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The ABC of It: Suggested Reading

By March 1, 2019May 13th, 2021The Kerlan Blog


The ABC of IT: Why Children’s Books Matter

The following titles are just a small selection of the reference materials that inform the

work of the Children’s Literature Research Collections.  To read these or any of the rare

books, manuscripts, or process materials of the Archives and Special Collections, look at

our on-line catalog and finding aids on the University of Minnesota Libraries’ site, then

email or call to make an appointment. We will have what you are interested in available

in our reading room.


Arbuthnot, May Hill. Children and Books. Scott,

Foresman, 1947.

Bader, Barbara. American Picturebooks from Noah’s

Ark to the Beast Within, New York: Macmillan, 1976.

Baker, Augusta. Stories: a list of stories to tell and to

read aloud. 5th ed. rev. New York: New York Public

Library, 1960.

 Baker, Augusta, and Ellin Greene. Storytelling: Art

and Technique. 2nd ed., Bowker, 1987.

Bauer, Caroline Feller. Caroline Feller Bauer’s New

Handbook for Storytellers. Illustrations by Lynn

Gates. American Library Association Editions, 1993.

Bishop, Rudine Sims. Free within Ourselves: The

Development of African American Children’s

Literature. Westport: Greenwood Press, 2007.

Huck, Charlotte S. and Barbara Kiefer. Children’s

Literature in the Elementary School. Boston:

McGraw Hill, 2004.


Marcus, Leonard S. Author Talk. New York: Simon

and Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2000.

 Golden Legacy. New York:

Random House Children’s Books, 2007.


 Margaret Wise Brown:

Awakened by the Moon, Boston: Beacon, 1992.

… Minders of Make-Believe:

Idealists, Entrepreneurs, and the Shaping of

American Children’s Literature. Houghton Mifflin

Co., 2008.


… Randolph Caldecott The Man

Who Could Not Stop Drawing. New York: Frances

Foster Books, Farrar Straus Giroux, 2013.


… Show Me A Story. Somerville:

Candlewick Press, 2012.


… Sponsored by The Children’s

Book Council. 100 Years of Children’s Book Week

Posters. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2019.

Pellowski, Anne, and Lynn Sweat. The Story

Vine: A Source Book of Unusual and Easy-to-Tell

Stories from around the World. Macmillan; Collier

Macmillan, 1984.

Seale, Doris, and Beverly Slapin. A Broken Flute: The

Native Experience in Books for Children. AltaMira

Press; Oyate, 2005.

Children and Books

Sutherland, Zena, et al. Children and Books. 6th ed.,

Scott, Foresman, 1981.

Digital Resources from The Kerlan Collection.


Further Reading in Topics in Children’s Literature: A Selected Bibliography

These materials were chosen to from peer-review journals to explicate current topics in children’s literature. It is by no means a comprehensive list. Please add more suggested readings in the comments section. Although not everyone has access to academic databases, these are on display at the exhibit The ABC of It: Why Children’s Books Matter at the second floor discussion area. Due to copyright limitations we cannot disseminate copies. All of these materials are available through public libraries interlibrary loan. Please talk to your librarians.


Engaging Children in Conversations about Oppression Using Children’s Literature

Boutte, Gloria and Muller, Meir, Talking Points,Volume 30, Number 1, NCTE 2018.

Missing From the Shelf: Book Challenges and Lack of Diversity in Children’s Literature By Pen America


Augusta Baker with the story candle at The New York Public Library


Iarusso, Marilyn Berg: “Stories: A List of Stories to Tell and to Read Aloud”: The History of the New York Public Library’s Storytelling List

Storytelling, Self, Society (12:1) Spring 2016, 24-38.

Cat in The Hat

Dr. Suess/Theodore Geisel.


Nel, P. (2001). “Said a bird in the midst of a blitz…”: How world war II created dr. seuss. Mosaic : A Journal for the Interdisciplinary Study of Literature, 34(2), 65-85. Retrieved from


Ishizuka, Katie and Stephens*, Ramón (2019) “The Cat is Out of the Bag: Orientalism, Anti-Blackness, and White Supremacy in Dr. Seuss’s Children’s Books,” Research on Diversity in Youth Literature: Vol. 1 : Iss. 2 , Article 4.

Available at:

Caddy Woodlawn

Quigley, Dawn, Silenced. Voices Taken from American Indian Characters in Children’s Literature.” American Indian Quarterly 40.4 (2016): 364-78. Web.

Harriet the Spy


Laura M. Jiménez (2015) Representations in Award-Winning LGBTQ Young Adult Literature from 2000–2013, Journal of Lesbian Studies, 19:4, 406-422, DOI: 10.1080/10894160.2015.1057795


Horning, K. T. (2014). Spying on Louise Fitzhugh. Horn Book Magazine, 90(3), 13–17. Retrieved from,uid&db=a2h&AN=95651368&site=ehost-live

Curious George

Curious George

Rae Lynn Schwartz-DuPre & Helen Morgan Parmett (2018) Curious about George: Postcolonial Science and Technology Studies, STEM education policy, and colonial iconicity, Textual Practice, 32:4, 707-725, DOI: 10.1080/0950236X.2016.1267038

Cummins, June. “The Resisting Monkey: ‘Curious George,’ Slave Captivity Narratives, and the Postcolonial Condition.” A Review of International English Literature 28.1 (1997): 69–83. ARIEL. Web. 12 April 2015.

Captain Underpants

Captain Underpants/ Freedom to Read

Von Drasek L. It Begins with a Question. Knowledge Quest. 2007;36(2):66-68.,uid&db=eue&AN=502927987&site=ehost-live. Accessed February 25, 2019.

Schliesman, M. (2008). Intellectual freedom. Language Arts, 85(3), 221-226. Retrieved from

Secret Garden/ Evaluation checklist

Valint, A. (2016). “Wheel Me Over There!”: Disability and Colin’s Wheelchair in The Secret Garden. Children’s Literature Association Quarterly 41(3), 263-280. Johns Hopkins University Press. Retrieved March 1, 2019, from Project MUSE database.

Couzelis, M. J. (2013). “Who We Was”: Creating Witnesses in Joseph Bruchac’s Hidden Roots. Journal of Literary & Cultural Disability Studies 7(2), 159-174. Liverpool University Press. Retrieved March 1, 2019, from Project MUSE database.

A Checklist to Evaluate Children’s Books that Address Disability as a Part of Diversity

Recommended Resources for Collection Development

Social Justice Books

Screenshot of website Social Justice Books

The best selection of multicultural and social justice books for children, YA, and educators.

Guide for Selecting Anti-Bias Children’s Books

Screenshot of the Cooperative Children’s Book Center Website

The Cooperative Children’s Book Center (CCBC)

Home Page

Center for Children’s Literature Bank Street College of Education Screenshot


Bank Street College of Education Children’s Book Committee 


Teaching for change resources for teachers

Teaching for Change

Guide for Selecting Anti-Bias Children’s Books

Building Social Justice Starting in the Classroom

Link here






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