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.
Like all of you, we’re negotiating a world changed by COVID-19. Currently, we’re under university instructions to work remotely. We don’t know yet what other disruptions we may face and how long they will affect publishing and reviewing, but it seems likely that we’ll have a very different spring and summer at the Bulletin and in youth literature and services than we anticipated.
From a Bulletin standpoint, we’ve changed some of our workflow, but we hope to continue to provide reviews in print and online largely as scheduled. We apologize in advance for any interruptions or reductions, and we’re putting measures in place to mitigate them.
From a youth literature and services standpoint, we believe that while the individual review may seem to matter less, our commitment to the value of literature for youth is firmer than ever. Literature gives young people a way to find meaning, process emotion, soothe themselves, and rally in their own space, pace, and time; to broaden their horizons even as physical boundaries contract. The need for that remains paramount.
Deborah Stevenson, Editor
There’s simply no getting around the significance of social media in our world, and it is especially formative in the lives of young people, for better or for worse. This month’s Big Picture, Look by Zan Romanoff, examines that relationship through seventeen-year-old Lulu, a social media sensation whose image takes a hit when a private moment goes viral. Romanoff offers a careful exploration of the dueling nature of a teen’s (and perhaps everyone’s) need to be seen and need for privacy, and she neither indicts nor glamorizes Lulu’s performative self. This a sharp, insightful, and timely read.
It’s that reflective time of year again, when we cast our eyes back to the books of the past twelve months and see which ones hold magic for us from this perspective. It was an especially glorious year for history, both fiction and nonfiction, while the picture books offered superb originality. You may not have known you needed a book about the Greek gods and World War I, the birth of food safety laws, or a wolf merchant’s trip to the marketplace, but 2019’s Blue Ribbons proves that we all do.
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.
This Is MY Fort! and What Is Inside THIS Box?, written by Drew Daywalt and illustrated by Olivier Tallec, and published by Scholastic Press, are the winners of the 2020 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.