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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.


April’s Big Picture

The People's Painter coverThe People’s Painter: How Ben Shahn Fought for Justice with Art

written by Cynthia Levinson; illustrated by Evan Turk

This month’s Big Picture tracks the career and politics of artist Ben Shahn, who saw his craft as act of storytelling, shifting among mediums to explore and reveal the injustices of the world. This picture book has a smooth, accessible style that will easily invite young readers in and, ultimately, might be a marvelous spur to kids beginning to consider the way art can be political.


2020 Blue Ribbons

Book images of Blue RibbonsYes, even in the chaos of 2020, there were still plenty of amazing books that crossed our (home) desks. Of course, we had to make some changes and revamped the procedure to share titles digitally but it was gratifying to find our enthusiasm undiminished, and in fact we’ve consciously chosen to go with a generous list this year. Whether for Zoom sharing or private escapism, books matter intensely right now, and it’s stirring to see how many stellar titles appeared this year despite the obstacles.


See the Cate cover image 2Gryphon Award

See the Cat: Three Stories About a Dog written by David LaRochelle and illustrated by Mike Wohnoutka has won the 2021 Gryphon Award. The award is given annually in recognition of an English language work of fiction or non-fiction for which the primary audience is children in Kindergarten through Grade 4. The title chosen best exemplifies those qualities that successfully bridge the gap in difficulty between books for reading aloud to children and books for practiced readers.


Editor’s note

Like many organizations, the Bulletin has had to adjust its workflow to accommodate our new remote situation as a result of COVID-19 restrictions. Unfortunately, that means that some of usual projects have had to be pushed back to 2021, and that includes the annual Guide Book to Gift Books. We know the Guide Book is a favorite of many people, and we apologize for not being able to produce it this year. We do urge you to take a look at the current 2019-2020 version, as that still has plenty of recent titles and recommendations.


ALA Awards

The American Association has announced its Youth Media Awards. You can check out the full list on our awards page 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.


Image from Katie the Catsitter © 2021 by Colleen AF Venable, reproduced by permission of Random House.