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.
The One Thing You’d Save
by Linda Sue Park
illustrated by Robert Sae-Heng
Newbery Medal–winner Linda Sue Park puts a new spin on the class assignment genre in this collection of poems that focus on students responding to the prompt “Imagine that your home is on fire. You’re allowed to save one thing./ Your family and pets are safe, so don’t worry about them./ Your Most Important Thing. Any size. A grand piano? Fine.” Responses include sneakers, insulin, and “your own sorry skin.” This is a combination of piquant premise and accessible, engaging text, resulting in an unexpected hi-lo title that will invite both reluctant and enthusiastic literati to reconsider their possessions. It also cries out to be a classroom read or even readaloud or readers theater, prompting youngsters to embark on their own discussion.
Yes, 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 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.
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.
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.