Children's Literature

Subject Guides

There are two main options to get ahold of the actual children's literature books.

1. SMCL has a small collection of children's books located on the second floor at call number 808.39 and 808.4. Browse the shelves in person, or virtually (in our online catalog, Albert) searching by the call numbers.

You can also search Albert for specific titles. When you are in Albert, choose the drop down menu next to the search box, and select Children's Books. You can then search by keyword, title, author, or subject to find a list of children's books in our collection.

Albert Search

Search Albert to find books, movies, etc..

Or you can search by the Exact Subject Heading using the appropriate Library of Congress Subject Heading, such as the following

Children's Literature

Nursery Rhymes

Children's Poetry


Children's Stories

Young Adult Literature

Children--Books and Reading

Young Adults--Books and Reading

Fairy Tales

2. You can also borrow children's literature from other libraries using Link+, a combined catalog of our 50+ partner libraries around California and Nevada. Many public libraries are part of Link+, and they have very rich children's literature collection.

Search Link+ just as you would Albert.  Look for specific titles, or using keywords and subject headings.

Books requested via Link+ will be delievered to the SMC Library in 2-4 business days.

Information about classic texts, key authors, and main themes and genres of children's literature can be found in reference books:

Reference Books

Oxford Encyclopedia of Children's Literature Online and in print. (Ref 028.5 Z67) 4 print vols.

International Companion Encyclopedia of Children's Literature (Ref 028.503 H914)

Cambridge Guide to Children's Books in English (Ref 028.5 W338)

Oxford Companion to Children's Literature (Ref 028.503 C226)


These sources are particularly useful for identifying works of children's literature which fall into particular categories in terms of their type, level, subject, ideas or values which they portray, or the uses to which they might be employed in the classroom or in working with children in other settings.

California Department of Education’s “Recommended Literature: Kindergarten through Grade Twelve”

A to Zoo: Subject Access to Children's Picture Books. (Ref 028.5 L628a) 8th ed. New Providence, NJ: R.R. Bowker, 2010. A comprehensive subject list of children's picture books (nearly 12,000 titles). Also has a listing by author's name as well as title and illustrator indexes.

Accept Me As I Am: Best Books of Juvenile Nonfiction on Impairments and Disabilities. (Ref 028.5 F912) New York: R.R. Bowker, 1985.

Caldecott Medal Books, 1938-1957: With the Artists' Acceptance Papers and Related Material Chiefly from The Horn Book Magazine. (Ref 028.5 M612) Boston: Horn Book, 1957.

Fantasy Literature for Children and Young Adults: A Comprehensive Guide. (Ref 028.5 L993a) 5th ed.  Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited,  2005. Arranged in chapters by type of fantasy book (e.g., Animal Fantasy, Ghost Fantasy, High Fantasy). Also includes information on grade level, and reviews. Second section is a Research Guide, which includes references to author studies, general studies of fantasy literature, and teaching resources.

Hit List Frequently: Challenged Books for Children. (Ref 028.5 P677) Chicago: American Library, 1996.

Newbery and Caldecott Medal Books, 1966-1975: With Acceptance Papers, Biographies, and Related Material Chiefly From the Horn Book Magazine. (Ref 028.5 K599) Boston: Horn Book, 1975.

Newbery Medal Books, 1922-1955: With Their Authors' Acceptance Papers and Related Material Chiefly From The Horn Book Magazine. (Ref 028.5 M612n) Boston: Horn Book, 1955.


The Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature: “An award for a book that exemplifies literary excellence in young adult literature.”

Newbery Medal: “Awarded annually to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.”

Caldecott Medal: “Awarded annually to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children.”

Geisel Award: “Given annually to the author(s) and illustrator(s) of the most distinguished American book for beginning readers published in English in the United States during the preceding year."

Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards: “Among the most prestigious honors in the field of children’s and young adult literature, winners are selected in three categories: Picture Book, Fiction and Poetry, and Nonfiction."

The Pura Belpré Award: “Presented to a Latino/Latina writer and illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth."

Coretta Scott King Award: “Given to African American authors and illustrator for outstanding inspirational and educational contributions…. (honorees) promote understanding and appreciation of the culture of all peoples and their contribution to the realization of the American dream of a pluralistic society."

The Schneider Family Book Awards: “Honors an author or illustrator for a book that embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences.”

The Jane Addams Children's Book Awards: "Given annually to the children's books published the preceding year that effectively promote the cause of peace, social justice, world community, and the equality of the sexes and all races as well as meeting conventional standards for excellence.”

