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.
Unfortunately, there’s no shortage of awful, confusing, and downright evil things in the world, and the struggle to make any sort of sense of it is one that every human encounters. And so we tell stories—to make meaning out of the chaos of the world, to narrate our place within it, to perhaps find healing or heal someone else or some other wrong. But a story needs a listener as well, an acknowledgement—and that’s not always easy to find. Sometimes, the search for acknowledgement only opens more wounds, as the two Australian Aboriginal girls at the center of this month’s Big Picture discover.
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.
Baby Monkey, Private Eye, written by Brian Selznick and David Serlin illustrated by Brian Selznick (Scholastic Press, 2018), is the winner of the 2019 Gryphon Award for Children’s Literature. 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