100 Scope Notes
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Endangered Series #15: Little Critter

Popularity comes, popularity goes. As librarians we’re always balancing between what will circulate like crazy and what we need to have in the collection. And we’re not the Library of Congress – we can’t (and shouldn’t) keep everything.

An endangered series is one that appears to be waning in terms of popularity. But popularity isn’t everything. Should it stay, or should it go? Or think of it this way – if you were starting a library today, would this series make the cut? Let’s discuss.

Little Critter (Series) by Mercer Mayer

This series began in 1975, and now spans over 100 titles in various formats – picture books, board books, early readers, activity books, apps and more.

The Case for Keeping: It’s among most well-known series in children’s literature. Chances are good that kids have read at least one Little Critter book, and that recognition can go a long way.

The Case for Not: Chances are good that there are a lot of beat-up Little Critter books out there. Purchased a long time ago and now looking worse for wear (or is that just me?).

Refresh? The series continues on to this day, with plenty of newer books to consider.

My Verdict: It remains a series that a lot of readers know. Our collection of Little Critter was in pretty rough shape, with lots of duplicates. We weeded all but a handful and will add a few of the newer books to freshen things up.

What are you doing with this series at your library?


Endangered Series #1: The Boxcar Children

Endangered Series #2: The Hardy Boys

Endangered Series #3: American Girl

Endangered Series #4: The Baby Sitter’s Club

Endangered Series #5: The Bailey School Kids

Endangered Series #6: Nate the Great

Endangered Series #7: Cam Jansen

Endangered Series #8: The Kids of the Polk Street School

Endangered Series #9: Pony Pals

Endangered Series #10: Little Bill

Endagered Series #11: Animal Ark

Endangered Series #12: Arthur

Endangered Series #13: The English Roses

Endangered Series #14: Marvin Redpost

About Travis Jonker

Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at scopenotes@gmail.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.


  1. The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew have gone years without being checked out in my library. Just when I think it should be weeded, students have been reading them this year!

  2. Yeah, maybe if you were a public library and there were nostalgic parents flitting about. But Little Critter today? Sorry, dude. Them’s the breaks.