The World Of Children’s Books Is Changing
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The World Of Children’s Books is Changing

‘Publishers Weekly’ is an influential weekly American publication. Its targeted audience is publishers, literary agents, librarians and booksellers. Today it is also available online.

It has been published continuously since 1872. Its tagline is

“The International News Magazine of Book Publishing and Book Selling”

There are 51 issues a year. The emphasis is on book reviews.

In Volume 248 Issue 51 12/17/2001 it published a list of the all time best-selling children’s books.

The last such list was published in 1996.

It was announced that children’s bestseller lists once few and far between had exploded and authors were being paid larger advances.

The 2001 List introduced the phenomenal sales of the books by J.K.Rowling about Harry Potter the boy wizard.

The world of children’s literature was changing. In the preamble to the list it was mentioned how old favourites such as Dr Seuss, Shel Silverstein, Maurice Sendak, Laura Ingalls Wilder and the Berenstains were still selling.

However, sales of the popular series like Goosebumps and Babysitters Club dropped off dramatically. These series were dated. New titles appeared to replace them.

Even Judy Blume was losing ground in the best-selling stakes.

Children’s books have proliferated since 2000.

Many of the latest titles are well written, advertised well and modern.

Following is the outstanding collections written by favorite authors at the time.

  • Golden Books

They have seven titles in the top one hundred

  • .Dr Seuss

He had seventeen titles in the top one hundred.

  • Beatrix Potter

She had five titles in the top one hundred

  • Shel Silverstein

He had five titles in the top one hundred.

  • Richard Scarry

He had five copies in the top one hundred.

Other titles in the top 100 included:

The Little Engine That Could by Watt Piper (1830)

Good Night Moon Margaret Wise Brown (1947)

Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne and Ernest Shepherd (ill) (1926)

Put Me in the Zoo by Robert Lopshire (1960)

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak (1964)

When We Were very Young by A.A. Milne and Ernest Shepard (1924)

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery (1943)

Animalia by Graeme Base (1987)

Charlotte’s Web by E.B.White (1952)

Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey(1941)

The publishing phenomenon of the 1990’s was the Harry Potter series.

In 2000 author J.K. Rowling had four books in the top one hundred with phenomenal sales eclipsing books that had sold fewer copies and had been popular for decades.

The Harry Potter fans behaved the same way as the Apple fans do to this day. Each new title was greeted with a fanfare and bookshops had lines of people eager to get the next book in the series.

Her books were hard covered books and later distributed as paperbacks.

The titles mentioned in the top 100 best-selling children’s books up until 2001 were:

  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2000) nearly 8 million copies sold.
  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (1999) 6.4 million copies sold.
  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (1999) 6.4 million copies sold.
  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (1998) 5.1 million copies sold.

In 2001 Publishers weekly noted the increase of book-lists for children because thousands of new books are published each year.

Many titles are worth reading. The choice is often overwhelming.

Book-lists help you to determine the titles that will suit your child and they can be found on the Internet.

There is a wealth of literature written for children. Every child benefits from being read to.


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