Amid the frigid temperatures and frequent snows of winter, this children's issue may well be the first harbinger of spring. As a whole new crop of books for children are being shipped to bookstores and libraries this season, readers of all ages have June 21 circled on their calendars: the day that Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix finally lands on the shelves.

In these pages we take a close statistical look at the state of the children's business, to see if the worries about hard times ahead are accurate. We speak with editors about book titles that didn't make the cut, and ask Newbery and Caldecott winners Avi and Eric Rohmann how it feels to win such a prestigious award.

We also offer our usual comprehensive listings of spring titles (which include new titles from many stalwarts—William Steig, Lois Lowry, Lane Smith, Margaret Mahy, as well as Jon Agee, whom we profile in this issue). Finally, we give a sneak peek at what's coming in the fall.

Happy reading!

About Our Cover Artist
An interview with Ross MacDonald

Adding Up the Numbers
The facts and figures behind children's books today

Left on the Cutting Room Floor
Children's books editors describe some book titles that never made it into print

Going Gold
PW speaks with the freshly minted Newbery and Caldecott winners

Spring Children's Titles

Fall 2003 Sneak Previews