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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.


May’s Big Picture

Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry cover image

Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry

by Joya Goffney

In this month’s Big Picture, seventeen-year-old Quinn must deal with the academic pressures of an elite Austin school while also negotiating her identity as one of the only Black students there. Her journal of wishlists and fantasies is her coping mechanism of choice, so when the journal goes missing–and she’s subsequently the victim of blackmail–her perfectly curated world begins to fall apart. Ultimately, with this confidently crafted #ownvoices debut, Goffney gifts readers with a smart, engaging, banter-filled story about the courage it takes to shred plans that just aren’t working anymore and the rewards of gaining self-assurance.


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.