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.
by Akemi Dawn Bowman
Stories of kids negotiating school and friend social dynamics are the bread and butter of youth literature. These books serve as both chronicle and model of some of the hugest social experiences in a young person’s life: their first volitional relationships and attempts to negotiate competing preferences and needs without adult intervention. That may sound overlofty when you’re talking about The Baby-Sitters Club, but it’s true, and those relationship skills control much of our experience in life, both child and adult. They’re also the predominant theme in this month’s Big Picture, Akemi Dawn Bowman’s delightful Generation Misfits.
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.