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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.


2017 Bulletin Blue Ribbons have been announced!

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


January’s Big Picture

A book with only a few words seems like an easy feat, but the fact is that telling a story with a rather restricted vocabulary takes more finesse than most people might imagine. This month’s Big Picture, Nobody’s Duck by Mary Sullivan, contains just about fifty words to tell a tale of friendship, humor, and just plain goofiness, and it manages to support and provide scaffolding for young readers. Sullivan’s all-dialogue, all speech-balloon text is maximally cunning in its repetition without ever straining the vocabulary, and the alligator and duck odd couple make for plenty of moments of absurd fun.


The 2017 Guide Book to Gift Books is here!

The holiday season brings a host of gift giving opportunities and we’re here to help! Ourwrapped-package 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.


2017 Gryphon Award

The recipients of the 2017 Gryphon awards have been announced.  The titles chosen best exemplify those qualities that successfully bridge the gap in difficulty between books for reading aloud to children and books for practiced readers.The award is sponsored by the Center for Children’s Books at the School of Information Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


ALA awards

The American Association has announced its Youth Media Awards. You can check out the full list here or at the ALA website.


The Center for Children’s Books The Bulletin is partnered with the Center for Children’s Books, a research center whose mission is to facilitate the creation and dissemination of exemplary and progressive research and scholarship related to youth-focused resources, literature, and librarianship.


 Cover image from Mary Sullivan’s Nobody’s Duck © 2017 used by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Cover image from Kwame Alexander’s Out of Wonder ©2017, and cover image Gaia Cornwall’s Jabari Jumps ©2017 used by permission of Candlewick Press.
Cover image from Frances O’Roark Dowell’s Sam the Man & the Rutabaga Plan ©2017 used by permission Dlouhy/Atheneum.
Cover image from Leigh Bardugo’s Language of Thorns ©2017 used by permission of Imprint/Macmillan Children’s Publishing.