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.

December’s Big Picture

Cover art from Calvin featuring a smiling Black boy with dimpled cheeks.Calvin

By JR and Vanessa Ford; illus. by Kayla Harren

Activists and authors have put forth no small amount of effort to bring representation of trans children to both kids and YA books, and this month’s Big Picture celebrates the continued push for inclusivity in trans narratives, highlighting the ways affirmation and familial support can make a world of difference for trans children. Drawing on their own experience as parents to a trans child, JR and Vanessa Ford teamed up with artist Kayla Harren to give face (and an adorable one at that, as seen in this month’s cover) to Calvin, a young trans boy of color.

75 Years of Children’s Literature

The 75th volume year of the Bulletin is being commemorated in a digital timeline exhibit at https://ccb.ischool.illinois.edu/ccb75/. As the Bulletin prepares to move into its future, take a look at its past, in glorious black and white and on bleed-through onionskin paper.

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.

Gryphon Award

Due to staffing changes, we are regretfully putting the award on hold for now and will hopefully resume the process for the 2023 timeline. We recognize the significance of the award and appreciate publishers’ interest and will send out a note when we set the criteria for the 2023 award. Please direct any further questions to the new Bulletin Editor, Kate Quealy-Gainer, at kqueal1@illinois.edu.

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.

Cover illustration by Kayla Harren from Calvin copyright © 2021, used by permission of G. P. Putnam’s Sons.