Don’t tell my wife I did this, but here is an unstaged photo of my nightstand:
Well, I can’t say it’s completely untouched – I did vacuum a dust bunny or two.
What we have here are five professional books that have been helpful to me in my job. The beauty of these titles is that you can take your time with them. Pick one up, crack the cover, become a better children’s librarian.
1. 1001 Children’s Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up Edited by Julia Eccleshare
Selected by a cast of great literary minds, this list of 1001 must-read children’s books is the sort of book you’ll be paging through over and over again. From the classics (Carle, Sendak, et al.) to lesser known gems, each book is reviewed and presented in categories by age group. Keep a copy close at hand.
2. The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child by Donalyn Miller
This one has been swiftly making the rounds among teachers at the elementary school where I work. Miller, a 6th grade teacher, shares her classroom experiences of guiding her students toward reading for the love of it. As it should be.
3. A Family of Readers: The Book Lover’s Guide to Children’s and Young Adult Literature Roger Sutton and Martha V. Parravano
The editors of The Horn Book Magazine join forces with a host of children’s literature experts in this nicely-laid out volume of essays and recommended reads. Starting with books for babies and continuing through the teen years, this is a guide to raising readers.
4. Minders of Make Believe: Idealists, Entrepreneurs, and the Shaping of American Children’s Literature by Leonard S. Marcus
Every field has its historians, and Leonard S. Marcus is ours. All he does in this book is tell a detailed (and engaging) history of children’s literature from its humble beginnings up to the modern era. Impressive, indeed.
5. From Cover to Cover: Evaluating and Reviewing Children’s Books by Kathleen T. Horning
If you want to take a critical look at picture books, this is the place to start. Whether you’re reviewing books for a journal, online, or for an award committee, K.T. Horning’s book will make you a more skilled critic.
Do you have a title to add to this list? Let the world know in the comments.