Penguin Random House is the perennial leader among publishers on PW’s picture book bestseller lists, and in 2023 it strengthened its grip, nabbing 40% of total available list positions, up from 33% in 2022. (There are 25 positions on the picture book list each week, for a total of 1,300 slots per year.) Last year PRH landed 72 titles on the list, and those titles occupied 519 positions. Eric Carle’s classic The Very Hungry Caterpillar was on the list for the entire year, and PRH’s Tiger Tales imprint placed its perennial bestseller I Love You to the Moon and Back on the chart for 51 weeks. The publisher also had a huge hit with Taylor Swift: A Golden Books Biography, which was on the list for 33 weeks.

PRH’s dominance of the picture book bestseller lists would be even more pronounced if titles from Sourcebooks were added to its total. Sourcebooks had 26 books on the lists, taking 10.8% of all positions. Since the beginning of 2023, PRH has owned a 53% stake in the company, but Sourcebooks remains “structurally and operationally” separate from PRH, sources say, and Circana BookScan, which powers PW’s bestseller lists, continues to measure Sourcebooks market share separately from PRH.

On the children’s frontlist fiction list, PRH made a slight dent in Scholastic’s dominant position, upping its share of bestseller positions to 17.8%, from 13.5% the year before. (As with picture books, there are 25 positions on the children’s frontlist fiction list each week, for a total of 1,300 slots per year.) In 2022, Scholastic claimed a whopping 46.8% share of the fiction list, driven by an extraordinary number of its books that had extended runs, including those by top-selling authors Dav Pilkey, Tui T. Sutherland, and Scott Cawthorn. In 2023, Scholastic placed the same number of titles on the bestseller list as it did the year before, but those titles had shorter stays. As a result, Scholastic’s share of frontlist fiction bestsellers fell, but it still had a 20 percentage point lead over PRH.

A relative publishing newcomer to the picture book lists is Printers Row Publishing Group, which is owned by Readerlink Distribution Services. The company had eight books hit the picture book lists in 2023, all in its You’re My Little... board book series, and its bestseller list share rose to 5.7%, from 4.5% the year prior.