Posted in Librarianing

Annotated Bibliographies: Do you create them?

I’ve been on an annotated bibliography kick of sorts. I love coming up with lists and readalikes for kids, and it’s handy to have a list available when a parent or child comes in, looking for books about a specific topic. What started as an Excel spreadsheet with tab dedicated to popular topics has morphed into little brochures of books available in my branch, along with resources, that I have ready to give out.

While they’re not currently complete annotated bibs, since they’re limited to the books at my last library branch, I am going to add to them now, and aim for having some strong booklists and bibliographies available to use not just for the kids while they’re in the library, but for them to turn to for help with research and additional reading in the future.

One of the ones I’m proudest of is a piece I did on grief and loss, shortly after a friend of mine passed away after a bout with pancreatic cancer. Working on this one helped me work through my own feelings about my friend, and I hope that I’ve created the beginnings of something that will help families in the future.

I’ve also got a fun one about losing that first tooth, because I was amazed at how many books there are about the Tooth Fairy and losing teeth there are – and parents often don’t realize there are any! This helped me create a fun display. It’s very out of date – I don’t even have Erin Danielle Russell’s How to Trick the Tooth Fairy on this one, so I need to update it, stat.

I’m working on whether or not to create full annotated bibs for subjects, or separating them by age: resources, for instance, for babies and toddlers, picture books, then middle grade and/or YA. If anyone has feedback, I’d appreciate hearing how you structure your bibliographies. I’ve got one here, for instance, that I started for middle grade historical fiction, but I did include a Patricia Polacco book, because I feel like her picture books are weighty enough to translate to a slightly older audience.

Speaking of toddlers and preschoolers, here’s one I created, featuring sing-a-long books. I had a lot of parents asking me for books for their kids going into Pre-K, so I tried to pick some fun ones, leaning heavily on concepts and singing books. Here’s a concept-heavy bibliography on books about shapes, too.

These are, as I’ve mentioned, pretty out of date, but I’m excited about revising them and adding to them. I’d love to hear from anyone else who creates annotated bibliographies and booklists, and learning how you create yours.


I'm a mom, a children's librarian, bibliophile, and obsessive knitter. I'm a pop culture junkie and a proud nerd, and favorite reads usually fall into Sci-Fi/Fantasy. I review comics and graphic novels at WhatchaReading ( I'm also the co-founder of On Wednesdays We Wear Capes (, where I discuss pop culture and geek fandom from a female point of view.

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