Book lists are a further mechanism for identifying wonderful books that have stood the test of time and appeal to a wide range of readers. The lists often are generated from a Pigeon Post essay on a particular topic or theme.
The sources of the recommended books are our own experience as well as the comments and suggestions of members of the TTMD community. We also mine a database maintained by TTMD. This database is a record for each title of all awards won, how many times it is recommended by librarians at major libraries, how often it is mentioned in academic texts related to children's literature, and how often it is mentioned in "Top 100" type lists. By collating all these different perspectives we hope to surface overlooked classics as well as scrub out books that may only be of narrow interest. If a book receives great awards but never shows up as a book recommended by librarians, then there is reason to look at it with some skepticism. Similarly a book that shows up only on librarian lists but never in "Top 100" lists, awards or academic recommendations might be a cause for reflection.
By integrating all these perspectives in the database we validate community recommendations. It is through this means that we create these lists and seek to move beyond books that sell well only because they have a great marketing budget behind them and past books that may be faddishly popular but lack any substance. It is the sum of the experience of parents, teachers, librarians and others that are close to the true bibliographic richter scale - those that see the smile of delight on the face of a child who is engaged with a book that they love.