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Resources for Children's Literature

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Table of Contents:

Indexes and Databases
  • Academic Search Premier,uid&profile=ehost&defaultdb=aph

    The world's largest academic multi-disciplinary database, Academic Search Premier indexes nearly 8,050 publications and provides full text for nearly 4,600, including more than 3,500 peer-reviewed journals. Coverage also includes many newspapers and popular magazines and spans virtually every area of academic study since 1975. Updated daily. Access is provided by the Electronic Library for Minnesota (ELM). View our Academic Search Premier tutorial.
  • ERIC,uid&profile=ehost&defaultdb=eric

    ERIC is the major index to literature in education. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education, it provides full citations and abstracts for journal articles, books, curricula, government documents, dissertations, and research reports selected by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES). ERIC citations date from 1966 to the present, and full text is available for many research reports. You may limit your search to show only results with free full text.
  • MLA International Bibliography,uid&profile=ehost&defaultdb=mzh

    The major research resource for information on English literature, foreign languages and linguistics. Includes references to scholarly articles, books, book chapters, book reviews, and dissertations; coverage dates back to the 1920's.
  • Educator's Reference Complete

    This upgrade to the Professional Collection database includes more than 450 full-text academic journals, hundreds of full-text reports, and many premier reference sources. Content focuses on educational principles, child development and psychology, and best practices in education. Majority of the full-text titles included are also found in the ERIC database. Access is provided by the Electronic Library for Minnesota (ELM).
  • Teacher Reference Center,uid&profile=ehost&defaultdb=trh

