One reason to blog about books is to tell people about them. Another is so I won’t forget them myself. This one is both. It is a reference book for school librarians which means if you work with kids or read to kids a lot this is where you look up ideas about what to read and why. Reference also means it’s 900+ pages and heavy.
It includes everything about reading to kids: how and why to read, the awards for best books, why books fail, when to go fiction or nonfiction, the art of storytelling, and a huge long annotated list of books for kids. Annotations include book details, plot description and its relation to similar books, suggestions called “germs”, lists of related titles (If you liked this, you will like…), and subjects (called tags if you are under a certain age). Perhaps best of all, tons of indexes.
I think indexes are the most important feature of a non-fiction book. I look for an index before I look for a bibliography. You can fake a bibliography. Fake an index and you are in trouble. No index, no can find what I thought I had found there. Meaning no quotes from that text.
What I want to remember about this book is that it exists — I’m not a librarian so my out-of-sight-out-of-mind temperament will dominate if I don’t have this in my list of blog titles. If I were doing kids’ books every day or even every week, I would have this on my shelf. Too well-done and too comprehensive to pass up. Buy it if you are just starting out with babies in the house, already have a bunch you don’t know what to do with, have a lot of gifts to buy, want to show everyone you are an expert on their kids, or just like reference books.
Books Kids Will Sit Still For 3: A Read Aloud Guide by Judy Freeman
Children’s and Young Adult Literature Reference Series; Catherine Barr, Series Editor
Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited, 2006. Greenwood Publishing Group