The Phoenix Award of The Children's Literature Association annually honors a children's book first published twenty years earlier that deserves special recognition for its literary merit. This volume, third in a set begun with the 1965 award, covers the years 1995 to 1999 and is a mini-library of essays, speeches, bibliographies, and biographical sketches surrounding the five award winners and six honor books. It contains the twenty-four essays presented at the association's annual conference on the Phoenix Award-winning books and on the honor books as well. Information is provided about each author, including a list of his or her works for children, and the acceptance speeches given by the award-winning authors are reprinted. Essay writers include such respected names in children's literature criticism as Jon Stott, Linnea Hendrickson, and Anita Tarr. This scholarly work is directed to the professions that attend to children's literature-librarians, educators, language scholars, other writers, and parents. It also serves as a guide for all those who care about timeless books and wish to make them available to children and young people.
Alethea Helbig, Professor, and Agnes Perkins, Professor Emeritus, English Language and Literature, Eastern Michigan University, have taught and published children's literature for many years and were instrumental in initiating master's and undergraduate programs in children's literature at Eastern Michigan. Perkins has served on the Phoenix selection committee, and Helbig has chaired the committee from its inception and is a past president of ChLA. They have published a series of encyclopedia works on fiction for children published by Greenwood and have also compiled three poetry anthologies (with Helen Hill; Crowell). Both have published numerous articles on children's literature and are working on supplements to the dictionaries of children's fiction and a book on multicultural imaginative literature for young people.