excerpted from the San Diego Union
San Diego has quietly emerged as a hotbed of children’s literature — a place where top authors, academics and critics live. The National Center for the Study of Children’s Literature is here, at San Diego State University. The Dr. Seuss Collection is at the University of California San Diego.
Brian Selznick, who won the Caldecott in 2008 for The Invention of Hugo Cabret, is a part-time La Jolla resident. David Diaz, who won the prize in 1995 for Smoky Night, lives in Carlsbad. Kadir Nelson, another local artist, has been a Caldecott runner-up and has won several Coretta Scott King awards, another top children’s book prize. Pam Munoz Ryan, author of Esperanza Rising and many other award-winning books, lives near the coast in San Diego's North County. Jerry Griswold, who regularly reviews children’s books for The New York Times, is a literature professor at SDSU.
“San Diego is one of the strongest children’s literature communities in the United States,” said Linda Salem, associate librarian at SDSU and the author of “Children’s Literature Studies: Cases and Discussions.”