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Children's Literature: Finding the Right Book

A Library Services Subject Guide

Bringing the right book to the right child at the right time

Teachers and librarians are often reminded of the importance of being able to 'bring the right book to the right child at the right time'.  This can seem very daunting. How do you pick from the thousands of titles available the right one for a child in your care?   Below are three resources that can help you with your search.  

CLPE Core Books Online
This website is maintained by experts in reading and literacy at the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education who have worked closely with teachers since 1997 to select the best books available. The resource is regularly updated with new books as well as the tried and tested ones.  Registration is free and gives you access to a comprehensive list of texts for children aged 3 to 11.  You can search by age range, author, illustrator or theme. Whether you are a student, teacher, librarian, or parent, Core Books Online will help you develop your knowledge and appreciation of good quality children’s books.

This website is designed to help primary school staff find high quality books that are appropriate for use in a primary setting. It is arranged by subject and Key Stage and there is also a section on reading for pleasure.  A similar site, but from an American perspective, is The Best Children's Books!.

Who Next...?
This site starts by asking what a child is currently reading, if they have a favourite author and if they are ready to try a different one.  It then suggests authors who write in a similar way to an author the child has enjoyed.  You can browse the lists by age groups, by genre and by theme. There is a wealth of information on this site, making it an ideal starting point for the child who has just asked, “Who can I read next?”. Please note that you can only use this site if you are on the BGU campus.

Other Sources

Click here for booklists by The Federation of Children’s Book Groups, which produces a new booklist each year focusing on a different theme or age group. 

The organization Outside In World is dedicated to promoting and exploring world literature and children's books in translation.  Check out their Education Zone for suggestions of books from around the world on all subjects that have been translated.

Building LGBT+ inclusive environments through reading from the National Education Union helps you to make your classroom or nursery more LGBT+ inclusive.

Maths Through Stories describes itself as "an international research-based initiative, which sets out to explore various aspects of integrating stories and literacy in mathematics instruction.

Bibliographies and Reading Resources

Below are links to bibliographies and chronologies on subjects that are popular with our students. All of the books listed can be found in the Teaching Resources Collection.  

The three 'Reading Resources' below were produced by Janice Morris (formerly BGU's Teaching Resources Librarian), in collaboration with Richard Woolley (once of BGU, now of the University of Worcester) and students on the BA Primary Education with QTS programme.  All books listed can be found in the Teaching Resources Collection.

Films and audiobooks

Audiobooks, children's films and film adaptations of children's books are kept on the ground floor in the Show & Tell area of the Teaching Resources Collection.

Click here for our reading list of included titles.

Reference materials

The Children's Reference Collection in the TRC is a good place to start research about any aspect of children's literature. Here you will find books that provide a useful overview of the literary criticism and theory in relation to children's literature. The collection also includes information about writers and illustrators; bibliographies identifying books on particular themes or suitable for particular age groups; and guides to prize-winning books.

Check out this list of Children's Literature Reference books most of which are kept in the TRC.  In some cases additional copies are available for loan and are shelved in the main collection.