This was a prescribed text in one of my graduate classes and is one of my favorite texts. Unlike many textbooks prescribed at graduate level, this book is written in an easily accessible manner, is not steeped in jargon, and makes for interesting reading. Many of the textbooks I have read at both undergraduate and graduate level have been dry and uninteresting, but this is one of the rare exceptions.
"Children's Literature in Action" is an excellent introductory guide to children's literature in several genres, i.e. picture books, traditional tales, poetry for children, contemporary realistic fiction, historical fiction, fantasy, and informational books. The book is well-organized into several chapters that are well-delineated:
Chapter One - An Introduction to Children and Their Literature
This chapter provides an overview on literacy themes as they pertain to children and Young Adults (YA)
Chapter Two - Picture Books
A clear definition of what constitutes picture books is provided, followed by a description of types of pictures books, evaluation criteria, major awards, literature in action, sharing, professional resources, and assignments in action
The following chapters follow a similar format to Chapter Two:
Chapter Three - Traditional Tales
Chapter Four - Poetry for Children
Chapter Five - Contemporary Realistic Fiction
Chapter Six - Historical Fiction
Chapter Seven - Fantasy
Chapter Eight - Informational Books
The list of resources is impressive and provides a valuable guide to not only librarians, but also teachers and parents. There is an index at the end of the book, as well as an extensive list of references and a bibliography.