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Children's Literature Research Resources

The following annotated bibliographies are for the children's literature mavin who needs a helping hand on the road to research.

Reference Books

Critical and Historical Resources

Academic Journals Including Critical Analyses of Children's Literature

Reference Books

Children's Literature Review I just can't say enough about the value of this Gale resource. CLR is one of the perfect references to use when researching the work of a single author, or even a single title. CLR is classified as a periodical (not unlike Something About the Author) and is published regularly with reports concerning new authors of children's and young adult literature as well as with updates of past entries. Organized by author and cumulatively indexed, each topical entry includes information about the author in question, his or her works, and popular and scholarly analyses of major titles.

Something About the Author From those same geniuses who brought you CLR, SATA is another kick ass Gale resource. Dedicated to children's and young adult literature, this regularly updated resource features biographical information about notable authors. Not too much literary criticism is included here; however, entries often include author commentary about select titles. The "See Also" references at the end of each listing are great for chasing down citations.

A to Zoo: Subject Access to Children's Picture Books This Bowker resource is one of the best browsing tools, especially when your public or school library catalog doesn't consistantly allow for advanced searching and collection specification. Organized by LC subject heading, A to Zoo lists brief bibliographic information about notable picture books. No real annotations or age guides here; however, a terrific starting place for the person who wants to know, "Are there any children's books about. . . ?"

The Bookfinder: A Guide to Children's Literature About the Needs and Problems of Youth Aged 2-15 I have to admit: The Bookfinder is not for everybody. Personally, I love this resource; however, its historical organization (check out some of the older editions with wierd half-sized booklets to cross-reference!) problems put many people off. And, it hasn't been updated in about 10 years. But, if you're looking for "problem" literature for kids, this is one of the best places to start. Long, long, long annotated bibliographies sometimes give away surprise endings to the books discussed, but do address exactly how the issues the books indexed within are handled. This source is notable because of its inclusion; picture books, chapter books and y.a. lit are all listed.

Critical and Historical Resources

Children's Literature(2001), Criticism, Theory and Children's Literature(1991), An Introduction to Children's Literature(1994) by Peter Hunt Peter Hunt is The Man when it comes to editing texts about children's literature and children's literary criticism. Each of the aforementioned titles is a wealth of information and perspectives regarding children's literature, childhood and literary theory. Read any one of his carefully edited resources and get ready to begin your love affair with the British scholar.

Words About Pictures: The Narrative Art of Children's Picture Books, by Perry Nodelman One of the definitive texts in children's literature theory, with Words About Pictures Nodelman looks at the interaction between text and image, and provides us with a much needed rubric for analysis.

How Picturebooks Work, by Maria Nikolajeva and Carole Scott Following Nodelman's example, scholar Nikolajeva and Carole Scott have composed what could be considered "Part 2" of Nodelman's Words. Again, an excellent source for granular information about how picturebooks communicate ideas to the literate and pre-literate reader.

Picture This: Perception and Composition, by Molly Bang From acclaimed illustrator Molly Bang--who received a 2000 Caldecott honor for When Sophie Gets Angry, Very, Very Angry--this small tome is a powerhouse of information. Bang leads us through the design process by using her own illustrations and pointing out key compositional elements. Design tips and tricks from the horse's mouth.

Academic Journals including Critical Analyses of Children's Literature

The Lion and the Unicorn My personal hero Jack Zipes is one of the editors of this children's literature journal, searchable at UNC via our subscription to Project Muse. Articles within include close readings and analyses of the works of single authors, critical examinations of literary movements, and historical pieces.

Children's Literature in Education Another children's literature journal, this one focuses more on "issues" in children's literature and the pragmatic values of the texts. The most recent copy of the journal is available at the SILS library, on display with the other "new" journals; the journal is also indexed via UNC's subscription to Kluwer Online.

Horn Book Edited by critic Roger Sutton, Horn Book is a definitive source of literary book reviews and engaging articles. Full text is unavailable online; however, the SILS library maintains a hard copy archive.

Bulletin for the Center for Children's Books Another terrific resource for literarily tinged book reviews and informative articles. BCCB is brought to us by the Center for Children's Books, affiliated with the school of library and information science at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. BCCB has its own website; however, full text of the journal is not available there. Check out the archive available at our wonderful SILS library for past issues.