If you need help, please contact Ivana Niseteo, Liaison Librarian for English, French, French Programs (FASS), Humanities, Linguistics, and World Languages & Literatures at 778.782.6838 or iniseteo@sfu.ca or Ask a librarian.


When looking for critical or secondary resources, some databases will provide you with full text articles, or only citations, or both (such as the MLA International Bibliography). If the full text of the article is not available, however, most of the databases at SFU will give you the option to find the article either in print in the Library or in another electronic database. Use the "Where Can I Get This?" link to get to the full text article.

MLA International Bibliography
MLA is the best database for doing research on literary topics. Contains scholarly articles on English literature, linguistics, language and folklore. All of the articles in this database are scholarly (or peer reviewed) articles. Use the Thesaurus (to browse subject terms, such as children's education, etc.).

NOTE: Certain children's literature journals are not listed in MLA. You can search for individual journal titles in the Library Catalogue, e.g. Children's Literature in Education.

Literature Online
Contains works of English and American poetry, drama and prose, full-text literature journals, and other key criticism and reference resources.

Literature Criticism Online
A collection of critical essays on various authors and works from 1400-present.  This database includes the series Children's Literature Review.  Also available in Bennett Library [print].

Dictionary of Literary Biography Complete
An excellent source for finding background information about authors. Use the What's Inside link to view specific subtopics related to Children's Literature, such as:
  • American Writers for Children Before 1900 1985
  • American Writers for Children Since 1960: Fiction 1986
  • American Writers for Children Since 1960: Poets, Illustrators, and Nonfiction Authors 1987
  • American Writers for Children, 1900-1960 1983

For additional English Literature databases, check here.

For information on Children's Literature, you may also wish to explore some of the Education databases.  Here are a few suggested starting points:

Education Source
A bibliographic and full-text database covering scholarly research and information for education.

CBCA Complete
Index to Canadian education journals and articles about education in general journals. Use whenever a Canadian focus is required.
ERIC (Educational Resources Information Center): 
Education and education-related journals, research reports, and curriculum materials.
NOTE: Use the search term lesson plan in addition to your topic to find examples of relevant lesson plans (e.g. lesson plan AND J. K. Rowling).


Children's Literature
Annual publication of the Children's Literature Association and the Modern Language Association Division on Children's Literature; includes "theoretically based articles that demonstrate an awareness of key issues and criticism in children’s literature."

Children's Literature Association Quarterly
"First-rate scholarship in Children's Literature Studies."

The Horn Book Magazine
Reviews of children's books, articles and interviews of authors and illustrators.

The Lion and the Unicorn
"Theme- and genre-centered journal of international scope committed to a serious, ongoing discussion of literature for children."

The Looking Glass
"As our name suggests, we combine an interest in the traditional with an eye to the modern. Our readers and contributors are academics, librarians, teachers, parents and anyone else fascinated by the world of children's literature."

Marvels & Tales 
This journal publishes scholarly work dealing with the fairy tale in any of its diverse manifestations and contexts.

Reference sources

Using dictionaries, encyclopedias and biographical resources can help you to understand the major issues, themes, people, events and scope of your research topic.

Reference sources are designed to help you find specific types of information quickly. For further tips and resources, see our Background reference sources page.

Encyclopedias and companions

The Oxford encyclopedia of children's literature

International companion encyclopedia of children's literature [print or online]

The Continuum encyclopedia of children's literature [print]

Encyclopedia of children and childhood : in history and society

The Cambridge guide to children's books in English [print]

The Oxford companion to children's literature [print]

The Oxford companion to fairy tales: the Western fairy-tale tradition from Perrault to Pratchett [print]

A reference guide to modern fantasy for children [print]

Dictionaries and literary terms

Dictionary of American children's fiction, 1859-1999 : books of recognized merit [print]

Histoire de la littérature pour la jeunesse: Québec et francophonies du Canada; suivie d'un Dictionnaire des auteurs et des illustrateurs [print]

The Oxford dictionary of nursery rhymes [print]


Fifteen centuries of children's literature: an annotated chronology of British and American works in historical context [print]

Biographical information

Who's who in children's books : a treasury of the familiar characters of childhood [print]


Quotation index to children's literature

Literary criticism

The new republic of childhood: a critical guide to Canadian children's literature in English [print]

The nimble reader : literary theory and children's literature [print]

The pleasures of children's literature [print]

Canadian Children's Book Centre

Online resources

Carol Hurst's Children's Literature Site
Book reviews and curriculum uses.

CCBC: Cooperative Children's Book Center
Bibliographies, book lists and links to other sources.

The Center for Children's Books
Lists of best books and teacher/librarian resources.

CM Magazine: Canadian Review of Materials
Online reviews of children's and young adult material written, illustrated, or published by Canadians from the Manitoba Library Association.

A website for librarians, teachers, publishers, and all those interested in young readers' books from and about the Pacific Rim and South Asia.

SurLaLune Fairy Tales
A collection of 49 annotated fairy tales and 1600 folktales from around the world.

A comprehensive collection of teen book reviews, features, author profiles and interviews, and reading lists.

Additional resources

Curriculum Collection

The Curriculum Collection features K-12 textbooks, selected curriculum documents, and books for children and young adults, and is located on the Second Floor of the SFU Bennett Library. Designed for students in the Faculty of Education's Professional Development Program (PDP), the Curriculum Collection is also available to all members of the SFU community.

Children's Book Awards

Database of Award-Winning Children's Literature (DAWCL)
7000 records from 84 awards, searchable by age, genre, setting, and protagonist characteristics.

Children's Notable Lists - American Library Association
Each year the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) identifies the best of the best in children's books, recordings, and videos.

Canadian Library Association Book Awards
Awards for literary and graphic excellence in books for children and young adults.

Red Cedar Book Award
From the B.C. Young Readers' Choice Awards Society.

Stellar Book Award
The B.C. Teen Readers' Choice Award.

Canadian Children's Book Centre