Center for Children’s Literature

Children’s Book Committee

CBC LogoThe Children’s Book Committee 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 16.

Our Mission

The Committee 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.

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Children's Book Committee March Pick

Author: Jonah Winter
Illustrator: Jeanette Winter

Simple, poetic text describes how humans’ extraction and use of oil, particularly the Exxon Valdez disaster, have impacted flora and fauna. Textured illustrations. Author’s note.

“Oil is an illustrated book written by Jonah Winter and illustrated by Jeanette Winter. It tells how oil is pumped up from deep underground and runs through pipelines that cross 800 miles of Alaskan wilderness, to ports and then onto ships. Its pictures show tundra plants, caribou and native people, but most of all the dark pipeline stands out. Then it tells the story of the Exxon Valdez oil spill.

The illustrations show the thick black oil spreading in dark streaks across the water, killing thousands of animals, poisoning the water, blackening rocks that had been clean for millions of years and furthering climate change. In the author’s note the author gives readers more facts on the Exxon Valdez spill and other oil spoils. Then it talks about how oil is very bad for the planet and how it is a cause of climate change.” Read more…

–Hugh, 10 years old, The Bronx, NY.

Past Monthly Picks