At Publishers Weekly, the kids department is rounding up some facts and figures for 2017, including all the best sellers via Bookscan. You can see all the numbers here, but I’ve pulled out the GNs and the mixed use titles (Wimpy Kid and Dork Diaries) and highlighted two titles in red, a MArvel story book and Where The Wild Things are, just to give a benchmark.
Before you get to the numbers, another PW article surveys agents at the recent children’s book focused Bologna Book Fair for their thoughts on kids books in general, and many mentioned graphic novels as a trend. You should definitely read the comments in context – and for many other insights about the international rights market for children’s books, but a selection:
“Domestically, we’re seeing more marginalized voices across age groups, more graphic novels, more fantasy.” – Cheryl Pientka, Jill Grinberg Literary Management
“More and more foreign publishers are looking at American graphic novels, specifically ones with strong narratives, and these are translating into film as well.” — Rachel Horowitz, Maria B. Campbell Associates
“[C]orrelating with the significant upswing in interest in graphic novels domestically, we are noticing that some markets seem more open to these works in translation than in years past.” — Jonathan Lyons, Curtis Brown Ltd.
A lot is happening in the YA graphic novel space, with a ton more books coming out this year and next. I’ll be looking at some of the lesser known titles over the next week or so.
Best selling children’s books 2016
2. Double Down (Diary of a Wimpy Kid #11). Jeff Kinney. Abrams/Amulet (1,135,249)
25. Dog Man. Dav Pilkey. Scholastic/Graphix (117,653)
1. Ghosts. Raina Telgemeier. Scholastic/Graphix (213,235)
2. Old School (Diary of a Wimpy Kid #10). Kinney Jeff. Abrams/Amulet (486,544)
14. Tales from a Not-So-Perfect Pet Sitter (Dork Diaries #10). Rachel Renée Russell. Simon & Schuster/Aladdin (208,033)
17. The Wimpy Kid Do-It-Yourself Book. Jeff Kinney. Abrams/Amulet (185,364)
20. Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Jeff Kinney. Abrams/Amulet (170,829)
38. Hard Luck (Diary of a Wimpy Kid #8). Jeff Kinney. Abrams/Amulet (135,925)
41. Rodrick Rules (Diary of a Wimpy Kid #2). Jeff Kinney. Abrams/Amulet (128,338)
42. The Last Straw (Diary of a Wimpy Kid #3). Jeff Kinney. Abrams/Amulet (125,484)
43. Cabin Fever (Diary of a Wimpy Kid #6). Jeff Kinney. Abrams/Amulet (125,043)
52. The Third Wheel (Diary of a Wimpy Kid #7). Jeff Kinney. Abrams/Amulet (110,554)
55. 5-Minute Marvel Stories. Disney/Marvel Press (108,391)
12. Drama. Raina Telgemeier. Scholastic/Graphix (212,852)
22. Kristy’s Great Idea (Baby-Sitters Club Graphix #1). Ann M. Martin, illus. by Raina Telgemeier. Scholastic/Graphix (162,118)
24. Where the Wild Things Are. Maurice Sendak. HarperCollins (160,533)
44. The Truth About Stacey (Baby-Sitters Club Graphix #2). Ann M. Martin, illus. by Raina Telgemeier. Scholastic/Graphix (116,560)
50. Mary Anne Saves the Day (Baby-Sitters Club #3). Ann M. Martin, illus. by Raina Telgemeier. Scholastic/Graphix (105,510)
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.