Sunday, June 17, 2012

Coming This Week!

Week of June 17, 2012—ALSC Notable Children’s Books
Quotes of the week:
The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them.
—Mark Twain

There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate’s loot on Treasure Island.
—Walt Disney

Each year a committee of the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) selects notable children’s books. ALSC selects books “of especially commendable quality, books that exhibit venturesome creativity, and books of fiction, information, poetry and pictures for all age levels (birth through 14) that reflect and encourage children’s interests in exemplary ways.”

Why is it important for picture book writers to be interested in the ALSC list of notable children’s books? By studying these books we can see what library professionals consider noteworthy. Why is that important? Because public librarians and school librarians purchase a lot of books and their recommendations influence other buyers—parents, teachers, and book stores for example. As a matter of fact, my local Barnes & Noble has every one of these books on display in quantity right now. Some buyer used the notable list as their ordering list.

Of course, as picture book writers, buyers and sales aren’t our main (or at least our only) concern. We want to produce quality books and we want kids to love them. That’s what ALSC wants, too, and that’s what their goal is with their list of notables and their mission in general—they want kids to fall in love with quality books and to read, read, read.

This week I’ll examine the picture books on the notable list for trends—which publishers are landing the most books on the list, subjects and categories of books, fiction vs. non-fiction on the list, and more. You can also use the list as your guide for summer reading. Whether you’re at the beach, in the mountains, or at home, you can spend your summer immersed in notable picture books!

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