The New York Times issues a "Best Illustrated Children's Book" list every year. This year's list, with reviews, can be found here. The ten titles are:
Seasons written and illustrated by Blexbolex.
Children Make Terrible Pets written and illustrated by Peter Brown. [JP BRO]
Bink & Gollie by Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee. Illustrated by Tony Fucile. [J DIC]
Big Red Lollipop by Rukhsana Khan. Illustrated by Sophie Blackall. [JP KHA]
Shadow written and illustrated by Suzy Lee.
Henry in Love written and illustrated by Peter McCarty. [JP MCC]
Busing Brewster by Richard Michelson. Illustrated by R. G. Roth.
Subway written and illustrated by Christoph Niemann. [JP NIE]
A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip C. Stead. Illustrated by Erin E. Stead.
Here Comes the Garbage Barge! by Jonah Winter. Illustrated by Red Nose Studio.
The criteria for the selection sometimes escapes me--I'll leave the art discussion to someone else. In any case, there's nothing like a book for a gift this holiday season or anytime throughout the year!