Notable Books for a Global Society: "Annually, a committee of the CL/R SIG (Children’s Literature and Reading Special Interest Group) of the International Reading Association selects 25 outstanding trade books for enhancing student understanding of people and cultures throughout the world."

Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction: “The annual award …for a meritorious historical fiction book published in the previous year for children or young adults."

Aesop Prize and Aesop Accolades: Awarded by the Children's Folklore Section of the American Folklore Society to the most outstanding book or books incorporating folklore and published in English for children or young adults.

The library has many reference sources, which provide information about reviews and criticism of children's literature. Some examples are listed below.

Access to important and relevant information about Pre K-12 media of all types, including reviews from respected publications for those professionals who work with Pre K-12 media. Contains information about books, authors and illustrators around the world.

Children's Literature Review. (Ref 028.5 C437) Detroit: Gale, 1976-. Published periodically. New volumes appear every few years. Each new volume is organized alphabetically by author's name (most recent volume has author and title indexes referring to all previous volumes). Provides excerpts of reviews from a number of different sources.

What Do I Read Next: Multicultural Literature. (Ref 028.5 C279) Detroit: Gale, 1997. Recommended fiction, drama, and anthologies in Asian American, African American, Latino, and Native American literature.

Review Databases

Horn Book Magazine (entirely devoted to children's literature)

Library Journal (has a section of reviews of children's literature)

New York Times Book Review (contains short reviews of new children's books. Also occasionally features longer articles on children's authors).

To find articles about the use of literature in the classroom, or other topics related to children's literature, or education in general, search any of the following article databases.

Provides access to citations and abstracts of articles in over 1,000 periodicals, plus research reports, conference papers, and curriculum materials in education.

1980 to present. Multidisciplinary index to scholarly and popular press periodicals. Includes some full-text articles.

Multidisciplinary index to scholarly and popular press periodicals, with many being in full text.

Provides access to scholarly research in over 3,000 journals and series. Coverage includes 1963 to the present. Interview of authors is included but book reviews are not.

Childrens' Literature Book Reviews

General Children's Literature Websites

Children's Literature Web Guide - Lists of authors and their web sites. Includes Beverly Cleary, C.S. Lewis, Patricia Polacco and many, many more. Also includes online children's stories, plus lists of best sellers, and book reviews. An excellent site.

Child Lit - Maintained by Rutgers University, this is the forum for a discussion list that looks at children's literature through reviews, and peer shared material. There are searchable archives, and information on how to join the discussion list.

Choices Booklists - A yearly "best books" list from From the International Reading Association; Books are judged and reviewed by teachers, as well as child and young adult readers themselves.

Cooperative Children’s Book Center - From the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin- Madison

The Database of Award-Winning Children's Literaturee - A website of titles AND links; maintained by a librarian. - Aimed at children, this site provides a place for kids to find new and favorite books. Includes book reviews, games, author interviews, author biographies and contests.

Mother Goose Pages - A list of traditional children's rhymes, alphabetically arranged.

Recommended Literature: Kindergarten through Grade Twelve - Searchable collection of outstanding literature. Search by grade level, language, culture, genre, type of book, curriculum connections, and awards won, and also by author, title, and keywords.

General Children's Literature Websites

Bueno Program for Multicultural Education - From the University of Colorado in Boulder. Discusses its program, and provides links to other places with similar programs.

Center for Adult English Language Acquisition - Full text publications for ESL, plus links to other Web sites.

Center for Applied Linguistics - An online directory of ESL materials.

Center for Multilingual Multicultural Research - Directory of links to research, full text articles, statistics and more.

Center for Research on Education, Diversity and Excellence (CREDE) - From the University of California at Santa Cruz, links to many organizations, research and resources.

CLAD/BCLAD - A guide to the California exams for CLAD/BCLAD. Information on the components of the test, fees, and test dates.

Cradleboard Teaching Project - "Science through Native American Eyes" for grades 5 to adult. Includes links to curriculum ideas, a teachers section, news, partnering information, and other Web links.

Everything - "Featuring 48 lesson plans, 28 teaching tips, 156 downloadable classroom activities, 445 discussion topics, and 58 resource picks."

National Association for Bilingual Education - News, legislation information, members only information, online library, education and language Web links, and links to state education pages.

National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition - Organized by state, a resource page with classroom lesson plans, discussion of effective practices and full text articles. Diversity - An excellent directory of resources.