Text Size:   A+ A- A   •   Text Only
Site Image


General Resources

How to Select Books

Download and print this one-page handout that provides general tips for selecting books for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers.  This is particularly helpful when you don't have a specific title or author in mind, but want to find developmentally appropriates book for young children. 
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books 

A professional journal on children's and young adult literature often used by school and public librarians for book selection.  While full access to The Bulletin is limited to paid subscribers, many booklists and resources are available for free online.  Check out their Guidebook to Gift Books and Blue Ribbons to learn which new titles they recommended over the past year. 
The Database of Award Winning Children’s Literature 

Over 7,000 records from 82 literary awards across 6 English speaking countries.  There are multiple search functions, including: age (babies/toddlers and preschool), setting, multicultural, gender of protagonist, ethnicity/nationality of protagonist, and much more.  There are explanations of each award and their countries.  Remember, award winners are not necessary great read-alouds or appropriate for your audience. 
The Horn Book

A professional journal on children’s and young adult literature that has been in publication since 1924. Some features on this site are only for subscribers, but you can access a lot of great booklists for free!  Check out Fanfare, their annual list of the best books of the year.  If you scroll down to the bottom of the current Fanfare list you'll find links to past Fanfare booklists going back to the 1930s.  

Back to Top

Books by Early Literacy Skill

Baby and Toddler Readers

Third Books publishes books for families to read together. Each spread has a bold, simple illustration with text to be read aloud to the child on the left page and photos of families reading together with text providing early literacy information for the adult on the right page. These books make excellent giveaways for families with babies and toddlers.

CLEL Bell Awards

The Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy (CLEL) Bell Picture Book Awards are an annual recognition of five high-quality picture books that provide excellent support of early literacy development in young children. This website lists current and past winning titles, Silver Bells (i.e. the 25 runners-up titles), and nominated titles giving you lots of good book suggestions by early literacy practice (read, write, talk, sing, play).

Star Books: For Kids and Caregivers, From Librarians (replaced ELISE)

"Share these shining examples of children's literature with the kids in your care. Read them aloud and talk about them. Our expert librarians highlight a picture book each week with tips for sharing. Browse their recommendations, or search by keyword for books on a specific topic." Search by early literacy skills and/or practice. Created and managed by Hennepin County Library, MN.

RFHF Shelfari booklist 

All RFHF participants were provided books to giveaway to the families they provided with early literacy education.  All the board book, lift-the-flap, pop-up, cloth, and picture books RFHF used throughout the three years of the project are included on this booklist.  These books were selected based on recommendations from children's librarians around the state in 2008-2010.  Each title on this list is tagged by the early literacy skill(s) they best address so you can more easily identify titles when planning early literacy education sessions, activities, and story times that focus on a particular skill. 

Back to Top

Multicultural Books

We Need Diverse Books

A campaign to bring published high-quality multicultural books to the forefront, and increase publication of high-quality multicultural books. This list includes over 20 recommdentations and the website has more resources.
Cooperative Children’s Book Center 
Over 20 multicultural booklists for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers.  Many booklists also include titles for older children, some are organized by age and others alphabetically.
Multicultural Picture Books
A booklist from Hennepin County Library.

Back to Top

Nontraditional Gender Roles

Children's Books that Break Gender Role Stereotypes 
A booklist by the National Association for the Education of Young Children.
A blog about children's books with themes of gender nonconformity, tomboys, being different, and more by a librarian.
Nontraditional Gender Roles 
A booklist from Loutit District Library.  This list includes books for young children and school-age children so be sure to review carefully.

Back to Top

Oregon Librarians Recommend

Prior to Year Two, one of the RFHF program manager solicited book recommendations from children's librarians statewide.  The recommendations were compiled, and the titles recommended most frequently were purchased to give away to parents receiving early literacy education from RFHF participants.  Not all the books librarians recommended were used in RFHF, however they are excellent books that other may find helpful when selecting books for storytimes, one-on-one book sharing, giveaway books, or collection development.  Click on the librarian's name to view their booklist.
Becky Pearson, McMinnville Public Library
Debra Bogart and Hadley Brown, Eugene Public Library
Diana Anderson, McMinnville Public Library
Heather McNeil, Deschutes Public Library
Josephine Caisse, Deschutes Public Library
Lucy Iraola, Washington County Cooperative Library Services (Spanish/Bilingual)
Rosa Olivares, Newberg Public Library (Spanish/Bilingual)
Steven Englefried, Multnomah County Library
RFHF thanks these librarians for their contribution to the project. Developing booklists is a time-consuming task that requires knowledge of children's literature, early literacy, and child development.  Thank you for sharing your expertise with us!
Back to Top

Sexual Orientation

Gay-Themed Picture Books for Children

A blog about children's books with themes such as gay/lesbian parents, trans people, alternative family building, notable gays and lesbians, cross-dressing, gay pride, homophobia, and more by a librarian.

A Rainbow Celebration: Lesbians and Gays in Books for Children Booklist from the San Francisco Public Library 
Rainbow Reading 
Gay and lesbian characters and themes in children’s books.
The Rainbow List 
Compiled annually by the American Library Association's Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered Round Table and the Social Responsibilities Round Table.  The first list was published in 2008.

Back to Top

Make a Recommendation

If you would like to recommend a booklist please email the title of the list, brief description, and either a link to the booklist online or an attached Word document to Katie Anderson
All recommendations will be reviewed carefully by the Oregon State Library and Oregon Commission on Children and Families.  The purpose of this website is to provide a few carefully selected resources to help busy librarians and Healthy Start family support workers plan storytimes or one-on-one books sharing sessions. 
Back to Top

RFHF Home Page

Click here to return to the RFHF Home Page.

Back to Top