5 Places To Look For New Children's Book Inspiration

5 Places To Look For New Children's Book Inspiration

Alison Gerber
Nov 4, 2013
(Image credit: Chris Perez)

I know it's hard to believe it could be true. But there might come a day you, too, have read The Very Hungry Caterpillar just a few too many times. Where you might be all done Patting the Bunny, tired of The Little House on the Prairie, found your family Harry Potter-ed out. If your and your kids are in desperate need of some brand new reads, here are five places to look that include, in total, over 2000 recommended books!

1. Amazon's Best Books of The Year list. Each January Amazon releases its top 100 picks from the previous year - which includes a list of 20 new children's picture books, 20 "middle grade" books, and 20 teen books. Read the 20 picture book picks for 2012 here, middle grade here, and teen books here.

2. Nancy Pearl's Book Crush. Written by perhaps the most famous librarian in the world, Nancy Pearl is truly an expert at recommending books. The book is jam-packed full of recommended reads for kids grouped together under theme headings, like books about dragons, books where the main character is a girl who "kicks butt", novels about sport, halloween books and so on. Super useful if you have kids looking for particular type of book, or kids who get hooked on particular hobbies and want to read books around themes.

3. 1001 Children's Books To Read Before You Grow Up. This is a mammoth tome that works through the history of children's books - here's the place to go to find the classics. There are just so many incredible books to be found here - a true treasure trove! You can buy yourself a copy of 1001..., and really it is a great reference to own as it includes information about each of the books inside, or read the list available online.

4. The ALSC's Notable Children's Books List. The Associate for Library Service to Children, part of the American Library Associate, compiles a list of distinguished kids books each year, which includes that year's Newbery and Caldecott winners - the prestigious prizes for the best children's literature and best picture book art respectively. The past 17 years of the Notable Children's Book list is available online here.

5. Anita Silvey's Book-a-Day Almanac. Silvey, former editor of The Horn Book, estimates she's read more than 125,000 children's book in her lifetime and, clearly, they are her passion. Each day she highlights a book or author on her website that she thinks is great along with notable holidays and events from that day through history. It's a great way to discover gems you may not know about or have forgotten. Last year she published a print version.

Enjoy! These lists are bound to keep even the most book crazy family busy for at least a few months!

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