January 2010, Volume 9, Issue 1

The library world, it is a-changin' for sure. There was a time when the only professional reviews available were in paper-printed monthly periodicals. Book buzz spread by word-of-mouth. Now, reviews are available at many on line sources. Librarians still learn about books from other librarians but now it isn't just from face time but also from Facebook and blogs. Online booksellers include a few professional reviews. How many reviews should you read before you buy a book? Most librarians will say they would like to have several positive professional reviews. That is why the Children's Literature Comprehensive Database (CLCD) continues to add quality review sources.

We are pleased to announce that beginning this month you will discover reviews from Worlds of Words in CLCD. The University of Arizona, College of Education has established the International Collection of Children's and Adolescent Literature, a teaching and research collection of high quality, culturally authentic international children's literature. WOW Review is an electronic journal of critical reviews on children's and adolescent literature that highlight intercultural understanding and global perspectives. We know you will find these reviews to be informative and helpful.

The Children's Literature Comprehensive Database (CLCD) currently aggregates reviews from 38 review sources. Our subscribers already know how valuable it is to have multiple perspectives of a book at your fingertips. For those of you who do not subscribe, perhaps now is the time to consider it. Let me tell you about a few of the review sources we include.

Our sister company, Children's Literature, began as a review service sixteen years ago. Who are our reviewers? At any given time, we average about 150 teachers, librarians, children's literature specialists, authors and illustrators across the United States who contributes their evaluation expertise. At Children's Literature, each title and format is dealt with individually. When you are looking at one particular title within a series, the Children's Literature review is often the only one available. This was true for some small press books, as well so we looked for others who might focus on these books. ForeWord Reviews is dedicated to reviewing independently published books. It was established in 1998 and serves as the flagship periodical of booksellers, librarians, agents and publishing professionals who want to access the best from small presses.

Reviews from Science Books & Films, a guide to science resources from the American Association for the Advancement of Science, provide two perspectives: one from a librarian or other children's literature specialist and one from a scientific expert. It is a real plus to have those two perspectives on the quality and content of informational books.

At CLCD you will find Booklist, VOYA, and the Horn Book Guide, too. All our review sources and the beginning dates for the reviews can be found at www.childrenslit.com. Database participants can be found under "About Us." By the way, if you would like to be a part of the Children's Literature reviewing team, go to our home page and click on "Children's Literature" where you will find full instructions.

For the most comprehensive information on children's and young adult literature, it's got to be CLCD. We have the reviews and so much more!

Themed Features

Martin Luther King Day is Monday, January 18. Be prepared with some new books about him and his message of nonviolence. We have included titles for you to share with preschoolers through high school students. Be sure to read the review of After Gandhi: One Hundred Years of Nonviolent Resistance by Anne Sibley O'Brien and Perry Edmond O'Brien and illustrated by Anne Sibley O'Brien. It is an informative and inspiring book for middle readers.

Polar Bears are in the news and studied in classrooms at this time of year. We have included some internet sites, a funny story, some picture books and several nonfiction titles as well. You will want to read about Ice Bears by Brenda Z. Guiberson and illustrated by Ilya Spirin. Our reviewer says, "The informative text and (watercolor) illustrations stimulate our curiosity while stressing the importance of the environment to the lives of the bears."

Groundhog Day is February 2. We wanted to give you time to purchase some of the fun and interesting titles that are available. Why not incorporate poetry, too? A Whiff of Pine, a Hint of Skunk: A Forest of Poems by Deborah Ruddell and illustrated by Joan Rankin has a poem just perfect for this midwinter holiday.

Children's Literature Author Illustrator Booking Service

Joan Carris

Wild Times at the Bed and Biscuit, the follow-up to Welcome to the Bed and Biscuit, was published last November by Candlewick Press. It is the continuation of Grandpa Bender and the many pets at the Bed & Biscuit animal boardinghouse. Joan has spoken in schools and taught writing seminars for adults and children for over thirty years. Currently she writes commentaries for Public Radio in eastern Carolina and teaches graduate-level writing for Duke University at their marine lab in Beaufort. She has also written a humor column and reviewed books and plays for NJ newspapers, written 70 plus magazine and major news articles, been president of The National League of American Pen Women (Princeton chapter) and also president of The Children's Book Guild of Washington, D.C., organized writing symposia for The Smithsonian Institute, appeared on dozens of radio and TV shows, and published 15 children's books. For more information about Joan, please visit http://www.childrenslit.com/bookingservice/carris-joan.html.

