Center for Children’s Literature

Children’s Book Committee

CBC LogoThe Children’s Book Committee (CBC) was founded more than 100 years ago to help parents, teachers, and librarians choose the books that children will find captivating and transforming. Every year it produces comprehensive annotated book lists for children aged infant through 18.

Our Mission

The CBC reviews over 6000 titles each year for accuracy and literary quality and considers their emotional impact on children. It chooses the best 600 books, both fiction and nonfiction, which it lists with annotations according to age and category.

The Children’s Book Committee strives to guide librarians, educators, parents, grandparents, and other interested adults to the best books for children published each year. The list includes more than 600 titles chosen by reviewers for literary quality and excellence of presentation as well as the potential emotional impact of the books on young readers. Other criteria include credibility of characterization and plot, authenticity of time and place, age suitability, positive treatment of ethnic and religious differences, and the absence of stereotypes.

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Cover of Wisdom of Trees

Children's Book Committee December Pick

The Wisdom of Trees: How Trees Work Together to Form a Natural Kingdom
Author: Lita Judge

Trees are not lone agents in the forest but communicate and cooperate via complex underground networks, which deforestation is disrupting. Detailed information accompanies soft watercolors and short poems. Resources.

“I like how this book tells how trees help other trees survive by sending food through the roots and warning other trees about insects and other dangers. I also like how there are lots of interesting facts at the back of the book. I didn’t know that trees could communicate to each other in a way that we don’t understand. That is very interesting! I may look at a tree stump soon and see how many age rings there are!

The book tells how important it is to have all different species of trees in forests to help other species of trees and also help the same tree species.

I loved all the different animals the illustrations showed living in or climbing the trees. I loved how the illustrator drew different varieties and sizes of trees. I like how the pictures show maps of where things happen in the trees and underground, how food gets through the roots, and how oxygen and more are absorbed by the leaves.”

–Ronan, 8, Salisbury Beach, MA.

Past Monthly Picks