Welcome to The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
We are one of the nation’s leading children’s book review journals for school and public librarians. We provide concise summaries and critical evaluations to help you find the books you need for your library’s collection.
There’s no shortage of historical ﬁction revolving around plucky girls. Armed with determination and blessed with luck, they variously hike up their skirts, shear off their hair, thumb their noses at patriarchy. It all seems so easy, and so it is, with protective authors securing their futures. J. Albert Mann doesn’t shy away from the more challenging elements of her subject’s life, however, in this month’s Big Picture, a novelization of the early years of Margaret Louise Higgins Sanger, pioneering champion of birth control and women’s reproductive rights.
We’re happy to share our annual Blue Ribbon list, celebrating the best and brightest of children’s and YA literature from the last year. It’s been a year of inspiring originality across the board, interlaced with some vivid new takes on classic stories. It’s a particularly good year for female subjects, with complex portrayals of girls dominating the ﬁction list and several compelling biographies (and one autobiography) scaffolding the nonﬁction; picture books are strong on the celebration of bonds, whether with grandparents, parents, or new friends. Since only books that can stand as independent reads are eligible for Blue Ribbons, be sure also to check out our period Series Spotlight feature, where we highlight literary achievements whose impact requires two or more books for full force. In the meantime, you’ll ﬁnd something for just about every young reader here.
The holiday season brings a host of gift giving opportunities and we’re here to help! Our latest Guide Book to Gift Books is updated and revised edition to assist you with all your shopping needs–because who gives anything besides books, right? With over one hundred titles, annotated and organized by age group, our choices are sure to please even your most challenging recipient–and there’s always the bonus of adding a few books to your own TBR list to use that gift card on.
The Hidden Life of a Toad, written and illustrated with photographs by Doug Wechsler, and published by Charlesbridge, is the winner of the Center for Children’s 2018 Gryphon Award. The prize is awarded to the author of an outstanding English language work of fiction or non-fiction that is exemplary in its bridging of the gap in difficulty between books for reading aloud to children and books for practiced readers.