Category Archives: Authors

What Makes A Good Children’s Book?

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Everyone is a book critic these days. The internet, for better or worse, has given voice to anyone with a connection and a few moments to spare. Customer reviews on, personal blogs, fan websites, and comments on publisher websites; the opportunities to share one’s opinion are countless. But does the average Joe or Jane know what makes a good children’s book? I’ve worked in children’s publishing most of my adult life, and sometimes I wonder if I actually know.

I’ve done a little research and rounded up the following articles addressing this very subject. What makes a good children’s book? Give these articles a quick read and see what conclusion you come to.

New Yorker article by Adam Gidwitz “What Makes A Good Children’s Book?”

Publishing Perspectives article by Dennis Abrams “What Makes a Children’s Book Great?” article by Sarah Maizes “7 Tips on How to Write A Good Children’s Book”

Time article “100 Best Children’s Books of All Time”

Nicholas Beatty


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Get outside! Nature In Children’s Books


For this article we interviewed Pamela Ellgen, a Certified Personal Trainer and cookbook author in Santa Barbara, CA. Pamela has worked with kids as young as seven and enjoys motivating them and their parents toward a healthy and active lifestyle in the gym and outdoors.

…introduce a variety of outdoor activities to your family.

1. It Starts With You A recent study by The Outdoor Foundation finds that most youth are introduced to outdoor activities through their families; however, participation in outdoor recreation has dropped by 17 percent in the last three years. So parents, it’s up to you. Do your part to instill a love for outdoor recreation in your children. Try reading these books with your kids to help instill a love of nature:

The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle
Planting A Rainbow by Lois Ehlert
Botanicum by Kathy Willis
The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
A Walk in the Forest by Maria Dek

2. Make Time for a Green Hour The National Wildlife Federation encourages children and parents to engage in one hour each day of unstructured play outdoors. Visit the federation’s website for additional tips:

3. Get Online and check out resources offered by your local parks and recreation department. Even in small cities, you’ll find activities offered nearly every day of the week, especially as the weather turns warmer.

4. Plan a trip to state park for a day or even an overnight camping trip. Early, positive experiences such as these will go a long way toward building an appreciation for the outdoors in your children.

5. Climb Trees Believe it or not, tree climbing is an actual sport with classes and safety precautions. Check out the website to find out how you can encourage this age-old favorite among children and keep them safe at the same time.

6. Dig in the Dirt and learn a little about geology in the process. Encourage kids to catalog types of soil and rocks that they find.

7. Volunteer to clean up a local park or hiking trail. Not only will this bring your family together outdoors, but also you will model the importance of environmental stewardship and conservation.

8. Play it Safe by educating your self and your children with respect to dangerous plants and insects. Also, ensure your children have access to and use safety equipment, such as helmets and protective padding for outdoor sports.

9. Become a Member of Outdoor Nation: and connect with other children and families who are heading outside this spring.

10. Read “Outdoor Parents, Outdoor Kids – A Guide to Getting Your Kids Active in the Great Outdoors” by author Eugene Buchanan. It will provide everything you need to know to introduce a variety of outdoor activities to your family including: paddling, hiking, climbing, swimming and many others.

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Dr Seuss Still Dominates Sales Charts

Although Dr. Seuss passed away in 1991, he still continues to dominate sales records in children’s book publishing. His amazing catalog of published works has bridged the gap between multiple generations, thereby becoming a symbol of childhood worldwide.


A Snapshot of Dr. Seuss Hardcover Sales in 2016

This data has been compiled by Publisher’s Weekly, and the figures are based on print unit sales at outlets that report to NPD Bookscan, which tracks roughly 85% of the print market.

  1. Oh, the Places You’ll Go! Dr. Seuss. Random House (585,284)
  2. Green Eggs and Ham. Dr. Seuss. Random House (364,977)
  3. One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish. Dr. Seuss. Random House (313,777)
  4. The Cat in the Hat. Dr. Seuss. Random House (253,993)
  5. Dr. Seuss’s ABC. Dr. Seuss. Random House (163,587)
  6. How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Dr. Seuss. Random House (156,554)
  7. Seuss-isms! Dr. Seuss. Random House (143,212)
  8. Fox in Socks. Dr. Seuss. Random House (142,371)
  9. Are You My Mother? P.D. Eastman. Random House (141,615)
  10. Hop on Pop. Dr. Seuss. Random House (129,054)
  11. Go, Dog. Go! P.D. Eastman. Random House (120,090)
  12. What Pet Should I Get? Dr. Seuss. Random House (107,471)

Dr. Seuss’ success so many years after his passing is truly a remarkable achievement. The majority of children’s books reach their greatest sales levels within the first 2-4 years of publication, but Dr. Seuss’ popularity continues to increase. In fact, his sales figures increased by 50% between 2010 and 2013.

Read more about Dr. Seuss sales records here:

The Statistical Dominance of Dr. Seuss

5 Lessons Dr. Seuss Can Teach You About Sales

Wikipedia List of Best-Selling Authors

Children’s Bestsellers Reflect Booming Backlists and Reinvigorated Franchises

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