WHY THIS BOOK? The subtitle for this text should be "A children's literature textbook for people who don't like children's literature textbooks." In a combined 41 years of teaching children's literature at the university level, neither of us had used a text because the ones available were too expensive and too extensive for an introductory course. We own and regularly consult the available texts, but they seem more like reference books. Our biggest concern, though, was neither the cost nor the length but the hours stolen from students when they could be reading actual children's books. The focus of a children's literature course should be on those terrific children's tides. They are more important than any text, including this one, and we wrote this book on that assumption. Children's Literature, Brieflyis an overview written to shed light on children's literature and its use with young readers. Our job as teachers, whether university or elementary, is to introduce and illuminate children's books for our students. These books can offer insight and pleasure without having to be explained, analyzed, or used as objects of study. Yet some comment, if it is secondary to the books and does not become too self-important, can help teachers and children alike find their own ways to rewarding reading. The goal of this text, then, is to provide a practical overview of children's books, offering a framework and background information while keeping the spotlight on the books themselves. That's why we kept the textbook itself and each chapter short. And that's why we limited the book lists. The world of children's literature offers only one completely dependable book list--your own. Throughout the following chapters, we present ours, absolutely trustworthy in every way-to us. You are allowed to harbor serious doubts about our choices, but their value is that our titles may save you time wandering up and down library aisles. We organized our book lists at the end of the chapters under four different headings and offer a fifth on CD-ROM. Ten of our favorites.The 10 books listed after each chapter in Part 2 (15 in the case of picture books) are terrific reading. These lists are very short, the result of much negotiating, often emotional but largely friendly. The purpose of the 10 is to provide solid suggestions for those who wonder where to find a good book. Each title is annotated to give a brief idea of the content. Others we like.These titles (generally around 20) are not annotated. Although they are the second level of recommendations, each is a book we like very much. Don't be surprised if you find some of them more appealing than the 10 of our favorites. Easier to read.Next we have added 10 titles of shorter, generally popular books. These help the teacher find nonthreatening titles for children struggling to make reading a rewarding pastime. Picture books.In most genre chapters, we have included 10 picture books we consider representative and outstanding. Not all of these titles are for use exclusively in the lower grades; many are appropriate for the upper grades as well. The CD-ROM.The biggest list is on CD-ROM--over 15,000 titles. The database is programmed to allow you to: Find books quicklyby searching for key words in any of the 11 information fields for each book (author, tide, illustrator, publisher, year of publication, grade level, genre, topics, description, awards, or user comment). View complete records of information for any book on the database. Add your own titlesto the database, as many as allowed by space on your hard drive. Add your own comments,notes, or codes to any title, whether part of the original collection or added by the user. This feature allows you to make completely individualized lists. Make and save book listsJacobs, James S. is the author of 'Children's Literature, Briefly', published 2003 under ISBN 9780130499240 and ISBN 0130499242.