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Home > Catalogue > The Cambridge Guide to Children's Books in English
The Cambridge Guide to Children's Books in English


  • 150 b/w illus.
  • Page extent: 828 pages
  • Size: 247 x 174 mm
  • Weight: 1.51 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 820.9/928203
  • Dewey version: 21
  • LC Classification: PR990 .C36 2001
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Children's literature, English--Encyclopedias
    • Children's literature, American--Encyclopedias
    • Children's literature, Commonwealth (English)--Encyclopedias
    • Children--Books and reading--Encyclopedias

Library of Congress Record

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 (ISBN-13: 9780521550642 | ISBN-10: 0521550645)

DOI: 10.2277/0521550645

  • Published September 2001

Manufactured on demand: supplied direct from the printer

 (Stock level updated: 15:10 GMT, 30 November 2015)


The Cambridge Guide to Children's Books in English is an alphabetised reference work providing a critical and appreciative overview of children's books written in English across the world. It gives due weight to the history of children's books from pre-Norman times to the present - respecting the canon but also recognising current developments in publishing practices and in children's own reading. In addition to the long established traditions of children's writing from Britain and the USA, the Guide covers the increasing range of successful children's books produced in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Africa and India; and the exciting renaissances in children's books taking place in Ireland and South Africa. In acknowledging that a great deal of what children read has little to do with classrooms and not much to do with what is considered 'literary', the Guide contains entries on television, comics, annuals and the growing range of media texts.

• Comprehensive and authoritative, ranging in time from King Alfred to Harry Potter • Contains entries a range of well known authors and illustrators including Shirley Hughes, Philippa Pearce, Jan Mark, Philip Pullman, and Victoria Wood • Entries on major topics such as fantasy, television, picturebooks as well as more innovative entries such as neglected authors, child authors, music and story, soap operas


Editors' introduction; A note to the reader; Entries A-Z; List of contributors; Illustration acknowledgements.


'… a vast and valiant undertaking … Victor Watson has assembled an enormous team of contributors, many of them academics from places as far apart as Cambridge itself and the University of Tasmania, whose task is to assess the entire range of writing for children, from Mother Goose onwards … This latest guide to a fascinating branch of literature adds up to a treasure trove of appreciation and information.' Patricial Craig, The Independent

'A detailed Guide to a fascinating but complex world of words and pictures.' Quentin Blake, Children's Laureate

'This Guide opens up to a wide audience the approachability of children's literature as a cultural sharing of one of the delights of childhood.' Margaret Meek

'The Cambridge Guide brings, at long last, to the often neglected genre of children's books, the gravitas of scholarship, but in a form that is both accessible and desirable. I have used it extensively as a reference book,m to find out more about fellow writers and illustrators and editors. But I have also dipped into it, treating it as an anthology almost, and made wonderfully unexpected discoveries. I keep it on my bedside table, alongside 'the Rattle Bag'. Good company! Truly a treasure chest of children's literature, but not to be hidden away.' Michael Morpurgo

'The Guide will quickly become indispensable. What I particularly like is the considered and richly informed writing by people of real stature in their fields. There's an awareness of current issues, including commercial ones, as well as the evaluative and historical pieces.' Philip Pullman

' … the entries are all thoughtful, detailed, and illuminating. many cover the history of their subject from the earliest appearance to modern publications, giving a depth that is often lacking in other reference works [ …] Highly recommended for all libraries.' Library Journal

'The result is a publication which is likely to become (and remain for some time) a standard reference text. Its cost will be more than justified by the regular use which, in many different ways and settings, will be made of it.' Times Educational Supplement

'Fully comprehensive, this is a most welcome dip-in resource which makes engrossing reading. A must for all those involved with children's literature.' Junior Education

'It is gratifying to be able to signal the success of such an ambitious and monumental undertaking of this Cambridge Guide … one must only marvel at the achievement of Victor Watson and the team behind this most important publication.' Magpies

'This isn't just a guide but a real page turner - vivid, funny, devoted and warm. If you take it into your hands you can write of the rest of your working day. It is a truly addictive production.' Books in Ireland

'I have no hesitation in recommending this. It's tremendous value.' Signal

'I can only reinforce my recommendation of this excellent reference guide by endorsing the publisher's view: 'a book to enjoy and relish.' International Schools Magazine

'I can only reinforce my recommendation of this excellent guide by endorsing the publisher's view: 'a book to enjoy and relish'. International Schools Magazine

'A treasure trove of information on all aspects of children's books. In fact it is by no means easy to tear oneself away from it to begin writing a review. As a resource for information on almost every aspect of children's books past and present it is a remarkable compilation. It is unsurpassed.' English Studies

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