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.
The bedtime favorite Goodnight Moon has at this point made its official way into the canon of children’s literature, and the librarian bunny in this month’s Big Picture, The Important Thing about Margaret Wise Brown by Mac Barnett, is happy to celebrate the book’s beloved author at storytime. As her audience will learn, however, not all librarians saw the value in Brown’s work and some viewed them as downright inappropriate and frankly, too odd for young readers. Barnett deftly combines the details of Brown’s biography with a strong message about the importance of children’s free access to books. It was children who made Brown’s books so popular, after all, and its children (or bunnies, in this case) who will find delight in Barnett’s championing of their right to read and the insistence that “Every good book is at least a little bit strange.”
We’re happy to share our annual Blue Ribbon list, celebrating the best and brightest of children’s and YA literature from the last year. It’s been a year of inspiring originality across the board, interlaced with some vivid new takes on classic stories. It’s a particularly good year for female subjects, with complex portrayals of girls dominating the ﬁction list and several compelling biographies (and one autobiography) scaffolding the nonﬁction; picture books are strong on the celebration of bonds, whether with grandparents, parents, or new friends. Since only books that can stand as independent reads are eligible for Blue Ribbons, be sure also to check out our period Series Spotlight feature, where we highlight literary achievements whose impact requires two or more books for full force. In the meantime, you’ll ﬁnd something for just about every young reader here.
Baby Monkey, Private Eye, written by Brian Selznick and David Serlin illustrated by Brian Selznick (Scholastic Press, 2018), is the winner of the 2019 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.
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
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.