This page presents brief tips and suggested search strategies for searching databases to locate scholarly articles and books reviews about children's literature. There are also other databases that may provide useful materials for your research. For further assistance using these or any other library resources, please stop by the Information Desk in Room 100 of the Social Sciences, Health, and Education Library (SSHEL).
Children's Literature Comprehensive Database
The Children's Literature Comprehensive Database (CLCD) offers a wide range of information on children's literature titles. It is a good place to find more information about a specific title, or to find books based on the genre, reading level, age range, awards won, and additional categories. The CLCD includes the following information about children's books:
- author, title, and publisher
- reading level and age range
- awards, prizes, and best book lists
To learn more about specific search/display procedures, visit their Search/Display Procedures guide. Click on the "Resources" tab at the top of the Advanced Search page. Then click on "Help."Children's Picture Book Database
The Children's Picture Book Database at Miami University is a bibliography for designing literature-based thematic units searchable by topics, concepts and skills. It includes 5,000 picture books for children, preschool to grade three.Database of Award Winning Children's Books
This database of award-winning children's literature can be searched by a number of useful categories, such as the gender of the protagonist, the age of the reader, and the book's setting or genre.Library and Information Science Source (LISS)
As with any database, the key is finding the right terms for the topic you have selected. This database uses "Children's Literature" and "Young Adult Literature" as subjects.
- To combine multiple terms in Library and Information Science Source, use multiple search boxes. For example, if you wanted to search for articles about multiculturalism in children's literature, type "children's literature" as a subject in the first search box and "multiculturalism" as a subject in the second. When you hit Search, it will search for articles that include both terms.
- An advantage of LISS is that many articles are available in full-text by clicking on one of the icons below the citation. Users can also print, email or save articles by adding articles to a folder (icon underneath a citation), viewing the folder contents (right side of the screen), selecting articles, and then clicking print, email, or save (right side of the screen). Itís also possible to export article citations in a folder to RefWorks.
ERIC is a database for education-related articles. It includes many citations for articles about children's and young adult literature.
- To combine multiple terms in one search, you can do an Advanced Search. To do this enter each term in a separate row. This will combine all of the terms using "AND". So you can search "Childrens Literature" AND "Disabilities" to find children's literature on disabilities. Note that ERIC uses the term "Childrens Literature" without an apostrophe. You will get very few results if you include the apostrophe.
- When you are doing a search, Descriptors/Subjects are subject words attached to each article. These terms are created using a controlled vocabulary: ERIC's Thesaurus. When you search Keywords, you are searching the Title, Abstract, Descriptor, Identifier, and other fields. Identifiers are additional subject words attached to each article, but unlike the Descriptors they do not come from a controlled vocabulary. They often include abbreviations and acronyms.
- To view only peer-reviewed results, check the box beside Peer-Reviewed.
- To read an abstract for a particular article, click on the article's title. To view the full-text, either click on the PDF link or click on the blue Discover Full-Text button. Very few articles are available in full-text through the ERIC database so you will have to use the Discover button in most cases.
- To export or save citations, select the boxes next to the articles and select Save, Print, Email or Export.
- To access ERIC's Thesaurus, click on hover over Subjects in the upper left in the EBSCO version or click on Thesaurus above the search boxes in the ProQuest version. The Thesaurus helps users match the term they enter to the term that ERIC uses. For example, if you type "Literature" into the thesaurus search box and click on Search, ERIC will return a list of related terms. This allows the user to choose the best match. In this instance, the best match for "Literature" would be "Childrens Literature" or "Adolescent Literature". Return to the Advanced Search page, and use these terms in your search.
- Note that there are two types of documents cited in the ERIC database - journal articles and ERIC documents. Journal articles are identified by an accession number (AN) that begins with EJ. These are articles published in scholarly or professional journals. ERIC documents are identified by an ED accession number. ERIC documents are generally unpublished reports/speeches/conference proceedings/projects that have been collected by ERIC. Many ERIC documents are available electronically - if this is the case, there will be a full text link under the citation. ERIC documents that are not available electronically are available on microfiche in SSHEL. To access a microfiche, write down the six digit accession number (e.g. ED346354).
Like ERIC, this database indexes many leading journals in education. Although it is not quite as comprehensive as ERIC, the content is more up-to-date, and many articles are available in full-text. Helpful database subject headings for conducting your search include:
- Children's literature
- Picture books for children
- Young adults' literature
Please note you can search Education Full-Text, LISS, and ERIC at the same time in EBSCO. Click on "Choose Databases" above the search boxes and select the databases that are relevant to your research.NoveList
NoveList includes reading lists, articles, and book and author information for a broad range of fiction, including children's and young adult. Book records include full-text reviews for adult, young adult, children's and easy fiction titles from several journals, including: Booklist, School Library Journal, Library Journal and Publishers Weekly. Search limiters allow you to find titles and authors for particular reading levels and lexile ratings.
The Features for Teachers section (accessed via the title bar under the NoveList logo) is a portal to NoveList's children's and YA literature content for educators. Included are book talks, class activities, picture book extenders, and standards-based thematic units.