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The Fourth Owl

Kids Author Carnival in NYC: Read. Connect. Party.

With the release of the upcoming YA novel-turned-film The Fault in Our Stars, there's a current trend in the public media to see young adult literature as the greatest thing since sliced bread. Here in New York City, we've always had a longstanding love of books for teenagers. Each year the Teen Author Carnival brings together some of the brightest authors for wonderful discussions and great books. But what about kid readers? Don't they deserve some attention as well?Read More ›

Read All About It! NYPL's Cameo Appearances in Children's Books

With New York City the undisputed heart of children's book publishing, more American children's book authors and illustrators live here than anywhere else in the world. Naturally it then stands to reason that New York Public Library might make the occasional cameo appearance in works for kids. Here then is a fun, if not thoroughly exhaustive, listing of some of the books we've found that may feel a little bit familiar to the kids of the city.Read More ›

Make 'Em Laugh: Gut-Busting Picture Books That'll Have 'Em Rolling in the Aisles

Funny is as funny does. What you find hilarious I might find only mildly mirthful. And what a four-year-old thinks is hilarious is incredibly different from what their parent might find droll. That said, there's nothing quite as great as reading a book to a kid and watching them get some real enjoyment out of the text. Read More ›

Remembering Pete Seeger: Friend of the Children

We all remember Pete Seeger for his courage and his music (equally by turns). What some of us may not know, or may have forgotten, was how prolific the man was in the realm of children's books and media. Introduce him to your kids—now has never been a better time. Here's a little list to get you started.Read More ›

This Just In! The Award Winning Jewish Children's Books of 2013

Within the span of a single week two of the top Jewish book awards giving credit to great works of Jewish children's literature posted their latest winners. Here are some of the titles they awarded.Read More ›

The Great Multicultural Children's Books of 2013 You Might Have Missed

The Center for the Study of Multicultural Children's Literature (CSMCL) recently chose the Best Multicultural Children's Books of 2013. So be sure to add some of these titles to your children's reading lists pronto!Read More ›

Picture Books That Will Never Win Awards

Every year the American Library Association bestows the Caldecott Medal upon the most distinguished American picture books of the year. So what happens to all those picture books that were written overseas, were translated from other countries, and that remain brilliant but unrewarded?

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Lunch Hour NYC: Lunch by Denise Fleming

With the upcoming NYPL exhibit Lunch Hour NYC on the horizon, we can look forward to an in-depth look at the world of cafeterias, Automats, workers' lunches, lunch at home (including tenements), school and charity lunches, and power lunches too. Kids will get a glimpse of lunch in all its myriad forms, and we've whipped together a booklist of lunch-related titles they'll really enjoy. Today, let's examine one of those books for kids on the younger end of the scale. Have a toddler or preschooler who won't touch their food?  

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Lunch Hour NYC: Middle School is Worse Than Meatloaf

With the upcoming NYPL exhibit Lunch Hour NYC on the horizon, we can look forward to an in-depth look at the world of cafeterias, Automats, workers' lunches, lunch at home (including tenements), school and charity lunches, and power lunches too. Kids will get a glimpse of lunch in all its myriad forms, and we've whipped together a booklist of lunch-related titles they'll really enjoy. Today, let's examine one of those books and we may as well begin with that most horrorific of all lunch-related themes: school cafeteria food! [insert dramatic music here]

I remember 

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Announcing the 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing: Children's Books 2011!

How quickly 100 years pass. Seems like only yesterday the children's librarians of The New York Public Library (newly formed as of 1911) were putting together a list of the best children's books of the year. At that time they were guided by the steady hand of that most powerful of librarians, Anne Carroll Moore.

Fast forward a century and what do we find? Librarians that work with children producing that same list yet again. Amazing, no? This year Jenny Berggren, Elizabeth Bird (that's me), Clarissa Cooke, Katie Crook, Ryan Donovan, Ricca Gaus, Rebecca 

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Fabulous Fictionalized Biographies: Trend or Genre?

Children's literary trends extend far beyond the sparkly vampires and dystopian futures that gain so much fame and notoriety.  Most of them are subtle.  Sneaky.  There was one year, for example, when no less than three entirely different chapter books all involved sentient cheese in some way.  This is true.  Another year four independent butt-related picture books (Always Lots of Heinies at the Zoo, The Tushy Book, Chicken Butt, and Chicken Cheeks) all came out at about the same time.  There is no predicting what will cause such trends to appear.  This Read More ›

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