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New York Times Parent's Guide to the Best Books for Children Paperback – September 24, 1991

17 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Now in its third edition, revised and updated, The New York Times Parent's Guide to the Best Books for Children by Eden Ross Lipson cites the top 1,001 children's books of the 20th century. In her introduction, the children's book editor of the Times describes the Harry Potter phenomenon and its impact on adult and child readers as well as the blurring lines between books for young adults versus adults. The titles, divided by age range into six sections, progress from wordless books to "middle reading books" classics such as E.B. White's Charlotte's Web and Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (as well as J.K. Rowling's British boy wizard), through young adult books such as S.E. Hinton's The Outsiders and Walter Dean Myers's Scorpions. Plenty of white space allows room for artwork in the margins, such as a fabulous view of a certain lovable elephant riding down an elevator, from Jean de Brunhoff's The Story of Babar. (Crown/Three Rivers, $18 paper all ages ISBN 0-8129-3018-5; Nov.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From Booklist

This revised and updated guide to some of the best American children's books of the twentieth century retains many of the features that made the previous editions so successful. Written in the same warm, insightful language as her annotations, Lipson's new introduction notes the inclusion of more biographies, history, science, and books about diverse cultural experiences than the previous editions. Broadened to include emerging classics and favorites from the 1990s, the entries include award winners through 1999. The multiple indexes are here again, grouping books by title, author, illustrator; age appropriateness; read-aloud potential and special interests--from the specific (cats) to the general (family life). The format, too, is similar to that of the previous volumes, with well-reproduced illustrations from selected titles and wide margins that leave room for recording children's reactions to the titles, etc. Finely written and organized, this is a resource no library (or parent) should be without. Gillian Engberg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Three Rivers Press; Revised edition (September 24, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812918894
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812918892
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 7.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,443,987 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

81 of 82 people found the following review helpful By audrey TOP 500 REVIEWER on September 28, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful tool for parents trying to guide their children's early reading intelligently. The organization of the book and the descriptions of each book are generally helpful, though information about age level and number of pages should have been included. Organizing categories in the main listing are vaguely defined (wordless books, picture books, story books, early reading books, middle reading books and young adult books), making the indexes the better access point. These indexes are sufficient to help you find a relevant book. There is: a title list; an author list; an illustrator list; an age appropriate list (which might have based a better organization for the main listing); a read-aloud list; and a subject list of 53 headings, including Adoption, Adventure, Alphabet, Bedtime, Divorce, Horses and Nature.
The author renders a valuable service in examining multiple editions of popular books, for example you might find that one particular treatment of the Mother Goose tales is rather musical and illustrated with pen and ink drawings, while another is more colorfully animated and textually simplified for very young readers.
Unless you really know children's literature, a book like this is an invaluable tool. Similar but more directed resources are Great Books for Boys and Great Books for Girls by Kathleen Odean, which is organized into reading levels and then genre, and includes age level but not page count. Jim Trelease's The Read-Aloud Handbook is a very good, somewhat evangelical, resource organized by genre with age level and page count included in the description.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Sokste on November 8, 2003
Format: Paperback
This book is very straight-forward and easy to use, chock full of useful information. The organization is simple, and listings are complete (containing year published and prizes received, as well as author, illustrator and edition info) and informative. Not only do they give information about the content and it's value to a child, but also its source and its context and an opinion about the best edition in which to invest and the availability of different editions (where useful)!
Wide margins are included, for note-taking.
There are multiple indexes at the end which are invaluable in themselves - about 80 pages worth! The titles are indexed by title, author, illustrator, age-appropriate, and special subject. A bibliography is also included.
This resource is a valuable and delightful resource for any family
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 2, 1997
Format: Paperback
This book was exactly what I was looking for to find new books to read aloud to my children. It reminded me of books that I had read as a child, and suggested new ones that we have loved. In addition, I have a lot of new ideas for presents for my neices and nephews.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 21, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great book with tons of books listed. But, it could be better... The book descriptions are very terse (usually only one or two sentences). .... A couple other things missing that I would have liked to see is the number of pages in each book and approximate reading level (ex. low-4th grade). That would make this guide more useful when picking a book for a book report. Overall the quantity and quality of the books listed and the index in the back that cross-references the books based on subject interests makes this book an invaluable resource.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By will33 on October 22, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is great for early books, for books for toddlers and early readers. The description gives the impression that it is a guide for many years of childhood. My boys are 7 and 8 and there is nothing in this book for them.

But my neices are 1 and 2 and their Mom will be getting this book for Christmas.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By aaa-Pam TOP 500 REVIEWER on March 21, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It's not the end-all of children's book research (Amazon is just as useful) but the NY Times Guide can be a valuable tool and resource for parents in the early years.

Pros

-- Useful author index that points you to other books by authors you enjoy

-- Useful topic index, with topics such as health, death, history...

-- Helpful, though short, description of many popular books

-- It is particularly good, for example, when you looking up topic ideas -- as when you need a children's book on adoption or death

-- Good for those times when you are looking for ideas but can't quite put you finger on what you want to buy or check out of the library next

-- In addition to using the book as a source of ideas, I also use it to keep track of books we have enjoyed or loathed.

Cons

-- My principle complaint is that there are so many good authors that are not covered. For example, how can they not mention the Rev. Awdry, author of the many Thomas the Tank Engine stories. Also, I have found their `early reading section' to be deficient. They do not include any primers or series. Not even all of the dozens and dozens of Margaret Hillert.

Four Stars. [B-]. A useful resource for parents or other buyers of children books.

Find a list of what's actually in the Indices below (since it's not listed elsewhere):

Index to Indexes

Index to All Titles

Index of Authors

Index of Illustrators

Age Appropriate Indexes

Read-Aloud Index

Special Subject Index
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