Shakespeare's Coffee, a blog connected with The Orlando Sentinel, recently did a post on book coverage in newspapers. It's disappearing.
This has been discussed among writer types for a while now. As the number of books being published escalates, review space is disappearing. If you publish a book and nobody knows...why bother? Rebecca Swain at Shakespeare's Coffee explains why it's happening.
Personally, I think coverage of children's books in newspapers and other mainstream press is particularly bad. Only a handful of children's books get mentioned in general interest publications, and they are famous for being famous. Harry Potter. Lemony Snicket. Some movie tie-ins. All the review journals for kidlit are read primarily by professionals. Your average parent on the street never sees them. Even the adult librarians in our local library are totally unaware of big buzz YA titles.
At Shakespeare's Coffee, Swain says, "Books blogs are picking up some of the slack...but print will always be an integral part of the ongoing literary discussion in society."
I don't think that's the case with kids' books. Book blogs are picking up the slack, but there just isn't much literary discussion of kidlit in print.
And thanks to ArtsJournal.com for the link.