Welcome to the 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.
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 hard to identify a trend in this year’s list—the fiction collection is one of our most genre-diverse in years, with verse novels and humor, mythology and realism, fantasy and tragedy all rolled together. While we love our nonfiction list, the nonfiction boom we had for a while seems to be tailing off, so we hope to see a resurgence and tougher competition next year. And picture books—well, picture books are just an untrammeled joy, filled with love, humor, and wisdom in places expected and unexpected. You can find a trifold of the list here. Bon appetit.
Deborah Stevenson, Editor
Fairy tale tropes are gently subverted in this month’s Big Picture, The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang. There is, of course, a ball, a prince, and a chance meeting between the royal young man and a common seamstress girl, Frances. It does not go the way one might expect, though: the prince longs for the dresses Frances makes and to become the girl he dreams of being. Meanwhile, Frances want to make her own path, elevating her fashion skills into a career. Wang shows a deft hand in visual storytelling, giving her this graphic novel a sense of glamor and sleekness.
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.
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.