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of the Center for Children's Books

The Bulletin Dozen is a monthly theme-based list of titles available only on-line. Since we're awfully fond of bakers here at the Bulletin, we thought we'd adopt their philosophy of generosity and throw in an extra one or two when we have them to offer--so don't expect an even dozen. Please feel free to copy, download, or link to these lists. We ask only that you cite the source. See the archive for lists from previous months.

Summertime, and the Reading is Easy
selected by Janice Del Negro

When I first started working as a children's librarian in 1981, the available selection of easy readers was sparse and disappointing. Many of them were so vocabulary controlled as to be anemic, and the illustrations were often less than stellar. I found it surprising that there were so few worthy titles to choose from, since this was an extremely popular genre with parents of young children just learning or beginning to read. My collection development policy for the easy readers section was, well easy: duplicate copies of titles that both children and their parents could appreciate. Arnold Lobel, Joanna Cole, and Crosby Bonsall got a lot of shelf space; later these authors were joined by Cynthia Rylant's continuing saga of Henry and Mudge. Fortunately, publishers responded to the expressed need of librarians, parents, and teachers; they engaged authors of note to create vivid readers illustrated by artists of merit. This month we're featuring selected titles from four easy readers series, both fiction and non-fiction: Green Light Readers from Harcourt Brace; Hello Readers! Science from Scholastic; Bank Street Ready-to-Read, recently re-released by Gareth Stevens; and Real Kids Readers from Millbrook. Now the problem isn't filling the easy reader shelves; the problem is having enough room for multiple copies of all the good ones. May all your collection development problems be similar to this one. All titles illustrated by the author except where noted; age and grade levels are those suggested by the publishers.

--Janice M. Del Negro, editor

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This page was last updated on August 9, 1999.