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From Cover to Cover: Evaluating and Reviewing Children's Books

From Cover to Cover: Evaluating and Reviewing Children's Books
Author: Kathleen T. Horning
ISBN 13: 9780064461672
ISBN 10: 6446167
Edition: 1
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date: 1997-03-19
Format: Paperback
Pages: 240
List Price: $14.99

From Cover To Cover
is a fresh, up-to-date look at some of the best examples of children's literature today, and also includes practical advice on how to write clearly articulated, reasoned opinions so that others can learn about books they have not yet read.

It includes:

  • a short explanation of the process of making a children's book from manuscript to final bound book
  • a description of the importance of the many different parts of a book (jacket flaps, title page, copyright, Cataloging-in-Publication information, etc.)
  • six thought-provoking chapters that explain how ot think about and critically evaluate several different genres of children's books:

      books of information
    • traditional literature (myths, legends, tall tales, folktales)
    • poetry, verse, rhymes, and songs
    • picture books
    • easy readers and transitional books
    • fiction
  • a concluding chapter on how to write reviews that are both descriptive and analytical

From Cover To Cover is an invaluable resource for all professionals who wish to write book evaluations that go beyond a simple personal response.

This definitive guide to reviewing children’s books makes it effortless for parents, teachers, librarians, children’s literature students and general readers who are interested in becoming children’s book reviewers to assess the strengths and weaknesses of a children’s book. An authoritative reviewer in her own right, Kathleen Horning provides practical guidelines for reading critically, evaluating an initial response, answering questions raised during the first reading, putting a response into words, balancing description with criticism, and writing reviews for a particular audience.


This book, though its focus encompasses the full range of books for children-read-alouds to YA titles-is a terrific primer for YA book reviewers. The first chapter, "A Critical Approach to Children's Books," presents a useful and concise overview of books and publishing. The next six chapters cover various genres, defining and describing each and explaining how a reviewer goes about judging the quality of a book within a particular category. With the exception of the chapter on picture books, all the chapters refer to some YA works and reviews of those works to illustrate principles of book evaluation and review writing. The final chapter, "Writing a Review," first gives a brief history of children's book reviewing in the United States, then follows with a very detailed and helpful explanation of how to prepare and write book reviews. Horning's book is an engaging read. She uses her experience and broad knowledge of YA and children's books to illustrate each aspect of writing book reviews. Her book provides a comprehensive and basic introduction to the "business" of book reviewing that will be invaluable to beginners and helpful to old-hand reviewers who might want a refresher course on writing book reviews. Aspiring book review writers will treasure this book. It also will be a useful supplemental text in YA and children's literature courses. Librarians may also enjoy reading it to gain a better understanding of book reviews and how they are written. Index. Biblio. Source Notes.