The Source- a great place for information on children’s literature

While schools and early education centres around the country have been busy celebrating Australian children’s literature during the Children’s Book Council of Australia’s Book Week activities, it seems timely to highlight a fantastic library resource in the area of children’s literature.

The Source is a subject guide to children’s literature: books, short stories, traditional literature and poetry from around the world with an emphasis on Australian and New Zealand literature.  The Source consists of four continuously updated and revised databases:


Books & Authors: A database of over 17 000 picture books, children’s, young adult novels and collections which are searchable by subject, author or illustrator, title, type, genre, series and sequels. Subject searches can be refined by age, genre and type. Brief biographies of authors and illustrators are included.


Poetry: A database of over 15 400 poems from around the world that appear in the 380 anthologies indexed. Of these, the full texts of over 3000 poems in the public domain are available on The Source. The poetry database is searchable by subject, poet, title, genre, and first line.


Short Stories: An index to over 2800 short stories including fairytales, folktales, myths and legends linked to the collections in which they appear. All are annotated, the full text of some is included. The short story index is searchable by author, title, subject, genre and age.


Awards: A database of the winners and shortlisted books for 44 Australian, New Zealand and international children’s literature awards. This database is searchable by author, title, award and year of the award.


The Source has been published on the web to allow for continuous updating.  Where deemed useful, links are provided between databases and external websites. The Listmaker option enables users to easily construct booklists using information from whichever fields they choose. The Support Material button links to an index of downloadable PDF files of teachers’ notes to selected books (in addition to links to existing notes available on other websites) and to units of work. Books that are currently out-of-print have been included if there is a reasonable expectation that they will be held in library collections.

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