Anthony Perry and Alexis Bunten; Illustrated by Garry Meeches Sr. (Charlesbridge)
    In this Wampanoag story told in a Native tradition, two kids from the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe learn the story of Weeâchumun (corn) and the first Thanksgiving. The Thanksgiving story that most Americans know celebrates the Pilgrims. But without members of the Wampanoag tribe who already lived on the land where the Pilgrims settled, the Pilgrims would never have made it through their first winter. And without Weeâchumun (corn), the Native people wouldn’t have helped. An important picture book honoring both the history and tradition that surrounds the story of the first Thanksgiving. 

    Anthony Perry and Alexis Bunten are represented by Andrea Cascardi.
  • CURVE & FLOW: THE ELEGANT VISION OF L.A. ARCHITECT PAUL R. WILLIAMS by Andrea J. Loney, illustrated by Keith Mallett (Knopf Books for Young Readers)
    Discover the remarkable story of an orphaned Black boy who grew up to become the groundbreaking architect to the stars, Paul R. Williams. A stunning nonfiction picture-book biography from the Caldecott Honor–winning author and NAACP Image Award–nominated artist.

    Andrea is represented by Andrea Cascardi.
  • TWIN CITIES by Jose Pimienta (Random House Graphic)
    Growing up in Mexicali, Mexico, twins Luis Fernando and Luisa Teresa attend seventh grade on opposite sides of the border and learn to navigate the trials of middle school—peer pressure, friendships, and identity-searching. A nuanced look at family dynamics and connecting with culture with realistic tween dialogue and bright, hand-drawn illustrations. 

    Jose Pimienta is represented by Elizabeth Bennett. 

School Library Journal chose two titles for their Best Books of 2023 list and here they are:

  • BEST BUDDIES: A PIE FOR US by Vicky Fang; Illustrated by Luisa Leal (Scholastic Inc.)
    Sniff is a dog. Scratch is a cat. And they’re best friends… most of the time! In these three hilarious short stories, Sniff and Scratch find creative ways to reach a pie on the kitchen counter, Sniff panics when Scratch gets stuck in a box, and they meet a strange new dog and cat just like them. These silly, pet-themed stories feature color-coded speech bubbles and easy-to-read text throughout, making this book a perfect choice for new readers!

    Vicky Fang is represented by Elizabeth Bennett.
  • INDIGENOUS INGENUITY by Deidre Havrelock and Edward Kay (Christy Ottaviano Books)
    Corn. Chocolate. Fishing hooks. Boats that float. Insulated double-walled construction. Recorded history and folklore. Life-saving disinfectant. Forest fire management. Our lives would be unrecognizable without these, and countless other, scientific discoveries and technological inventions from Indigenous North Americans. Spanning topics from transportation to civil engineering, hunting technologies, astronomy, brain surgery, architecture, and agriculture, Indigenous Ingenuity is a wide-ranging STEM offering that answers the call for Indigenous nonfiction by reappropriating hidden history. The book includes fun, simple activities and experiments that kids can do to better understand and enjoy the principles used by Indigenous inventors. Readers of all ages are invited to celebrate traditional North American Indigenous innovation, and to embrace the mindset of reciprocity, environmental responsibility, and the interconnectedness of all life. 

    Deidre and Edward are represented by Amy Tompkins.

Kirkus posted their roundup of the Best Middle Grade Books of the Year and included:

  • PINE ISLAND VISITORS by Polly Horvath (Puffin Canada)
    Fiona, Marlin, Natasha and Charlie McCready have been adopted by their unlikely guardian, Al, and finally settled into their new home on Pine Island in British Columbia. Fiona is struggling under the weight of trying to keep everything together, not to mention worrying about expenses, while Marlin tries to adjust to her new high school and faces rejections for her cookbook, Thirty Meals a Twelve-Year-Old Could Make and Did!. Natasha is still keeping to herself, but a new interest in the violin reveals hidden talents, while Charlie is dreaming of what kind of dog she would like. It’s been an adjustment, but they are loving being with each other and having Al next door. Then they receive a letter from Mrs. Weatherspoon, who took care of them after their parents died, and she is coming to visit for three months — an inordinate amount of time for a houseguest. Accommodating a fifth person in the tiny house is hard enough, but to their horror, Mrs. Weatherspoon arrives with a companion: her childhood friend, Jo. Jo has opinions about everything — what they should eat, how they should behave — and she doesn’t hesitate to express them. And sweet Mrs. Weatherspoon seems to have fallen under her spell. When she and Jo announce that they are going to extend their stay even longer, Fiona and Marlin are beside themselves. Fiona hates rocking the boat, but she is going to have to find the courage to stand up to these grown-up bullies so she and her sisters can have the life they wish to lead.

    Polly Horvath was previously represented by Andrea Cascardi.

And last but not least, included in the Cooperative Center for Books for Children from the University of Wisconsin CCBC Choices roundup is:

  • YOSHI AND THE OCEAN by Lindsay Moore (Greenwillow Books) *See description above.

    Lindsay Moore is represented by Fiona Kenshole.
  • OUR GREEN CITY by Tanya Lloyd Kyi; Illustrated by Colleen Larmour (Kids Can Press)
    In this green city, neighbors take care of all living things: people, plants and animals, too! Many people choose a bicycle, scooter or their own two feet to get where they need to go. A family collects the rain to water their garden, while solar panels capture the energy from the sun; pipes gather heat from underground, and a windmill turns to power the community. Residents keep hens and hives in their yards, and care for flower beds that feed bees, birds and butterflies. Here, people all work together to make the city green. Can we do the same where we live?

    Tanya is represented by Amy Tompkins.
  • ANOTHER SQUIGGLY STORY by Andrew Larsen; Illustrated by Mike Lowery (Kids Can Press)
    The young boy listens as Mr. Lopez tells his class about next week’s assignment: write a story about yourself. “You can write about ANYTHING,” he says, “as long as you write about YOU.” Marcus is going to write about his hat collection. Alia is going to write about the vampires she talks about all the time. But all the boy can come up with is a title: “The Story of Me by Me.” He can’t figure out what it should be about. His sister suggests starting with lists – Things I Like, Things I Know. Only, the things all seem disconnected. Is there some way to connect them, and make them into a story?

    Andrew Larsen is represented by Fiona Kenshole.