Many review sites publish year-end lists which bring books I might not have noticed to my attention. Since I live overseas and can't browse in a bookstore, I rely on word of mouth and lists like these for the books that I buy. (Books make great gifts for birthdays and holidays.)
There are so many books on these lists I want to read!
New York Times 2010 Best Illustrated Children's Books list
This list includes Big Red Lollipop by Rukhsana Khan--a great story with wonderful illustrations.
Kirkus: their complete best list.
Here is Kirkus' Fantasy and Science Fiction list. Kathi Appelt's Keeper, a memorable read, is on this list.
And here is a useful link to about 15 other categories, including picture books, graphic novels, historical, animals etc.
School Library Journal's 2010 Best Fiction and Best Picture Books. Keeper is again on this list, as well as Rita William Garcia's One Crazy Summer, both books which I enjoyed.
Also, Publisher's Weekly Best Children's Books 2010.
Fuse #8 at School Library Journal shares her favorite 100 books of the year. I've read several books on her list, including the stunning Palace Beautiful by Sarah DeFord Williams.
It is the time of year to snuggle up with a book, ideally in front of a roaring fireplace (which I don't have in my apartment, but I can imagine it), while the snow falls outside.