No one knows the special children in your life better than you do.
My goal with Twenty by Jenny is to help you raise them to be lifelong readers who love and cherish books, and whose lives are enriched by stories.
With roughly 9,000 children’s books published per year (not including reference titles more suited to schools and libraries), all of us who work in the field of children’s books are indebted to the scholarship and dedication of those who came before us, to keep us both current and also mindful of the outstanding titles published in the past.
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Here are a few additional resources for children’s books, both printed and online.
100 Best Books for Children: A Parent’s Guide to Making the Right Choices for Your Young Readers, Toddler to Preteen by Anita Silvey (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, PB ISBN 9780618618774). Silvey was the editor of The Horn Book magazine for many years, and also acted as publisher of Houghton Mifflin’s children’s book division. Her guides to what she believes are the standout books are aimed at parents, and offer a nugget of publishing history with each entry. (This one lists titles for toddlers through age 12; and the title directly below, books for teenagers.)
500 Great Books for Teens by Anita Silvey (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, ISBN 9780618612963). See Silvey’s bio above.
The 20th Century Children’s Book Treasury by Janet Schulman (Random House, ISBN 9780679886471). This handsomely designed volume of picture books by the former publisher of Random House’s children’s division is too big and comprehensive to cuddle up with on a comfy couch or at bedtime. Instead, think of it as a great way to expose children to a wide variety of picture books for a relatively reasonable price; then purchase your youngsters' favorites as single titles (that do work as lap books and bedtime stories). It also makes a terrific baby gift!
You Read to Me & I’ll Read to You by Janet Schulman (Random House, ISBN 9780375810831). Schulman (see bio above) here recommends books for slightly older children who are just beginning to read on their own. We love her philosophy that children are never too old to enjoy being read to!
The Newbery and Caldecott Awards: A Guide to the Medal and Honor Books, 2009 Edition
(Association for Library Service to Children [ALSC], PB ISBN 978-0-8389-3585-9
The American Library Association’s (ALA) Web Resources
This particular link is for award-winning titles, but also on this page you’ll find links to other “Great Web Sites for Kids,” recommended by the Association of Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of ALA.
Notes from the Horn Book
Notes from the Horn Book is a free e-newsletter aimed especially at parents and others interested in finding out about children’s books. Notes was launched in 2008 by the editors of The Horn Book magazine, which was started in 1924 and continues to be a highly-respected resource for reviews and in-depth stories about the children’s book field, aimed at librarians, teachers and publishing professionals.
Pixie Stix Kids Pix
This very parent-friendly blog was started by Kristen McLean, the executive director of the Association of Booksellers for Children, an organization within the American Booksellers Association, which focuses particularly on the interests and concerns of independent booksellers to children (www.abfc.org).
Spaghetti Book Club
Book reviews by kids for kids
This daily e-newsletter aimed at primarily booksellers, librarians and publishing professionals may well be of interest to those who want to find out more about books and news of the industry. It covers adult books, too, but a children’s book review is published each Wednesday (by yours truly), and it’s completely free. Go to www.shelf-awareness.com, and click “subscribe.”
This free e-newsletter is edited by the senior children’s editor at Publishers Weekly, Diane Roback. Aimed primarily at booksellers, teachers, librarians and publishing professionals, it includes more indepth information about new book deals, Q&As with authors, etc.—for those who are serious about the field of children’s books. It also includes two free book reviews each week, and a link to the reviews in the current issue of Publishers Weekly. To check it out, go to www.publishersweekly.com; click “newsletter” on the toolbar at the top of the home page; then, on the drop-down menu, click “children’s bookshelf.”
Are you working on a children’s book of your own?
Join the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) at www.scbwi.org.
A national organization, SCBWI has regional chapters across the country. Their newsletter will inform you of which publishing houses still accept unsolicited manuscripts (most houses now only accept books represented by agents; but a few still accept manuscripts by authors who are not represented, called “unsolicited” works).
SCBWI will also offer advice on copyright questions, serve as an outreach to join nearby writers’ groups, and keep you informed of local and regional conferences, many of which also offer a one-on-one consultation on your manuscript or art portfolio for a modest fee.
Looking for an agent?
You may find the Association of Authors' Representatives helpful at www.aaronline.org.