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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.


Editor’s note

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


March’s Big Picture

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.


2019 Bulletin Blue Ribbons

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 2019 Guide Book to Gift Books is here!

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.


Gryphon Award

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.


ALA Awards

The American Association has announced its Youth Media Awards. You can check out the full list here 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 Theresa Evangelista from Look copyright © 2020 and reproduced by permission of Dial Books for Young Readers.