I kind of enjoy the rush of Best-of-Year lists, if only because I have a mental image of the first one being posted, read, and others reacting to it with an "Oh yeah? Sez you!" and posting their own best of. "So there!" Of course, the cynic in me whispers that it's put out just in time for holiday shopping.
And of course, I read all the lists with my librarian ego swinging wildly--"Liked that one. . . Meh, wasn't too crazy about that one . . . Oh my god, I've never heard of that one! How can I call myself a librarian? I should throw myself off a book cart!!! . . . Liked that one . . ."
Among others, PW and I agree on Susan Swanson's The House in the Night, Jon Scieszka's Smash! Crash! and Laura Vaccaro Seeger's One Boy.
Follow the magical dancing link to the PW site for more. Scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page for kid stuff. Unfortunately, there's not a separate section for early readers, and I don't see any early readers on the list. Sigh. We should sic Anastasia Suen on them.