    Provides indexing and abstracts for over 280 of the most popular teacher and administrator trade journals, periodicals and books to assist professional educators. Coverage includes assessment, curriculum development, literacy standards, and more.
Reference Works
  • Biographical and Critical Sources
    • Contemporary Authors
      This series gives biographical information, brief bibliographies of works by and about the author and sometimes further background information such as an interview. It is concerned solely with modern writers, and covers writers in fields outside of literature. Check the most recent cumulative index to locate biographies in any of the volumes and to locate biographies published in other Gale biographical series. Note: As of 2009, the library will no longer have an active subscription to Contemporary Authors, but the older editions will be kept in the Reference Collection.
      • Location(s): Ref PN 771 .C632
    • Ninth Book of Junior Authors and Illustrators
      Contains biographical and critical sketches of children's book authors and illustrators.
      • Location(s): Ref PN 1009 .A1 N58 2004
    • Something About the Author
      The single most complete source of biographical and critical information about children's book authors. In addition to lengthy survey articles there are numerous photographs and illustrations. Frequently interviews and autobiographical statements are included. Use the index in the most recent volume to find which volumes include information on a given writer. Note: As of 2009, the library will no longer have an active subscription to Something About the Author, but the older editions will be kept in the Reference Collection.
      • Location(s): Ref PN 451 .S6
    • St. James Guide to Children's Writers
      Each entry contains brief biographical information, listings of the author's publications and a short critical essay examining the work of the author.
      • Location(s): Ref PN 1009 .A1 T9 1999
    • Yesterday's Authors of Books for Children
      Provides substantial biographical/critical sketches of children's book authors of the past. Be aware that, because of its publication date, some of the analysis will not reflect contemporary critical approaches or issues.
      • Location(s): Ref PN 451 .Y4 (vol.)
  • General Background Sources
    • International Companion Encyclopedia of Children's Literature
      Includes essays covering theory and critical approaches, genres, the context of children's book production (e.g. publishing, censorship, story-telling) applications (e.g. developmental stages of reading, bibliotherapy, education and librarianship) as well as country surveys of literature written for children, including many non-western countries.
      • Location(s): Ref PN 1008.5 .I57 1996
    • Oxford Companion to Children's Literature
      This handbook is a place to find quick information on authors, characters, and topics such as "books of instruction" and "chapbooks." It is particularly helpful for historical topics.
      • Location(s): Ref PN 1008.5 .C37 1984
  • Recommended Books by Age or Topic
    • A to Zoo: Subject Access to Children's Picture Books
      An index that helps identify books by various subjects, ranging from "barns" and "volcanoes" to "jealousy," "family life," "grandparents," etc.
      • Location(s): Ref PN 1009 .A1 L715 2006
    • Adventuring With Books: A Booklist for Pre-K - Grade 6
      A list of recommended books arranged by type and grade level. Each reference includes descriptive and evaluative comments.
      • Location(s): Ref Z 1037 .N346 2002
    • Best Books for Children
      This resource contains brief entries for over 23,000 recommended books arranged by literary genre and subject areas. Recommended grade levels are indicated for each book.
      • Location(s): Ref PN 1009 .A1 B377 2006
    • Best Books for High School Readers: Grades 9-12
      See also: The supplement to the first edition of this title - Ref PN 1009 .A1 G53 2004 Suppl.
      • Location(s): Ref PN 1009 .A1 G53 2004
    • What Do Young Adults Read Next?: A Reader's Guide to Fiction for Young Adults
      An annotated listing of 1500 titles for readers from grades 6 through 12, with indexes by time period, geographic location, subject, character, character type, etc. Each entry includes a helpful list of "other books you might like," recommending similar titles.
      • Location(s): Ref PS 374 .C454 H65
  • Multicultural Children's Literature
    • Across Cultures: A Guide to Multicultural Literature for Children
      Presents more than 400 fiction and non-fiction multicultural resources for preschool through grade 6. Arranged in thematic groupings, such as Identity and Self-Image, Family and Friends, Traditions, and Exploring the Past in Diverse Communities.
      • Location(s): Ref Z 1037 .E19 2007
    • Against Borders: Promoting Books in a Multicultural World
      A guide to children's literature that operates on the principle that "the best books break down borders." Essays on topics such as "friends and enemies," "finding the way home," "the holocaust," "apartheid," and "the widening world" introduce good children's books and analyzes their impact. Other chapters are organized by U.S. ethnic groups--African American, Asian American, Jewish American, Latino, and Native.
      • Location(s): Ref PN 1009 .S1 R63 1993
    • Multicultural Literature for Children and Young Adults: A Selected Listing of Books, 1980-1996
      Offers citations to literature by and about African-Americans, American Indians, Asian-Americans, and Hispanic-Americans written for children.
      • Location(s): Ref PN 1009 .A1 K78 1991
    • The New Press Guide to Multicultural Resources for Young Readers
      Provides multicultural books divided both by theme and age groups. Each entry lists the ethnicity or special features of the characters and provides both a synopsis of the plot and a critical review of the book. Some entries also provide teaching suggestions.
      [Resource no longer available]
    • Our Family, Our Friends, Our World: An Annotated Guide to Significant Multicultural Books for Children and Teenagers
      A guide to books, both fiction and non-fiction, about different parts and populations of the world written for or accessible to children and teens. The annotations are lengthy and introductions for each region or ethnic group put the works in context. Arranged geographically; includes a detailed subject index.
      • Location(s): Ref PN 1009 .A1 M56 1992
  • Award Winners
    • Bowker Annual Library and Book Trade Almanac
      This annual report on the book trade includes publishing and library statistics as well as prize winners, such as "Best Annual Young Adult Books" and "Best Children's Books" for the latest year. Note: As of 2009, the library will no longer have an active subscription to Bowker Annual, but the older editions will be kept in the General Collection.
      • Location(s): General Collection Z 731 .B78
    • One Hundred Years of Childrens Books in America: Decade by Decade
      Each chapter presents the relationship between America's social development and the children's books published during that time. Three appendixes list children's literature collections across the country, identify Caldecott and Newbery Award winners and runners-up, and provide a comprehensive bibliography of children's books by grade level.
      • Location(s): Ref PS 490 .A38 1996
    • The Newbery and Caldecott Awards: A Complete Listing of Medal and Honor Books
      Provides background on the awards and photos of the new medalists and their books. Indexed by title and author/illustrator.
      • Location(s): Ref PS 374 .C454 N49 2008
Browsing for Books
Books are shelved in general subject categories using the Library of Congress classification system. You may want to supplement your use of the catalog with browsing shelf areas for your topic. Be aware that, in an advanced search, you may limit a keyword search to the children's literature collection. You may also search the holdings of the St. Peter Public Library. Gustavus students are welcome at the local public library and will be able to browse and check out children's books not available here.
  • Children's Literature Collection (LY)
    • PZ 1 Picture books with little text by author
    • PZ 5 Collections of stories; anthologies
    • PZ 7 General juvenile fiction: picture books with substantial text; books to age 13, including fantasy, adventure, etc.
    • PZ 8 Fairy tales
    • PZ 8.1 Fables
    • PZ 8.3 Verses for children and animal stories
    • PZ 8.7 Riddles, rhymes, tongue twisters, etc.
    • PZ 10.3 Animal stories
    • PZ 11 Children's literature in foreign languages
  • Note: non-fiction children's books are shelved under the regular Library of Congress scheme in the Children's Literature section (e.g. Q for science)
  • General Collection
    • GR Folklore
    • LB 1042 Storytelling
    • PN 451 Children's literature--bio-bibliography
    • PN 1009 .A1 Recommended lists, lists by subject, and criticism
    • PN 6001 .C4 Collections of children's poetry

    Journals may be available in full text through various subscription databases. Use our Journal Locator to scan journals, both print and electronic, by subject.

    Specifically in the area of Children's Literature, the library subscribes to:

    CHILDREN'S LITERATURE IN EDUCATION, v.24, 1993- (most recent 1 year not available) through Academic Search Premier

    Reviews of contemporary childrens books can be found in Pubisher's Weekly and Library Journal. Reviews of specific contemporary children's books can be searched in Academic Search Premier; in the advanced search the "document type" category offers an opportunity to limit your search to book reviews. For older books, consult Book Review Digest (Ref Z 1219 .B72) to find citations to reviews from 1905 to present.


    • Children's Literature Web Guide

      A well-organized and vast guide to internet resources, including lists of best books, parents resources, information about authors, publishers catalogs, etc.
    • Database of Award-Winning Children's Literature

      Compiled by Lisa R. Bartle, a very useful guide to nearly 6,000 books and 73 awards. Particularly useful is the ability to search by reader's age, setting, historical period, ethnicity, and other variables.
    • International Children's Library

      An ambitious project to offer digital children's books in their original languages and to create innovative technologies for access and use by children 3-13 years old.
    • Kidsreads

      A site intended for kids but full of information about authors, new books and classics, with useful lists of series books.
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