Congratulations on a fine series of articles on the state of book reviewing. I've enjoyed the series enormously, as has everyone I've spoken to recently. However, your articles made no mention of the state of books for children in reviews. And, given the illiteracy problem in our country, they should have (besides the fact that tomorrow's readers of book review sections are today's young people).
If you had investigated at all into children's book reviewing, you would have found that every major paper (and many, many lesser ones) except the L.A. Times considers reviewing children's books a moral obligation, and though the same attitudes and policies of assigning reviewers of books for adults prevails, the coverage is responsible and respectable.
Children's books are big business--especially here in California, where more children's books are sold than in any other part of the country.
Times Book Review Editor Jack Miles replies: Children's Book Shelf by Kristiana Gregory is a regular weekly feature of the Book Review, and children's book specialist Marilyn Carpenter's roundup of Christmas books for children was published Dec. 8.