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The New York Times Parent's Guide to the Best Books for Children: 3rd Edition Revised and Updated Paperback – November 14, 2000
"Warlight" by Michael Ondaatje
A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Learn more
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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 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
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As for newer books, the New York Times makes a list of the year's notable children's books every December, and I've gone back and saved all of those lists up to this guide's publication date so that we're not missing out on the quality work of the past decade and a half. If they ever update this guide, I imagine that's where they would draw a lot of their new entries. But beyond the new books, I know Lipton also kept an eye out for republished old classics, so it would be nice to have an update showing good books that may have been out of print in 2000, but can now be found again today.
Overall, I love this guide, and I'm glad I bought it. But if someone could overhaul this book with newer entries and republished old favorites, I'll buy more copies not only for myself, but as gifts for other families as well.
A nearly exhaustive resource that begs to be updated - the 3rd edition was published in 2000. A few authors are favoured with multiple entries (one alone has 13!) while other great and acclaimed books and authors are omitted - a fact that needs to be corrected in the 4th edition. I'd never leave out "Charmed Life" by Diana Wynne Jones, "The Wolves of Willoughby Chase" by Joan Aiken, "The Twelve and the Genii" (aka "The Return of the Twelves") by Pauline Clarke or "The Family under the Bridge" by Natalie Savage Carlson.
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.