Upon publication, Anita Silvey's comprehensive survey of contemporary children's literature, Children's Books and Their Creators, garnered unanimous praise from librarians, educators, and specialists interested in the world of writing for children. Now The Essential Guide to Children's Books and Their Creators assembles the best of that volume in one handy, affordable reference, geared specifically to parents, educators, and students. This new volume introduces readers to the wealth of children's literature by focusing on the essentials -- the best books for children, the ones that inform, impress, and, most important, excite young readers. Updated to include newcomers such as J. K. Rowling and Lemony Snicket and to cover the very latest on publishing and educational trends, this edition features more than 475 entries on the best-loved children's authors and illustrators, numerous essays on social and historical issues, thirty personal glimpses into craft by well-known writers, illustrators, and critics, and invaluable reading lists by category. The Essential Guide to Children's Books and Their Creators summarizes the canon of contemporary children's literature, in a practical guide essential for anyone choosing a book for or working with children.