David McLimans

David's first picture book, the alphabet book Gone Wild, received a Caldecott Honor in 2007. His remarkable artwork features endangered animals from A to Z and incorporates details of each species' class, habitat, range, threats, and status. Gone Fishing, a follow-up book published in 2008, counts numbers with ocean creatures that are either endangered, experiencing population loss, or living in threatened habitats. These celebrated picture books show-off David's progressive vision and unique style. Born and raised in Green Bay, Wisconsin, David attended the University of Minnesota and earned his MFA from Boston University. He is also well-known for his political cartoons and editorial illustrations for The Progressive magazine, as well as the New York Times, Washington Post, and Atlantic Monthly. For more information about David, please visit http://www.childrenslit.com/bookingservice/mclimans-david.html.

Candice Ransom

Jon Scieska as the Literacy Ambassador spoke often about the need to get boys interested in reading. His newest book Robot Zot! has definite boy appeal. Marilyn Courtot's article succinctly states Jon's points about the way boys read and his practical and enjoyable tips on how to get them to do so.

Spreading the News

CLCD Newsletter Editor, Sharon Salluzzo serves as a library and education consultant to CLCD. In addition, Sharon is a book reviewer, a storyteller who often performs with The Genesee Storytellers, and a member of The Children's Book Guild of Washington, DC. Sharon earned her MLS at SUNY Geneseo.
Our monthly newsletter is now available to everyone within an organization, not just the primary contact. A new feature at www.clcd.com will provide you with a form allowing you to sign up for just the electronic newsletter. The Children's Literature Comprehensive Database (CLCD), updated mid-month, is your most complete source of information about children's books. Indeed, it is the next best thing to having the book in hand, and the best tool for leading you to the best books. All at a most affordable price. To subscribe to the CLCD or contact us, go to www.clcd.com.

Author Features

Jennifer L. Etnier answers questions about her book, Bring Your "A" Game: A Young Athlete's Guide to Mental Toughness. Although this was written with athletes in mind, "anyone who has aspirations of achieving success could benefit from the development of mental toughness." Jennifer describes what she means by "mental toughness" and talks about the single most important skill that a young athlete needs to develop in order to succeed.

Discover how Amie Rose Rotruck wrote Bronze Dragon Codex, which is part of the "Dragon Codex" series, under the name R. D. Henham. She talks about writing in the field of historical fantasy and gives us a little peek into her next novel, too.

Reminder: if you missed a recent newsletter or want to check on a previous feature, you will find that newsletters for the past several years are posted for your convenience at http://www.clcd.com/news/nl_index.php.

Quote of the Month

"Students in our graduate program in school library media find the Children's Literature Comprehensive Database to be an extremely useful tool as they complete their coursework. Additionally, we recently brought the database to the attention of fellow faculty members in the Department of Education and Special Education here at Longwood. Our colleagues report that they and their students find it useful both as a readers' advisory tool and as they develop thematic bibliographies."

- Audrey P. Church, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Coordinator
School Library Media Program, Department of Education and Special Education
Longwood University, Virginia


Search Tip of the Month

If you are enjoying reading our free newsletter every month wouldn't it be nice to share this resource with a friend or colleague? Start the year off right by passing along access to the many invaluable features Children's Literature provides. Encourage your friends and colleagues to sign up for themselves to receive the FREE newsletter. Help someone you know who works with children, or is a fan of children's literature, to stay up-to-date with author features, themed reviews, and current trends.
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Recent News

  • On the Road
    Children's Literature/CLCD will be in Boston for ALA Midwinter from Friday, January 15 to Monday, January 18. We will be at Booth 2638 in the Exhibits Hall and we look forward to seeing you there.

  • Twitter
    If you were receiving our tweets this month, you would have been among the first to learn about a new imprint from Penguin; an opportunity to tell us about your favorite Martin Luther King, Jr. book; and pop-up genius David Carter's appearance on the Martha Stewart Show. To follow us on Twitter, just click on the blue Twitter bird at www.childrenslit.com.

  • Our Blog
    Interesting perspectives, keen insights, and practical applications are what you will discover on our blog. Recently, Marilyn Courtot presented Part I of What Makes a Good Book? and Laura Krauss Melmed provided thoughtful comments about two of her holiday books. To read our blog go to our home page www.childrenslit.com.

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