The Publishing Post
The Role of Bloggers and Reviewers in Children's Literature
By Holly Allwright, Nicole Haynes, Emma Rogers and Ekta Rajagopalan
Today’s consumer can easily find a wealth of information related to any genre, author or style of book with the click of a button. We find reviewers and bloggers on every platform and it is easy to understand the value of them when they cover literature consumed by adults, but what is the purpose of these platforms that highlight the younger end of the spectrum?
For starters, they can provide an educational resource for teachers, parents and librarians looking to keep up with the current trends in literature. And for those verbose and slightly older children, they might just stumble across a book that could inspire them enough to put down their screens. We have compiled below some of our favourite voices within the blogosphere.
Books Up North
When it comes to reviewing children’s books, where better to get your information than from the mouths of the kids themselves. The Kid’s Review section of the Books Up North website is divided into three sections: one to six years, seven to eleven years and twelve plus years, with the youngest section being aided by the helpful hand of an adult. With insights such as “when I am bigger I want to use lots of things and tools to make an invention like Fili does” by three-year-old Adam about The Invention by Julia Hubery and James Munro, who could ask for a better way to understand the minds of our youngest readers.
Library Girl and Book Boy
Mum Jo’s cheerful website embodies the idea of sharing the joy of reading. A passionate reader herself, she believes that there is a book for everyone if you can just find the perfect one. With a vast collection of reviews, discussions and blog tours of children’s books for all ages and abilities, her website is a gem. Recently she participated in the blog tour of Fiona Woodcock’s new book Silver Linings, fostering a beautiful discussion of the strength of a positive mindset. The real importance of Library Girl and Book Boy however, is the vast range of content that she covers. With whole tabs of her page dedicated to books on hard hitting topics such as bereavement, mental health and refugees, it is an invaluable resource.
The LitBuzz Book Hive
LitBuzz was created in 2015 by Meg to showcase brand new authors and their books! LitBuzz has a focus on young adult novels and they review books from a variety of genres, from romance to dystopian and historical to non-fiction on their website, as well as their social media channels and podcasts. Most recently, blogger Kristen reviewed The Witch and The Vampire by Francesca Flores. LitBuzz is not just for reviews – they also offer seminar courses for book lovers who want to create their own blogs to become micro-influencers.
Nothing But Picture Books
Nothing But Picture Books is formed of a group of book lovers passionate about sharing the world of picture books! They believe in the power of picture books to entertain, educate, inspire and provide concise and straightforward reviews with a conversational tone. This is the perfect blog for parents, librarians or teachers looking for books to read to their little ones. If you need any more convincing to check out NBPB, they were also named Top Book Reviewer 2022 by Reedsy!
Kids Lit Book Cafe
Kids Lit Book Cafe is a platform dedicated to not only reviewing books, but also improving their sales via various marketing techniques. Their goal is to provide both parents and children with the very best hand-picked fiction books written by authors who have unique stories to tell. They love and encourage children’s books with quality illustrations which help enhance children’s imagination and curiosity. They also review non-fiction books for parents such as self-help books that give knowledge and guidance on parenting, in addition to non-fiction books for children.
Along with professional reviews, their up-to-date marketing strategies are designed to increase book sales, author awareness and high online visibility. Through various social media platforms and sister sites, their marketing teams execute “targeted” campaigns, ensuring the books reach not only children, but their parents and a wider reading audience. They review and market all ages and genres of children’s books – picture books, middle-grade, pre-teen, teen, comics – to name a few.
Beyond the Bookends
Beyond the Bookends was created by two mums, Jackie and Kirsten, who are poles apart from each other but share two similarities: their love for books and motherhood. Playdates happening at bookstores led to business meetings and now these two women run a successful blog for modern mothers.
Whether it’s hosting a book club or educating moms on ‘reading readiness’, these two Philadelphia-based women have it all covered. Their children’s section covers a wide spectrum from baby books (age zero to two) to middle-grade books (age ten to three), with a special section for ‘Young Adult’ and ‘School Hub’ – a section that deals with everything school related from lunch prep books to best teachers in literature.