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National Book Month: Best Online Resources for Finding Children’s Books

By Melissa Summers

I mentioned before this is National Book Month and I wondered to myself, ‘Are there blogs about children’s books? A place parents can go to weed through all the choices in children’s literature narrowing down the field to a more reasonable and less overwhelming number of books?

I have very long conversations with myself you know, in fact it’s amazing I ever find the time to speak to anyone else beside myself.

I realized pretty quickly asking if there are blogs about children’s books was pretty stupid. Since there’s a blog for just about everything, even other people’s grocery lists. I feel a little like my mother at this point facing the internet with pure awe and confusion. “You mean the actual words take you to other sites?”

I like buying books for my kids but I also hate clutter. I hate it so much that today when Max tried to bring home a Pez dispenser his friend said he could have I decided I’d rather face a massive tantrum than have another tiny piece of clutter in my house. So, if I’m buying books, they’d better be good. We can go to the library and welcome all the paperback Spongebob novellas my daughter can tolerate for a few weeks. We don’t need to actually own them.

So I’ve bookmarked a few blogs for finding good books for kids. The list may not be complete, but like I tell my mother, “If you click on the colored words….you’ll find even more information.”

Bookbuds is a site started by Anne Boles Levy who has a preschool son who enjoys reading. After having “…been served several dozen helpings of green eggs and ham, fed countless cookies to innumerable mice, and said goodnight to gorillas and the moon and scores of lesser-known characters.” Anne decided to venture out past truck books (Oh God How Many Truck Books Can A Three-Year-Old read? Answer: Many.) and use her experience reviewing books for grown ups to find and review literature for kids. The site is organized by age and subject with an easy to understand rating system and a side bar full of further reading.

Book Carousel focuses only on picture books, recommending and reviewing several books I’m not sure I would have picked up at the library but have put on reserve. The blog’s author, Catherine Ross is a graduate of Kent University in England who has a background in business, publishing, and Internet book content. It looks like the site has slowed a bit since September but there are eight months of archives to mine for good books.

Three Silly Chicks is a new group blog of ‘Readers, Writers, and Reviewers of Funny Books for Kids.’ The contributers, Andrea Beaty, the author of When Giants Come To Play, Julia Durango, most recently the author of Cha-Cha Chimps and Carolyn Crimi, author of many books including ‘Boris and Bella’ use Three Silly Chicks to review funny books and to interview fellow authors of funny books.

I’ve really only shown you the very top of the KidLitOSphere, I wonder what sites you use to pick great books for your kids?

Melissa Summers
About the Author

Melissa Summers

Melissa Summers was a regular contributor writing Melissa’s Buzz Off.


Melissa Summers was a regular contributor writing Melissa’s Buzz Off.

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  • Anne

    October 26, 2006 at 12:23 pm

    Hey, Melissa, this is a great site. You might remember me in my pre-bookbuds incarnation as Inland Empress.
    Anyhow, just wanted to thank you for the link and wish you well with the new venture.

  • Barbara

    October 26, 2006 at 12:55 pm

    There’s also a great children’s book podcast, Just One More Book at: It’s not mine but I wish I had thought of it.

  • Andrea -- JustOneMoreBook Podcast

    October 26, 2006 at 3:14 pm

    Thank you so much for spreading the word and, especially, for listening!
    “A podcast about the books we love and why we love them — recorded in our favourite coffee shop.”

  • Melanie Cipher

    October 27, 2006 at 12:10 am

    Wow, I should have started that kind of blog, since we have a mini-library at my house. I hate you for making me bring in yet MORE books with your helpful links, which I can’t stop myself from magically clicking. No, seriously, thanks – we needed some new ideas.

  • Genevieve

    October 27, 2006 at 11:49 am

    I frequently read “A Fuse # 8 Production” (by a New York Public Library librarian), “Jen Robinson’s Book Page”, “Big A Little A”, “Chicken Spaghetti”, and A” Chair, A Fireplace, and a Tea Cozy”. All of these have terrific recommendations, reviews, and commentary on children’s books.
    I’m not so good with the neat little links, but here are the long ones:

  • nancy

    October 27, 2006 at 6:03 pm

    Welcome Melissa. Found you through Book Buds.

  • Mrs. Davis

    October 28, 2006 at 2:46 pm

    Chicken Spaghetti (linked in that last comment) is one of my favorites.
    Also, I like browsing the book section at The Pokey Pup ( It’s a new-ish online store for kids’ media.

  • Little Willow

    October 29, 2006 at 9:51 pm

    Congrats to those listed! 🙂

  • Kathy

    October 30, 2006 at 10:57 am

    I am a school media specialist (aka, school librarian) and I love all the blogs that Genevive wrote about, but I also like Planet Esme :
    Also, check out your local library’s webpage. Many have great book reccomendations and blogs. Or, just go on into your local library (school or public) and ask the librarian for reccomendations, that’s our job after all 🙂

  • melissaS

    October 31, 2006 at 12:57 pm

    Oops! You’re right…Commonly confused. Poor guy.

  • Michelle

    November 4, 2006 at 2:05 pm

    A great post, I’m afraid so many of my kids’ books come from the bargain bin at the library where they discard their old ones. It sounds rather bag-ladyish but sometimes you can come up with some gems.

  • Jen Robinson

    October 28, 2007 at 12:59 am

    Thanks so much for helping parents to find the resources of the Kidlitosphere! I know that all of the blogs that you mentioned are maintained by people with a deep interest in helping parents to find great books for their kids.
    And my personal thanks to Genevieve for mentioning my blog. Thanks!