I heard today from several reliable sources that Kirkus Reviews will be ceasing publication probably by the end of this year. What does this mean for fans of children’s picture books?
Kirkus Reviews, around since 1933, is a book review journal that publishes reviews of books prior to their publication. Bookstores and libraries use Kirkus to help them decide what books to purchase and make available to patrons. And these books include picture books. Can bookstores and libraries make their purchasing decisions in other ways? Sure. Are there other book review journals? Yes. But Kirkus has been a definitive, dependable resource to the book trade and publishing industry for years, reviewing thousands of books per year, a good portion of which are children’s books. How this will truly affect you and me is hard to say. Maybe we won’t even notice a difference. Maybe the new books at our local library and favorite bookstore will still get us excited. But maybe a few will never make it to the shelves and we’ll be missing out on some really great books. We’ll just have to wait and see.